Helen Werner (28) and William (2). Illinois. Photographed in Madison, WI.
Helen is also mother to Theodore and Holden born and died (10/06/16), currently pregnant with her fourth baby, due 10/27/17.
Helen shares -
"I found out that I was pregnant with twin boys last summer. I was thrilled and terrified, and immediately started making plans and buying matching outfits. They were identical and everything was going great until our 18 week check up. They noticed that Holden had a problem with his heart and after testing told us that it was most likely Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. They sent us from Madison all the way to Cincinnati, Ohio for possible surgery. After a long two days in Cincinnati, I woke up the morning of the surgery in preterm labor. I was only 20 weeks. They tried to stop the labor, but I was already progressing too quickly. In a horrible twist of fate, I was told that the Ohio second trimester abortion laws came into play in my situation, and they could not allow me to deliver my boys until my own life was in danger. I was ten centimeters dilated for twelve agonizing and heart breaking hours, until I was allowed to deliver the twins and had only twenty short minutes with Theodore before he passed. Holden's heart couldn't take the stress of this all and he was stillborn."
"I had hoped to be one of those women that fully embraced my postpartum body, but it's been really difficult for me. It was a struggle after having William, but after the twins it almost wrecked me. I remember a Facebook friend posted at three weeks postpartum how she was back in her skinny jeans, and I was blinded by fury that I was leaking milk and had a big postpartum belly - but no new babies. I've been slowly working on embracing the changes in my body, and realizing that it's let me create now FOUR beautiful babies, even if two of them aren't with me."
"I want mothers - especially loss mothers - to know how beautiful and worthy they are, despite what society tells us. I want to share my story to encourage other loss mothers and to connect with people who have gone through this terrible heartbreak. I also want to reclaim my body as something to celebrate."
"Only you know how to parent your children. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. "