Monday, April 25, 2011

My child's twin died (2) How can he or she possibly be aware of that?

Should a parent tell their sole surviving twin about the twin who died? The debate is pointless, because the child will already be aware,  even without being told.

Sad, but true.  Children are aware - more so than adults - of life before birth.  Some therapists who specialize in pre- and perinatal psychotherapy come across the lost twin in therapy. Other therapists may not notice or understand what they are seeing. The womb twin kids project is  my attempt to put that right.

Here is a compelling description of a child remembering her sister and brothers conceived during IVF:

One unusual and unexpected characteristic that almost all of these children had in common was that they had some sort of relationship to the fertilized eggs which (or should I say who?) were not used in the implantation and are now frozen. None of the IVF families I worked with had decided what to do with the frozen eggs. 

The mother explained to me that her daughter had been very upset over a dream and had asked to be held for a long time that morning. When the mother asked her to share what she wanted, the girl replied, “We have to do something about my brothers and sisters.” She then explained, “ I have five brothers and three sisters.” The mother then told me that there were seven remaining embryos. The math works out, considering that the living twin is one of the siblings, while the frozen ones are the others. Then the girl went on to say, “My other brothers and sisters are freezing. They are in a cave in the snow and they are crying. We have to do something about them.” 

What can you say about an experience like this? I feel that it certainly deserves serious reflection.

So  womb twin kids are already aware of  their twin: would it not be a kindness therefore to explain those vague feelings of loss in real terms? And how can a parent  or guardian talk to a child about their lost twin?  How can you say it so that it wont be painful and confusing?

That is for tomorrow.......

[Note:  There has been a hold up at the printers where my new book is being printed : if you have ordered it and have been told it is unavailable, do not despair.  I hope to sort it out soon, but our four day Easter holiday hasn't helped..... More news tomorrow. ]

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