Monday, April 04, 2011

Signs of a twin conception: (4) miscarriage, but pregnancy continues

The "miscarriage" of a baby involves the expulsion of the baby from the uterus and the end of the pregnancy.  [Download a full explanation here.]  If the loss is in the first trimester, the womb twin survivor usually suffers no physical effects, but in the second trimester there is a greater risk of pregnancy complications.

Jenny was told many times over by her mother that she was a "miracle child", because around 13 weeks of pregnancy  her mother had cramps and bleeding. She passed " something which looked like a little bird".   She went to the doctor, who recommended a D &C. The usual situation is that the pregnant woman waits a week to allow the contents of the uterus to be expelled naturally, but  Jenny's mother decided to go ahead with the D&C.   The next day she was on her way to the hospital but something did not seem right, so she asked for another scan, to be quite sure.  The doctor was surprised to find she was still pregnant and the D&C operation was cancelled.  Jenny's mother had been carrying twins. 

When Jenny was born at 39 weeks - very small at only 3lbs -  she was perfectly healthy.   However, by the time she was about 7 years old she began to feel as if there was something missing.

"I have always felt like I wasn't here, there is something missing in my life but I never know what it is.  I have found life very difficult not knowing who I am or who I was meant to be and everything I do in life doesn't feel right in some way.  I have always sensed something was around me I would have conversations with people who weren't there. I had feeling sand emotions that others never understood. I have always wondered if I am the way I am because I lost my twin."

There is a story of a miscarriage on my web site, from both points of view, mother and child.  I wonder how many babies have been lost because a D&C was carried out after the miscarriage of one twin.  Until scanning in pregnancy became more of a routine, no one would have known that there was a womb twin survivor still in the womb, struggling to survive. 

Also, no one would have guessed with that the loss of that tiny twin would affect the survivor in a psychological way, and still very few people are prepared to believe this.  (90% of the population does not understand.)  Over a thousand people have now completed the questionnaire and the commonest situation they describe (if they have been told about their twin at all) is that their mother thought she had miscarried, but she remained pregnant and a single baby was eventually born - a womb twin survivor.  

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