Monday, May 09, 2011

What is a womb twin? (1) a full-term, perfect dead baby

If you are  the womb twin survivor, who was your womb twin?  The first step on the healing path is to make your lost twin real, and this series of blogs for this week will look at the various forms that womb twins can take. All this information is there in your Dream of the Womb, and the intention is to help you make sense of it all.

A full term, dead baby
The most obvious form of a womb twin is  a full-term and perfect dead baby - or dead within a few hours or days of birth. (In this case some people also call the survivor an "early loss twinless twin".)  The causes of stillbirth and neonatal death among twins are slightly different from those in a singleton birth,  in that there are two babies to be delivered.   Perhaps the second baby is at risk because of being left in the womb after the delivery of the first,  plus very often being in the breech or transverse presentation , which makes delivery very difficult.  However I have heard stories of womb twin survivors whose twin was born first and still dead at birth, so this does not necessarily follow.

We never knew there were twins!
There are also stories of twins who are delivered unexpectedly because no one realised that there were twins - where the twin hearts beat as one, in the absence of ultrasound there can be no clue - except perhaps the fact that Mum is very large.  In this case, where the first twin is born alive,  it all seems to be over and the baby is here, only for there to suddenly be another baby, born dead but un-looked for and therefore never fully acknowledged.  This little baby may never be named or mentioned again - that is, until the survivor comes asking questions!

If the first baby is born dead, then the second arrives as the unexpected "redeemer", a miracle, a living second twin! 

The twin bond remains
If your twin was there with you and alive until birth, then the bond you have with him or her is as strong as any twin whose twin sibling is still alive.  For a twin, the primary attachment is the twin because that was the first relationship - the first lesson in love.  This is no less the case because the twin died at birth.   You had nine months in the presence of another living, responsive little person and that experience is hard-wired into your memory.  It has become the template for all your relationships in born life, as you seek out your twin, and your sense of twin-ship, in others.

More in this book

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