Sunday, April 29, 2012

Womb twin story: I dont believe it!

I was born with cerebral palsy sixty years ago. Cerebral palsy was then thought to be damage to the brain during childbirth. My entry into the world was difficult. Forceps were used, which, according to the specialist damaged my cortex, thus rendering my ‘motor’ skills to be dysfunctional. However recent medical research has shown that cerebral palsy probably happens in the early stages of pregnancy when a former twin ‘vanishes’ without trace.

I find no difficulty in accepting this factual evidence, and who knows, my mother may have lost several babies during her seven miscarriages, before she had me.

What I cannot, and will not believe is emergence of the psychological evidence that I may have quite possibly been the product of a ‘vanishing’ twin!  I have always shown more affection to some people than others, but I believe that this was a consequence of being at boarding school, when one had to ‘bond’ with one another, as time with family and friends were at a premium. 

That bonding process has always been in my makeup, but I believe that is me –not some bemoaning for a ‘vanishing’ twin!

Three years ago, I found myself in a position where I was able to employ my own personal assistant (carer.) Since this turn of events, people say that I have become contented and I have gained weight since having this continuity in my life.

I have be very fortunate to find someone who I have an extraordinary rapport with. We are of the same disposition, we have the same attitude to life.   My friends have commented that I seem more contented and self assured under her empathetic nature.

I feel uplifted and totally at ease in her presence. I no doubt would mourn her loss, but I am under no illusion that she is my ‘vanished’ twin! As far as I’m concerned, ‘ignorance is bliss’


  1. New concept to write my college project work on twins life..huh...

    Sheila Burnett

    1. There is a new book by Barbara Klein you may find useful.

      Good luck with the project.

  2. Who says cerebral palsy can't have different reasons? And, really, it's kind of refreshing to read a story for once by a person who is not reducing her life to early twin-loss after gaining knowledge of the possibility. Especially bonding-issues are a process in which influences come together and create structures of behaviour. Not everything is due to twinloss and not everything that IS can be explained solely by twinloss.

  3. I have found that there are plenty of extremely sceptical womb twin survivors, even when the biological evidence is there.

    I have never thought, or said, that EVERYTHING in a womb twin survivors life can be explained by twin loss! My main problem has been in teasing out the subtle effects that are certainly there, so that womb twin survivors can gain some insights which will contribute to their healing.

    In fact, one of the greatest sceptics that I have come across so far, is Dr Peter Pharoah, who was the first person to make the connection between cerebral palsy and the loss of a twin in pregnancy. He doesn't believe that such an event can possibly have any psychological effects on the survivor. And he is not alone.

    I am surrounded by sceptics on all sides and have been from the beginning. - (Try putting the word into the blog search to get all the many posts there have been about this since 2007!)

    Nevertheless, the research results are proving, again and again with each different analysis, that the psychological effects are real, and are specific to womb twin survivors.

    I have long since stopped trying to convince people about this - if a person truly is a womb twin survivor and is ready for the information, they simply receive it with gratitude, thats how it works.