Monday, June 10, 2013

Womb twin survivors discovered in a nursing home for the elderly

A letter from Rara Schlitt, artist

Two little birds who hatched out of the same egg....
Rara Schlitt, the artist

Two Little Birds
Written by Althea Hayton
Illustrated by Rara Schlitt

Rara writes.....

In May of 2013, I was warmly invited to present Two Little Birds to two Nursing Homes in Chattanooga Tennessee, where the age of the residents were from 78-101 years of age.

After reading aloud the book Two Little Birds, discussion revealed that several residents had twins, one lady had lost a twin in labor and delivery, and others felt like they might have carried twins but it was not confirmed due to the absence and unavailability of ultrasound some 80 plus years ago. There were half a dozen who themselves were surviving twins.

A real treat were 2 sets of twins-one being 82 years old and the other 78 years old.
They shared how special it was to be a twin, and share a special bond of finishing each other sentences, knowing what the other one was thinking or wanting to do.

Even though I attended the event mainly to discuss illustrations for a book, I realized that the topic was one that the residents wanted to discuss so we went over the review pages in the back of the book, that Althea had prepared.

 One of the diagrams to explain the types of twinning

The majority of residents were female and talked about pregnancy, which was a taboo topic back in their day. They talked about delivering at home and also the stigma of twins, not always being a good thing. They also talked about dressing twins alike and keeping them schooled with the same teacher throughout middle school age.

The surviving twins spoke about missing their twin and how it felt like a piece of them was missing.
The ones who were surviving twins had lost their twins in their 80's.

There were a few who felt like they might have been a twin but it was never confirmed. One gentleman said he found out his twin brother had died at birth but his family never told him until he returned from serving as a soldier in World War 2.   He shared that he somehow already knew. He said he had an imaginary friend and remembered being content playing with his imaginary friend.

The staff of the nursing home attended the presentation also, and one said they had carried twins but lost one due to a risky pregnancy. They asked to take the book home to share with her son and husband.

It was enlightening and humbling to hear all the stories and sharings.
  • Do you have a story to tell about your twin?  
  • Is your child a womb twin survivor?  
  • Is an elderly relative a womb twin survivor? 
  • Did you find a womb twin survivor while at work?   
You can send it to me via this stories page.

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