When I was first pregnant with our first child I went in to the OBGYN for my first appointment. I was having some spotting so they did an ultrasound and saw-to my surprise- two babies. I remember thinking that they had made a mistake and that it was just gas bubbles or something. That was the first time I had seen a baby on an ultrasound so it was all foreign to me. I was also little shocked because this was my first pregnancy and then they said we were having twins. Most people don’t expect to hear that. They continued looking and announced that one of the twins appeared to not be developing right-which explained the spotting. They said they wanted to monitor me weekly so they sent me home. During that week in my mind I was praying for both babies and preparing for life with twins. At first it seemed overwhelming. Like how would my small frame support two babies? I was scared to death of giving birth to one baby-how was I going to give birth to two? But as the week went on I started thinking about how amazing it would be to have twins. Having two babies to love-two to watch grow-two to be best friends. The next week I went into the office and had another ultrasound. I was still having random spotting so I was nervous about the babies surviving. They looked again and said that twin A didn’t have a heartbeat and that twin B did, and seemed to be developing fine. I remember the OBGYN talking to us afterwards and mistakenly telling us we could miscarry both babies because they didn’t have heartbeats. I corrected him and told him one did have a heartbeat and after looking at the papers in his hands he retracted his statement and said it’s still likely that we will miscarry both twins. I ended up leaving his office bawling-due to that statement and others-and found myself up in OKC with the midwives and I knew that’s where I needed to be.
My midwife did an ultrasound and said that one baby is doing well and that the other one is gone. She said it’s called vanishing twin syndrome and when this happens early in the pregnancy the survival of the other twin is likely. She said that one baby essentially absorbs the other twin.
I was sad that we weren’t having two babies. I had wrapped my mind around the idea of having twins and even though I was sad to have lost one-I was still very joyful that we were still having one. I can imagine when miscarrying a baby in a single pregnancy the emotions would be different. There wouldn’t be joy-but miscarrying a twin-and still having one was very bitter sweet. That did cause anxiety the remainder of my pregnancy though. I worried that I would lose the remaining twin and the midwife started me on progesterone. I didn’t think of the twin we lost much while I was pregnant. I was in graduate school and working and newly married and also trying to prepare for our baby girl. It wasn’t until we gave birth to our daughter that I started thinking about her twin. I thought about how I would have been delivering two. And at that point I was sad again-while also being joyful to be holding our daughter.
Our daughter knows that she had a twin because we have that first picture from their ultrasound, and she will sometimes mention her twin who is in heaven. Of course whenever I see twins when we are at the park or out somewhere I get that little feeling of sadness because of what could have been. As our daughter grows and reaches milestones I’m sure it will always be a little bitter sweet deep down in my soul. Sweet because we love our daughter and are so proud of her and thankful for her life-but bitter because she could have been doing all of that along side her twin. We have imagined what her twin would have looked like or what the personality would have been like. I’m sure that’s something most women who miscarry think. A couple years later-after our daughter was born-we were given a healthy baby boy. We are so thankful for our two children-and one in heaven.