Vanishing Twin

I’m not going to lie. This post is very, very difficult to write. But I feel like I need to kinda put it all out there so you know what’s going on why I feel like running into a corner with my head down and tears streaming down my face. 

Yesterday morning I had a scheduled appointment with my OB for a routine visit. I am a high risk patient from my blood clotting condition, not to mention I only want the healthiest pregnancy ever, but because of being high risk, I follow-up with my OB every two weeks for a sonogram until 20 weeks when I can spread the visits out as we see fit. This was my first appointment alone and I wasn’t expecting anything outside the box. Just anxious to see growth and development and hear some heartbeats.

The technician zoned in on this beautiful fetus: one that had clearly grown and was starting to take shape. It’s heart was beating and I could see blood flowing through its tiny body. It almost looked like it was twinkling. And the best part was seeing the baby wiggle all around as it floated in the amniotic fluids. It was doing a dance for Mom. I asked the tech if this was twin left or twin right (as that doctor’s office referred to them as) and then she asked if I had spoken to the doctor yet about the different sizes of the amniotic sacs and whether or not I had known that it was unlikely that for a sac that was smaller to survive. I felt blindsided, because no, the doctor never once told me to worry about losing either baby as both hearts were beating the same and both measured the same on our last visit. So I asked to see Baby B and she tried to manuever the machine to focus on the sac, but unfortunately there wasn’t much to see.

The doctor came in for an internal scan and showed me the amniotic sac for Baby A and then Baby B. Baby B hadn’t grown since week six. The heartbeat had ceased. But there it was, still in me, still looking like a baby to be, but never will. This is a called a vanishing twin and happens to 1 in 8 woman who have early sonograms indicating twins. Most woman never know they were ever pregnant with twins as most sonograms occur between weeks 8 and 10. And I knew it was early, but it looked promising and of course, I wanted it to happen, despite my fears.  I was told Baby B will eventually attach to Baby A’s placenta and I will birth it when the time occurs.  He then let me listen to Baby A’s heartbeat, which I wish I relished in more, but sadly I was too upset over what I wasn’t going to hear. It’s the worst feeling in the world, I can easily say, to have seen a heartbeat (twice) and to never see it again.

At the end of the day, I know I’m lucky. Though I miscarried, though I lost something I was so much looking forward to having the rest of my life, I know that I’m at least still pregnant. I’m still expecting to have a baby and I’m still going to be a Mom. It’s hard in that I was so scared for twins and then I wasn’t. I had finally accepted all these wonderful and amazing things that twins had to offer and as hard it was to take in, it’s even more difficult to let go. It’s only been a little over 24 hours since I’ve found out, and I know it’s still an early time for me to “just be over it” , but I definitely have found myself still saying “babies” instead of “baby” and then I break down in tears. Even when I think I’m okay, or that I’ll be okay, I know I’m not. And I’ve acknowledged all the logic and all the understanding in why this happened or why things like this do occur and how nothing I could have done would have changed things, but I’m just sad. As is Don. And there is nothing, not one explanation, compassion or hope that anyone could pass on to either of us to make us feel any better.

We know we’ll be okay. We know this phase of sadness will pass, like all other phases that come and go in life. It’s a day at a time and soon we’ll be doing nothing more but celebrating all the happiness that Baby A promises. For now, we can celebrate this… Baby A measured at 9 weeks and 2 days. I was (as of yesterday) technically at 9 weeks, 4 days, which means it’s measuring within 2 days of my due date (February 9th). According to the doctor, to be within 5 days of one’s due date is a very good thing. I have a picture. It kinda looks like a blob, so I’ll post it tomorrow when I’ll have a second that might be able to highlight features more. One more doctor appointment in the morning to check things out and then another in two weeks to see the baby at week 11.

For now, I’m just kinda accepting this sadness that is possibly driven further due to hormones and the utter fatigue I’m experiencing as a momma-to-be. I can say that I’m thankful for the friends and family that have been there for us and have listened to my tears and have brought us in dinner and flowers and really just kinda slapped their love in our faces. When a friend cries for you, as sad as it is that you don’t want them to cry, it’s definitely a sign of a true friendship. 

For now… bed. But pictures of our baby to be shared tomorrow.



3 thoughts on “Vanishing Twin

  1. Oh Sandi…as hard as it is…as sad as it is…when there is nothing else that anyone can do, crying together is then what I will do with you. I am very sad…am actually crying now…with you! There is no schedule for when you will be thru grieving for Twin B…maybe never. And I will feel with you! Take very gentle care…you are precious and we send our love and prayers to you and Don. Love & Hugs…

  2. Just wanted to post here as well.

    While I was never pregnant with twins, I did receive the miscarriage news by myself. We got pregnant when my oldest was 1, I went for the early ultrasound (I was high risk due to gestational diabetes) and the tech was very stoic and said the baby was smaller than anticipated, but it might mean other things, blah blah blah. I got home and got a call to come back to the doctor’s office. My OB wasn’t in; so a different doctor gave me the news. I was about 10 weeks along – we actually were contemplating telling people – and we had already told my family. I was miscarrying over the Christmas holiday and my sister-in-law was pregnant. I had a D&C on December 28th.

    It hurt. The fact that I had a healthy child didn’t help diminish the hurt (although some people felt it should have). We went on to have another m/c before having our youngest (and even she was “questionable” in the beginning due to low beta numbers).

    You may never “get over it.” You might make your peace with it. Either way is right if it works for you. I share my story not as a “buck up, stiff upper lip and all” but that you aren’t alone. You are loved and supported and while I’ve never gone through what you’re going through, but I have lost. All different, yet all similar. Take your time and heal as you and Don are ready.

    • Jen, I really thank you for sharing your story. It’s devasting to experience what it seems we’ve now both been through. And in putting it out there for everything Don and I are going through, a lot of friends and family have come forward with similiar stories and it just amazes me how many of us go through this. Some friends and family advised me not to share our happy news early on in the pregnancy “in case something happens”, but I always said I was never afraid to share my pregnancy in the very early stages because miscarriage isn’t something we’re supposed to be ashamed about. And I’ve learned that I made a good decision in that as it has allowed many people, like yourself, come forward and share the pain that I’m experiencing from a firsthand experience. And at the end of the day, you all have these happy stories and definitely show me how things always work out. So thank you for allowing me inside your life, even just a little bit. I’m sorry about your losses, as well, but I’m so happy to see you with the two most adorable little girls who have the best Mom ever!

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