When you learn you are pregnant with twins, it is such a blessed moment in your life. You feel so fortunate and chosen by God to have such a special gift. You dream of holding two babies, dressing them the same and watching them grow up together. This is what God intended. God did not make a perfect world though. There is evil in this world and one form of it is a disease called twin to twin transfusion syndrome. It does not care who it hurts, and it always happens to the parents who want and love their babies so very much.
When parents learn that one of their babies has passed away, life will never be the same again. There is deep sorrow and shock. There is confusion about whether or not to deliver the babies. There is no reason to deliver the babies, unless the surviving baby is in major distress. There is a risk that the living baby may bleed blood to his or her twin, through the connecting blood vessels in their shared placenta that caused the twin to twin transfusion syndrome in the first place. If this happened, it was instantaneous at the time of the loss and already happened by the time you determined the loss. Delivering the babies, as many doctors think should happen, will not prevent it. It is better to stay pregnant and get to a gestational age to best help your surviving baby.
There is a period of about 2 weeks where if there are no signs of distress with the surviving baby then this “bleeding” in laymen’s terms, most likely did not happen. You should feel confident that your baby should be OK. Nothing will take away your fears completely until you deliver and the pregnancy is finally over and you hear your baby crying. But, let this give you a true understanding of hope that he or she will be just fine. You should also be getting blood work done to make sure your blood clotting mechanisms are working correctly within your own blood supply. This is a small risk, but one that should not be ignored.
When one of your babies has passed away, you will often hear hurtful comments such as, “They were not meant to be”, “You could not have handled both”, “God needed him or her more”, “He or she was too sick to survive…..” All of these statements are not true. Your baby is a beautiful, healthy baby. It is just that the disease took its toll. Your baby will always be your baby and they will always be twins. It is not they “were” twins…it is that they always will be. You will always be the parent of twins too. The status will never be taken away from you and you should stay strong not to let anyone try to. The more you can speak up for yourself and your babies when these comments are made, the better you will feel about yourself.
Many will advise that you have to be “strong” for the other baby now…that you cannot fall apart or cry. This too, is not true. You don’t have to be strong. You don’t have to be anything. You will be strong regardless of trying to. It is OK to cry and even be hysterical. It will not hurt your second little baby. It is so important to not give gifts back, do not return items to the store, do not throw things away. Put things away in a box marked “Private” or a closet, but never give them back. What is painful to you now, will become what you cherish most in years to come. Please trust us on this.
Know that when your baby passed away, his or her twin had his arms around your baby. And, you had your arms around them both. You always will.
Know that we are here to talk with you, especially listen and cry with you. You are not alone. We are here to help you continue on in your pregnancy and plan for your compassionate delivery of your babies. Please know that God did not make this happen. God wants all babies to live. His hand will be in yours. Even if you pull your hand away…He will not let go. And when you can no longer stand, He will carry you.
Your babies love you with all their heart. They know that you have done and are doing everything you can for them. The only emotion that they feel is love for you, and they will always be with you. They will help you get through this and you will live your life bringing both of them with you. It will never be good-bye…only I love you.