One month after our first ultrasound and after learning that we’re having twins, we were due for another one. I have been waiting for that day.. really excited to see my babies again. And it’s also the end of my first trim, meaning, I can finally announced that I am pregnant with twins! This pregnancy was not easy, I get tired easily. I can’t even walk my kids to school which was just 300 meters away from our house. I stopped attending events because I just can’t physically. The morning sickness is worse than my other pregnancies. But I am having twins, all these pains are sooo worth it.
Then the unthinkable happened.. on our second ultrasound, the sonographer only saw one baby. I don’t understand.. it’s supposed to be twins! She said my OB will explain… and my mind couldn’t comprehend.. what happened? where is my other baby? what have I done?
The OB said it happens.. and that the genes of the baby is not good and that it will be reabsorbed by the body.. wait.. wait.. where’s my baby again? What happened to my baby? And as the OB finished her routine, I burst into tears.
Why didn’t the OB warned me about it? During our last check up, she said the babies looked fine, though the other one is 2 weeks smaller, they both have a heartbeat. I asked then if I should worry, what are the precautions I need to take.. she said I don’t have to worry. I just need to take my prenatal vitamins.. so what happened?!?
I was crying the whole time.. I was crying the whole day.. I just couldn’t stop wondering what happened? What have I done wrong? Did I fail to do something? What have I done?
I was never prepared for this…there was never a sign that the other baby is not OK.
You know what made me feel better? Aside from my husband’s support and prayers..
After 4 hours of nonstop crying, I started reading about twins pregnancy and the other twin not surviving. The condition is called Vanishing Twin Syndrome. According to American Pregnancy.org, it was first recognized in 1945. Although most of the cause were unknown, some analysis suggests that there is an abnormality on the chromosome of the twin that vanished.
What are the signs of a possible Vanishing Twin Syndrome?
In my case, there was none. I never experienced anything. I never had bleeding, no cramps, nothing at all. From my ultrasound, they both look healthy, both have a heartbeat. As my OB said, she never suspected anything.
Some readings suggest that women at the age of 30 has a higher risk of experiencing it but it can also be noted that women at this age also has a higher tendency to hyper ovulate (releasing two or more eggs during ovulation which leads to multiple pregnancy).
How to prevent Vanishing Twin Syndrome?
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent it… you won’t even know when the vanishing started.
What happened to the vanishing twin?
In our case, it vanished.. no signs at all inside my womb. The OB said it was absorbed by my body.
What will happen to the surviving baby?
In my readings, most cases said the the surviving baby will be OK because the vanishing happened on the first trimester. If it happened later on the pregnancy, specially after 20 weeks, researchers found that the surviving twin has an increased risk of cerebral palsy. Also, if it happens at around 15 weeks or more, some of the body parts of the baby will be absorb by the surviving twin.
How about the mother? Is there a medical complication on the mother who experienced Vanishing Twin Syndrome?
Most of my readings suggest that there is no physical threat on the mother if the VTS happened on the 1st trim. But emotionally, it is draining. Even though I already know what happened to my other twin, I just can’t help but wonder why.. the feeling of losing a baby is not easy.. even though it was just a few weeks old. For the past month, I have imagined our lives with our twins. The thought of breastfeeding a twin excites me. The thought of caring not just one but two toddlers, overwhelms me positively. And then it was gone.. I am having a hard time accepting the new reality that we are to face.
There are so many “consolations” in our case.. but I still can’t see that in a light way. I need to mourn for the loss of my baby, for a missed opportunity with him or her.