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Hearing the news - "You are a womb twin survivor"

Althea Hayton

Many of the womb twin survivors who come to this site first heard the story of their twin's death from their parents. Derek was told quite baldly that he was a twin when he was ten years old. It was simply a fact, and it didn't seem to occur to his mother that he would have strong feelings about it.

Eric, an only child, was dozing one afternoon when he overheard his mother tell a friend the story of her pregnancy and how Something Else was delivered after him. The midwife put the Something and the placenta into a bowl, covered it and took it away with a strange expression on her face. Nothing was ever said, but Eric soon had it worked out. He had been a twin.

It seems that many womb twin survivors have a really strong, lifelong feeling of being a twin. As young children they may ask where their twin now is, which is hard for parents to answer. To have that feeling confirmed as true is invariably a relief. Ray played with the idea that he may have been a twin for most of his life, thinking that it was too outlandish an idea to entertain. Only recently, with so much publicity being given to vanishing twins, has he realised that this feeling may be true.

An imaginary friend can help: Maria was very lonely as a young child after the death of her mother, and her doll was her best friend. She realised recently that she is a womb twin survivor and to this day she finds soft toys a great comfort. Stephanie is seven, and known to be a womb twin survivor. She has an imaginary friend who joins in every game.

Bronwen realized, in the moment she was told, that she had always known. The osteopath suggested it and Bronwen at once began to cry, which took her by surprise, but after a few moments’ consideration it made perfect sense.

Reading through these instances you may begin to wonder: am I a womb twin survivor too? The answer is probably already there in your mind, but it may take a while to surface.

© Althea Hayton 2013

(This article may be reprinted, but only in its entirety and properly attributed. Thank you.)

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