Womb Twin Survivors
A womb twin survivor is the sole survivor of a twin or multiple conception where one twin died during the pregnancy or around birth. A "twinless twin" or "lone twin" is the sole survivor of a twin or multiple birth, where both twins lived for a time - either a few days or many years - but one twin died. There is an obvious crossover between womb twin survivors and lone twins if one twin died shortly after birth. If that is your story, you may find the information and support you need either on the various websites for womb twin survivors, or on websites devoted to twinless twins, such as TTSGI or the Lone Twin Network.
A "vanishing twin" pregnancy
At the Third International Congress on Twin Studies, held in Jerusalem in 1980, this phenomenon was discussed and the term "vanishing twins" was coined to describe it. A "vanishing twin" pregnancy quickly became the accepted medical term to describe a particular situation - that is, when a pregnant woman is scanned by ultrasound, two sacs are seen at the first scan but one sac has "vanished" from view by the next scan and in the end only one baby is born. The truth is that these babies do not "vanish" - they die. The sole survivor knows this.
A dermoid cyst, teratoma or fetus in fetu
One of the most controversial aspects of this subject is the issue of the enclosed twin. This can be a dermoid cyst, a teratoma or a fetus in fetu. There is little doubt about the fetus in fetu, because it can be clearly seen that the body of a twin is trying to develop, and the teratoma doesn't seem to be too difficult to accept as a partially developed twin either. It's the dermoid cyst that is causing the trouble. There are very few medical references to quote on this subject. But people keep sending their stories .......
A stillborn twin
The loss of one twin at birth is devastating for the parents. Furthermore, twin pregnancies are increasingly the result of lengthy, laborious and costly fertility treatments. Earlier on in the pregnancy, there is still a sense of loss. Many parents discover early on that they are expecting twins or more. They get to know each baby very well. After birth, because of the realities of caring for one or more survivors, parents are typically unable to grieve properly. In the case of Monozygotic (identical or one-egg) twins, the memory of the lost twin is kept alive in the person.
A twin pregnancy of about 10 weeks. The lower sac contains a live fetus but the fetus in the upper sac has died. The sense of Something or Someone being there for a while but now
gone missing, will remain
somewhere in the back of the mind of the sole survivor - the womb twin survivor.