If You’ve Lost Both of Your Twins In Utero, Please Keep It to Yourself

If a friend confided to me that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, for example, I would not reply, “Oh, so-and-so had breast cancer, and now she’s dead.”  Such a response would be, at the least, insensitive, and, worse-case scenario, cruel, depending on my friend’s state of mind.  Such a negative, yet true, tale could—and probably would—have a detrimental impact on my ill friend.

Yesterday I had my six-week pregnancy ultrasound in which I found out that one of the twin boys I’m carrying is not thriving, and, depending on how my body disposes of him, I could lose both of my sons.  About two hours after receiving this news, I was outside my 4-year-old son’s gymnastics class, talking with a friend about what I’d learned.  I saw another mom listening in, and, after my friend left, this woman said, “I overheard your conversation, and that happened to me—twice.”  She then proceeded to tell me the details of the time she lost one of the twins she was carrying, which was followed by another pregnancy in which she lost both of her twins in utero.

I had been standing up, holding my friend Jessica’s newborn daughter, rocking her back and forth—and feeling relatively calm.  But, after this conversation, which I admit I didn’t end, I was so upset that my hands were uncontrollably shaking.

Jessica noticed and asked, “Are you OK?  Look at your hands.”

“I’m a mess,” I said.  “I’d better give her back to you.  I don’t want to drop her.”

This woman, who’d lost one or both twins in two pregnancies, was very sweet.  She wasn’t trying to upset me.  She had no intention to be cruel.  I think she, who has suffered, felt a need to share her sad story with me.  But, if she would have stopped to think before she spoke, she would have realized that, while reaching out to me may have helped her, it couldn’t possibly have been beneficial to me to hear of her losses.

I am pregnant with twin boys.  I know that the odds are that I will lose one, and that is disastrous enough.  But, the potential to miscarry both is a reality I don’t need to focus on unless it happens.  It is not productive for me, 41 and in the midst of a high-risk, twin pregnancy, to be obsessed with doom-and-gloom scenarios.

So, if you have an against-all-odds story, such as my high school friends Kristi and Pete, about losing one twin, but the other surviving, share, share away.  Hearing these success stories, experienced by people I actually know, soothes me.  But, if you’ve lost both of your twins, please, please, please refrain from communicating that to me, however well-meaning your intentions.

I’m so sorry for your doubly devastating loss.  I really am.  But, right now, with both of my husband’s and my twins still inside of me, I need to have hope.

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