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what do they do when 1 twin dies inutero?

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Old 03-15-2005, 08:25 PM   #1
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hayley0610 HB User
what do they do when 1 twin dies inutero?

one of the babies had a lot of problems as far as they could see and did pass away inside of her. The other baby is doing great but what happens with the baby that died? i know our bodies can absrob them early on but this is halfway through, so whats to happen next?

Last edited by hayley0610; 03-17-2005 at 09:18 PM.

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Old 03-16-2005, 03:45 AM   #2
off kilter
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off kilter HB User
Re: what do they do when 1 twin dies inutero?

I worked with some Moms in this area. It goes without saying that there is high risk of pre term delivery. There are so many different things can happen. Some Mom's carry the deceased baby and the living baby to term. Some actually deliver the baby that has died and the remaining twin if the living twin's sack has not ruptured remains in utero to term. If the twins shared a sack the odds are not good. But most cases the twins do not share a sack and the viable baby can be delivered saftly usually early depending on when the twin dies. There are some reports that show fetal death of one of the twins puts the other twin at risk for future disability but it has not been proven. My heart goes out to your family member, It is heart breaking to lose a child. With good medical care she should be able to sucessfully carry her other child far enough along to a safe stage. Keep us posted, this happens more then you know.

Last edited by off kilter; 03-16-2005 at 03:46 AM.

Old 03-16-2005, 03:47 AM   #3
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Re: what do they do when 1 twin dies inutero?

I want to preface this whole post by saying I THINK this is what happens:

If the babies do not share a placenta, then generally the pregnancy just continues until the surviving twin is ready to be delivered. At delivery (which I think will likely be a c-section), the doctors will probably ask if she wants to see the twin that passed away. If they do share a placenta, there can be serious complications, including the surviving twin's heart trying to pump blood for both babies.

I think each situation is different, and without more specifics, it's really hard to say. One thing I would mention, though, is to be very sensitive to the fact that the mother still IS pregnant with twins, she will give birth to twins, the surviving baby will always be a twin, and the mom's loss is just as real as if she had lost a baby in a singleton pregnancy.

Mid-pregnancy we faced a crisis that left us with a high chance of losing one or both babies. We were lucky and so far we have made it through without complications. But I spent a lot of time on boards chatting with people who had lost one of their twins during the pregnancy, and over and over they expressed how hard it was when people politely ignored the death of one of the babies. When you're pregnant with two, you don't love each one half as much as if you were pregnant with one. Everyone mentioned that the worst thing that had been said to them was something like "at least you still have one baby."

Obviously you are a very caring and concerned person, otherwise you wouldn't have posted with your message in the first place. I just thought I would share with you what little bit I know about the emotional side of this. Also, from what I've read, a lot of parents feel better seeing the deceased baby after delivery, rather than just having the doctors take it away, like a tumor that had been removed. Some even take pictures with mom holding both babies together, as a reminder that these babies are twins, even though one passed away. I know it may seem a bit morbid, but it's still her baby, and still the surviving baby's twin. Some families find it easier to grieve if they have concrete evidence that the twin pregnancy was real.

If it turns out the baby has died, you may want to read a bit about the emotional side of it, and offer your support to the mother when she is ready. There is an organization called CLIMB (Center for Loss in Multiple Birth) that might be a good resource for you or her. I don't know anything about it other than the name, but I think you might find some good information there.

I hope everything turns out ok, and that your family gets the support it needs in dealing with this tragedy.

Married 8/16/2003
Identical boys, Max and Jack born 3/19/05!

Old 03-16-2005, 10:08 AM   #4
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packerfan4ever HB User
Re: what do they do when 1 twin dies inutero?

Sorry to hear about your family member's loss. One of my close friends was just pregnant with twins. One died around the same time as the main post in question (20 weeks). She carried both babies, and had to deliver both at the end. They monitored her really close to make sure she wouldn't have complications with the living baby.
Hasty horse who drinks too much water gets belly ache

Old 03-16-2005, 08:37 PM   #5
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cattieos HB User
Re: what do they do when 1 twin dies inutero?

This is heartbreaking. I pray that the other baby will be safe. I can't imagine how awful it would be to have that happen and have to know that one of your babies was dead. And it is cruel to say at least you still have one baby. Of course you wouldn't love one less.
A lady I know was pregnant with twins, she much farther along though, 32 weeks I think, somewhere areound there. And she was in the hospital, having some type of problem. Anyway, they were monitoring here and the babies, and one of the babies heart stopped. Well they were going to take the babies out by c-section, but she wasn't at a hospital with a NICU so they couldn't. SO they airlifted her somewhere bigger and by the time she got there the baby had died. But they just went ahead and took both the babies out, because of that. But like I said, she was farther along.

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