Surviving Twin Loss


I was 37 weeks pregnant with twins when I was told my daughter had died. It was during a regularly scheduled stress test that they couldn’t find her heartbeat. In a haze, I called our family and friends, went to the hospital and embarked on the most bittersweet journey of my life.

The delivery was excruciating. I was in shock. I had one dead child inside me, but I still had to be strong for her sister that was ready to meet the world. My doctors and nurses were all teary. Everyone had said that I had a gold star pregnancy with two healthy girls. No one could explain what had happened. The labor was full of difficulties, and at one point they thought I might lose my other daughter as well. But we made it through. She came out healthy and long and ready for the world. Then I had to deliver my stillborn.

It was surreal feeling the difference between them. They were the same weight and length but life has a presence that is discernible. My surviving daughter was solid, strong, full of movement and sound. My other daughter was so light, so still, there was no longer any spirit inside.

The next few days were a blur of exhaustion and grief and complete joy and having a beautiful daughter. There were no breaks. It was straight into aftercare, family, friends, difficulty breastfeeding, worrying about the car seat, coming home, no sleep… parenthood. I had two other children at home that needed me too. There were pockets of space when the sadness would roll over me, moments of anger that would flush through me, and guilt, so much guilt about if I could have done anything differently to have helped her live. All I could do was hold onto my family, and let them know how much love I had for them.

When more people found out about our loss, I began receiving letters, emails, calls, and messages from the women I have known throughout my life. They shared stories of their own losses. Difficulties getting pregnant, miscarriages, stillbirths, so many struggles that I had never been aware of. I called it the Dead Baby Club because here it was, and no one was really talking about it, and there were more members than I could count.

My living daughter has grown up with the awareness that she is a twin. We live in a suburban area and are surrounded by twins. Many of her friends are twins. When she was younger, going to the park was so hard, seeing cute pairs everywhere stung my heart and made me sad, sometimes jealous, and other times angry. That’s how it goes with loss, life continues and you face it or you wallow and get swept away by it. I chose to go forward and enjoy every day because I was painfully aware that it could be taken so quickly.

The hardest times are when I see my daughter touching a mirror. For a brief moment, I can imagine what two of them together would be like. I think of life times two. But I know I can’t begin to imagine it correctly because it is the loss that has made me the mother I am today. It is the loss that gives me the motivation to do more for my family. It is the loss that fills me beyond my body with love.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here