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Womb Twin Survivor

Are you a womb twin survivor? Many more people that one might think are. What is a womb twin survivor? It is a person directly affected by the loss of a twin before or around birth. This loss includes a pregnancy that results in the birth of twins, or more, but one or more of the babies die.

I have serious reason to believe that I am a womb twin survivor. I believe my mother miscarried my twin during her pregnancy. Because of that, the protagonist in my historical fiction, A War Of Her Own, suffers the after effects of being a womb twin survivor, and still does, many years later.

The other day, I received this letter from a woman named Carole Hignite. I asked her if I could share her letter with the hopes that it might help other women who have experienced something similar in their lives.

Dear Sylvia,

I read A War of Her Own and found it just fabulous.

You see, I had twin girls in 1976. One passed at birth. The other, my daughter Tracie was born with a lot of medical problems. She was in the hospital for three months after her birth.

When I brought her home, from the very first day she cried and cried and cried—every day and every night. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.

I had a 3 year old at the same time. This crying was non-stop day and night.

I took her to three different doctors. All three laughed and said the baby was female, so her crying was normal. (Oh, boy, this burns me up!)

After six months without sleep, I felt like I was going crazy. No doctor could or would help me. Instead, they thought I was being a bad mother. In time, I began to believe them.

In time, I lost I patience with my daughter. Things were not good.

That is when I contacted a counseling clinic at Children’s Hospital here in Cincinnati because I did not trust myself with her anymore. It was a Godsend.

The crying stopped some but not completely—ever.

When she started grade school things improved but it wasn’t normal.

Then one day I was thinking about the birth and about Molly the little angel in heaven. That is when I thought maybe that was why Tracie cried…. she was missing something—she was missing the bond that twins create at conception.

I was so amazed at reading your book and the way you described it was just like our situation. I have always felt guilty about not understanding, but it was a new situation for me and I had no one to help me.

Tracie is grown now, and now has a set of twins, a boy and girl…they are inseparable.


Thank you, Carole, for your bravery in writing. You indeed are a strong woman who survived extremely difficult days with little to no help–and felt to blame. Bless you, and bless your daughter. We must share this information with others who may be similarly wounded. Your letter does just that. By writing, you have helped many others.

If you think you might be a womb twin survivor, check out the international website Womb Twin.

If you want more information on A War Of Her Own.


12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jim Hogg #

    Wow. This is so incredibly deep and potentially liberating for so many people. I have no doubt there are thousands of twin womb survivors who have felt this unanswered pain all of their lives. It is my hope that many of them may begin to heal, now that they know of their grief. Thank you for offering all of us this blessing, Syl.

    March 18, 2013
    • Thanks, Jim, for your comment. When we are brave enough to share our pain with others, healing isn’t far behind.

      March 18, 2013
  2. Jim Hogg #

    Absolutely. The only way to healing is to walk toward–and through–the pain.

    March 18, 2013
  3. Very interesting and not too surprising given the data on the affection and closeness of twins. Thank goodness for writers who share such experiences.

    March 18, 2013
    • Thanks, Dorothy, for stopping by and leaving a comment. Yes, modern technology has really helped bring this whole issue into the light of our knowledge base. We can’t heal from a grief we can’t know about.

      March 18, 2013
  4. Laura #

    Thank you for sharing this letter. I am a survivor… my twin brother died about five months into my mother’s pregnancy and I can honestly say that not only did it affect my childhood emensely, but I still struggle with it well into my late twenties. I was one of the lucky ones that had my loss explained to me at a young age… not that I gave my parents a choice. I knew about my brother before they told me because I dreamed of him constantly and confronted them about him when I was 5.

    At any rate, it’s nice to know that I’m not completelty crazy and alone in dealing with the loss.

    October 29, 2013
  5. Amanda-Beth #

    I really don’t understand wjy whay happened in my family did but it did. Botj i amd my full sis are womb twin surviors no we aren’t twins i am 4 in 1/2 years older then her. I knew my mother seemed unintristed in me as baby to point of disturbingness my dad would hold me on to mother to feed he forgot they had forumla or thought i should get breast milk. During todder years i was her monkey and not just in toddler years a preformance monkey. I always knew something was missing. I am 8 months older then mary-kate and ashely olsen i met them when they were 5 months old yes before full house i felt connected to them because they were twins. J finally spoke up at 4 1/2. I do regret not informing sister sooner tjen i did fhat her twin died in nicu. I knew what was going on best of 4 yr olds knowledge andci knew whuch grandma was the sucker i didn’t know it would get her yelled at. So i asked grandmama(dad’s mom) was i a twin? She said yes dear. When still inside. That’s as far as she got before dad came back and yelled at her. I didn’t get why wads so wromg to tell me that and why dad was behaving so oddly as he was one of most loving people on earth and parents knew even if i didn’t know directly i had idea of it after all i was adment about getting sister at 3 1/2 to insane level. I kmew how calm oerson dad was so i didn’t nring it up again till i was about 17 i had to know. Dad said yes you were told truth at 4, i did overreact cord accident some where between 7th and 8th month. Then thru regressive therapy i was able to acess that memory in my subconscious their are reasons why we store those types od memories in subconscious rather then consciousness. Verbal memories take over between age 2 and 3 and become episodic around age 3. I for me am glad i know full truth and it was momth 7 and my twin was choked by her umbilical cord. My mother refuses to answer questions and flips out at word twins and dad died before was able to find out more as i didn’t want to make him sadder that day.

    December 27, 2013
  6. Lesha Jett #

    How can I find out if I am a womb twin survivor? Are there any hospital reports or something in the medical records when I was born? Can I get access to those?

    August 29, 2014
  7. Amanda Crowther #

    Lesha Jett #
    How can I find out if I am a womb twin survivor? Are there any hospital reports or something in the medical records when I was born? Can I get access to those?

    Depends on year you where born. Talk to your parents. Look for counselor who specializes in proper therapy to take you back into subconscious memories. This should be done verbally they may ask you to press on your diaphragm gently but that’s it their is never them touching you. It’s about opening up the subconscious memories. Their stored as pictures as these are generally preverbal memories and very short pictures of singlular events. I was born in 1985 no record. My sisters born in 1990 only partial record of the fact at 1 time their where two in form of ultrasounds despite livng 6 hrs in nicu their is no birth certifficate for sis whose name was to be Brittany. However these types of records have improved over last 5-10 yrs. I think hospital knew before Brittany was born she wasn’t going to make it but they never told us. An older sibling may have knowledge of it also.

    August 30, 2014
    • Lesha Jett #

      I was born in California in 1969.

      August 30, 2014
  8. Excellent comment/suggestions, Amanda! Thank you! Some times there is no way to prove it. In my case, it’s more an inner sense of knowing based on facts shared by my mother and other indications–like those childhood years of crying myself to sleep due to a deep sense of loss, of always feeling like a part of me was missing–even being left-handed can sometimes be a clue–not always–but sometimes.

    I found it healing to acknowledge my inner sense of knowing, and honoring that other life that didn’t come with me this time.

    August 30, 2014
  9. Amanda Crowther #

    It is just fact anyone born before 1990 their will be zero records as is nor information they kept. We have gained understanding. 1990-2000 if their was print out of ultrasound you can ha’ve partial records. I can’t say exact yr they started keeping track of when one twin was loaded in utero and other lived but they so now keep such records and no more of that waiting time when one twin dies in nicu the birth certificates are made right away now. 1990-1995 you had to ask for print out of ultrasound now a days they give it to you unless ask them nor to and quality of said pictures is way better. Prior to 1990 once ultrasounds where accepted around 1980 in full it was just getting the scan and prior to that when checking on pregnancy they used x rays. So very weird but it really does explain why records are limited. However kids these days if are in situation where parent doesn’t tell them they can find records for themselves as it is recorded.

    June 10, 2015

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