Christmas was hard. I was so ill with nausea and exhaustion that I really couldn’t do anything. We had lots of family to visit so most of it was spent in the car too which isn’t ideal when you’re fighting not being sick all the time.
Of course, all both our families were thrilled at the news of twins. It’s basically all we talked about. K and I have always been quite cautious when talking about it but I guess in this case we really let go and chatted about future plans (should we move? Where will the babies sleep? How will we both work?) quite happily.
Four days after Christmas we went off to our first NHS scan in the early pregnancy unit at a hospital at the other side of town. It was quite a strange set up…call us spolit, but we’ve obviously been used to the private clinic! The room where the scan was going to happen was massive – it was clearly an old ward or something and instead of a proper bed with stirrups to put my feet in I was given an old chair. It was cold and the ultrasound was antiquated and slow.
As soon as the nurse (?) put the ultra sound inside me she spotted Twin A, his little heart beating fast and strongly. We breathed a sigh of relief. She then continued to look for about a minute and then declared that twin B no longer had a heart beat… K and I were stunned. K started pointing at the screen wildly saying that she could see it. I was frozen in to silence. The nurse pressed a button and another nurse came in to confirm that there as no heart beat. She barely glanced at the screen.
We finished the scan and staggered off with the nurse calling after us asking if we wanted to be part of a study.
We reached the car and sunk in to it sobbing. How could our little Twin B not be there anymore? How was this possible? The nurse had told us it was quite common and called vanishing twin syndrome but this didn’t make it any better.
My Mum came down from up north to see us that evening. She was upset too and we barely spoke as we ate soup and looked at the scan photos of our little Twins.
The next day I woke up with an urgency for another scan. I felt terrible that I hadn’t looked properly at little Twin A and wanted to make sure he was ok. We booked in at our private clinic for that afternoon.
The Doctor doing the ultrasound was lovely and we explained what had happened. Straight away she could see Twin A and she let us listen to his heart beat which was amazing. Then she started digging around, pushing the scanner deep in to my back.
Putting on her glasses she knelt on the chair and peered at the screen.
‘There’s a heart beat,’ she said confidently. ‘The second twin is still alive.’
My Mum, K and I all looked at each other shocked…how could this be? She explained that Twin B’s heart beat was slower and he was little smaller so it was 50-50 to whether he’d make it, but he was there. Alive.
We staggered out of the hospital in disbelief. How could the NHS have got it so wrong? As a life long supporter of the NHS I felt angry and deceived. We booked in to have another scan privately in a week to see if the little Twin would make it till then and headed back home promising ourselves that we would do anything to give it the best possible chance…
Part 2 soon!