Pregnancy

After I Miscarried Twins, I Conceived Twins Again

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miscarried twinsAlex Remon was a first time mother when she conceived with her husband at the age of 35. After being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), an imbalance in female sex hormones, getting pregnant was proving to be rather challenging even with IVF. The couple never made it to the egg retrieval process in the initial go round, as her body ejected the eggs. After another unsuccessful frozen round, Alex was delighted to learn that she was pregnant with twins.

Thirty-six hours before going into labor, the mother was told that she and her daughters were “remarkably healthy.” After a slew of tests for gestational diabetes, her doctor told her that everyone’s health looked promising. But as the delivery progressed, Alex was informed that her babies had an infection and would not survive 36 hours upon being delivered. The mother was told that if she did not abort the pregnancy, the infection would kill her as well as her daughters. She remembers the experience as “a race to see which three of us would die first.”

“I wanted to do nothing and just die with them,” she tells Mommyish. “After several hours of begging, I finally conceded to the wishes of my husband and agreed to abort the girls before they took me with them. I kept asking them to look for heartbeats again somewhat hoping they wouldn’t find any and the girls would be gone. Decision made for me. But they just hung on and forced me to make the decision to end their lives prematurely by mere hours only.”

Alex recalls her pregnancy as “perfect” up until that moment and longed to go back to her 17-week checkup when all was determined fine.

Three months later, the couple tried their luck with a frozen round of embryos. In the months following, more rounds of IVF ensued. But the fertility clinic determined a problem with Alex’s weight, ultimately asking her to lose 19 lbs with dieting. Following another round of IVF nearly a year to her miscarriage, Alex discovered that she was pregnant.

After receiving a positive beta pregnancy test four days after an embryo transfer, she had an inkling that she was carrying twins again. At five and a half weeks, Alex experienced some bleeding that resulted in an ultrasound confirming two fetuses. Ten weeks later, she and her husband learned that they were girls — again.

“I needed at least one girl,” she remembers. “With the first set, we had thought they were both girls, but the second one was shy so we weren’t absolutely sure until we lost them. But I had already fallen in love with one girl and had grown attached. So when we went in to learn the genders of the second set, I needed one of them to be a girl. I cried so hard when they confirmed the first girl. It was a relief, it was just overwhelming. I had gotten her back! And then they confirmed the second girl and it was just shock. The fact that it was twins a second time was unbelievable enough, but the same gender combination? Absolute shock.”

Alex then recalls experiencing a surge of fear and a sort of deja vu that she would lose her girls a second time. Despite she and her husband’s primary reaction of “we got them back,” her pregnancy was completely anxiety-ridden. The mother endured “bad” and “violent” bleeding for the first half of her pregnancy. Twice she found herself in the emergency room. In one instance, she suffered projectile bleeding. She remained on modified bed rest for the entire pregnancy, sometimes afraid of using the bathroom for fear of miscarrying. Alex and her husband eventually purchased a fetal doppler and checked for two heart beats every night.

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10 Comments

  1. bl

    August 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I can’t imagine going through the pain of having to abort a wanted pregnancy, so I hold no judgment that she’s having a hard time with this. Also the bit about being on edge, waiting for disaster to strike is completely relatable and makes perfect sense that she’d hesitate to bond. People do that in relationships all the time. I hope she’s getting helpand support to overcome the anxiety.

    But…this thing about replacements is troubling to me. I think as the girls get older itwill be very confusing for their sense of self. Plus they might deal with unnecessary guilt over causing mom so much heartache and putting her life in danger when really they had nothing to do with it (in my completely personal opinion that I expect no one to share).

    Also maybe its a bit maternalistic or condescending of me, but I don’t exactly feel great about the intent of this article. It purports to cover the coincidence of 2 sets of twins and then is really about a clearly emotionally vulnerable woman with unusual beliefs who might be heavily criticized for them. And hey, maybe she knew all that going in and really wanted to get her story out there, but because its not in her own voice, maybe, it just seems off somehow.

    • k

      August 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      i agree it is a little disturbing and worrisome. if anything it sounds like maybe she has post partum depression and the article leaves you wondering if it has been addressed. i think we would feel better if it was more from her point than a third person. i hope this new mother can push through the grief etc. and have a healthy relationship with her children

    • Véronique Houde

      August 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      I don’t know if it’s post-partum depression, or more complicated grief… It seems to me as though she got pregnant very quickly after having lost her first set of children and is having a difficult time coping with both that loss and this new miracle. I get the sense that her feeling as though her children have come back to her is part of trying to make sense of what happened in order to pass her grief. I feel a lot of compassion for this family and hope the best for them, however I do sincerely hope that they are receiving grief counselling for what they went through in order to be able to fully attach to these most likely beautiful little girls 🙂

    • Fabel

      August 2, 2012 at 9:11 am

      I agree with you about the whole concept of getting the first set of twins “back” being somewhat disturbing. I understand what a devastating loss it must have been, but I hope the children now, as they grow, don’t pick up on this woman’s beliefs.

  2. Kelly

    August 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    How horrific for this couple. I’m glad they were finally able to have babies. But a) I hope she’s getting a lot of therapy, because it definitely sounds like she needs it, and b) they should have chosen other names. She is so bound up in this strange belief that this second set is her first set, and it’s messing with her head too much. That was a mistake.

  3. Kimoppi

    August 2, 2012 at 8:34 am

    As someone who actually knows Alex, I don’t think this poorly written article properly shares her story. That is very unfortunate. I think a lot of women could have found solace, strength, and even hope from a proper article sharing the full breadth of her experience.

  4. AlexMMR

    August 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I’m not sure it’s appropriate to respond to comments on an article about me, but some people seem disturbed and I’d like to address that.

    The interview that lead to this article was presented as a follow-up to a comment I left on an article about miscarriage. The mother in that article expressed how some time had passed yet she was still feeling the pain and I commented that even though I got exactly what every miscarriage mama wants (I got back exactly what I had lost), there is still some pain there. So when I wrote my responses to the interview questions, that was the context of my answers.

    Intellectually, I know that these are not the same babies that I lost. However, there’s an emotional closure that’s very comforting to me in feeling that they just weren’t ready to be here with us the first time, and now they are back and ready to be raised. I don’t see how this “belief” which is really more of a feeling than a belief, is stranger or somehow less healthy than a belief that there are two dead babies looking down on me from some heavenly cloud somewhere. Our grief counselor encouraged me to allow myself this comfort. But I assure you, these girls will not be raised with any guilt regarding our loss. They will be raised knowing how much they were/are desperately wanted and we are already thinking about ways to instill a sense of individuality for each of them so they go through life as two fully fledged people and not as “the twins”.

    I have had some horrible baby blues and I’ve got everyone, including myself, keeping an eye out to ensure that it doesn’t move into a full blown case of post partum depression. I am having some trouble bonding which troubles me, but when I discuss it with other mothers, many of them tell me they are feeling the same way, so I don’t think it’s anything to be overly worried about or disturbed by. Because I was so afraid I would never be able to bond given my history, I think my mind is exaggerating that “problem” when it’s actually a very normal feeling. The bond is starting to develop, it’s just taking a little longer than I had hoped.

    I appreciate the concern expressed in the comments. I’m fine, just very tired from having 2 newborns in the house. I’m surrounded by people who love me and are doing everything they can to help and support me.

    • bl

      August 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      I think it’s great to hear from you about your article, and I’m glad you and the girls are doing well.

      Your comparison about believing your girls came back vs. believing they’re watching over you really made me rethink things. I’m Christian and believe in heaven, though I don’t believe people in heaven while away their time watching what’s going on Earth. However, if my friend lost a child and she said she feels like her son is watching her from heaven, I wouldn’t think that was strange at all. That being said, that feeling doesn’t really affect any kids currently here, the way a “replacement” feeling does. BUT it does put into perspective your outlook that’s really hard to describe. After hearing from you, it seems less that you see your daughters as literally being “reborn” and more that you just take comfort in the *thought* of them being given back. Just like I doubt people really think their loved one is sitting on a cloud peering down, even if they “believe” they’re watching over them.

      And I feel like I should explain about not feeling great about the intent of the article. That was completely directed at Koa, not you or your experience. Neither the headline, nor the intro to the article gave any kind of clue that this was going to be such dramatic story. Maybe if it had been framed as a “it’s not always easy getting what you want” story rather than what seemed like a random pregnancy profile, it would have read better. It felt like she set up your story to sensationalize you a little bit–like oh, get the people interested with a happy ending twin story, and then drop this really hard to grasp twin replacement struggle in there and hope people go crazy in the comments.

  5. Sam

    August 6, 2012 at 10:09 am

    This article was a bit strangely written. I’ve read Alex’s story and her response below, and I have to say I identify with her and give her all the room in the world to feel the way she does. I am having a very difficult time bonding with my pregnancy because of a previous loss. Some days I feel like a freak who will never love her children, and resent being told that will all change when I hold my babies, because it might not! And that’s ok! It will come naturally eventually, and if it doesn’t there is help to be found. Alex is seeking that help, and trying to put her feelings in perspective (are they huge or am I making them bigger than they are because I’m so worried and guilty?). And if going over and over in her head how she feels about these girls in relation to the other two girls brings her comfort, then it is the right thing to do. It won’t damage them. They need a healthy happy mother and however she gets there is the right path.

  6. Pingback: Pregnancy After Miscarriage With Pcos | Treatment of Pcos

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