A mother-to-be was understandably devastated after hearing the news that her unborn baby absorbed its twin – an affliction that is otherwise known as “vanishing twin syndrome.”
The condition is a result of a twin “disappearing” during pregnancy due to a miscarriage when the fetal tissue is absorbed by the other twin, placenta, or the mother.
However, the woman’s husband – Redditor throwRA10222 – became more concerned for his wife’s mental well-being after she began making disturbing proclamations about the surviving baby.
He turned to the Relationship Advice subReddit to see what strangers would have to say about the situation.
“My unborn child absorbed it’s twin and now my wife resents it.”
The Original Poster (OP) wrote:
“At our 10 week scan we were told we were having twins. Having tried for 7+ years and this being our first real pregnancy, my wife was ecstatic.”
“Cue a few weeks later our doctor is checking for heartbeats and he only finds 1. We go for another ultrasound and one of our twins had died and been absorbed by the other, which is why my wife had no glaring miscarriage symptoms.”
“At first she was fine. Then she started joking that our baby would grow up to be a serial killer as ‘he already has 1 checked off.'”
“Soon it was becoming clear that the idea our unborn fetus somehow murdered its twin intentionally was no longer a joke in my wife’s mind. I tried explaining the fetus had passed on its own, it hadn’t been absorbed to death.”
“This didn’t work so I asked our doctor, her gynecologist, her mother, her sister and her dad to all try explaining it too but it was no use. She has fully convinced herself that our unborn child is a murderer.”
“I really don’t know what to do. My mom tells me she’ll go ‘back to normal’ when her pregnancy hormones drop but I am really concerned as I know the drop in hormones can actually make people even more unpredictable and I hate to say this about my wife, but dangerous.”
“I don’t want to leave her. We’ve waited so long to be parents together and I know this isn’t my wife, she is just grieving. The multiple ultrasounds have put us badly in the negative after already being screwed over by [the pandemic] so we can’t afford therapy for a little while.”
“Any advice? thanks”
Strangers weighed in with their thoughts, advice, and wisdom.
“She’s reacting to trauma. Multiple miscarriages and infertility can result in PTSD, she should seek professional help or a support group.”
“Edit: There is free therapy available, and specialized resources available for pregnant women. Many people do not know about these resources and assume they cannot afford it. Support groups are free.”
“And I just mentioned professional help, I didn’t say she had to find a psychologist. Even if the professional help includes discussing with her OBGYN resources available to her.” – BrownEyed-Susan
“Yep. The anxiety of a fragile pregnancy coupled with riding the hormone dragon is going to do a heck of a number on your brain. She needs support and counselling.” – SerChonk
“Keep her off of FB if possible. That place can become an echo chamber for just about any crazy idea.”
“People telling her she’s right is the last thing she needs right now. I’m sorry you can’t afford therapy (Amurica, amiright?) because that’s exactly what she needs.”
“And don’t even get me started on how difficult it can be to get someone to go to therapy that doesn’t think they need it. My wife had a severe mental breakdown a few years ago and she was showing so many textbook symptoms of basically having a psychotic break.”
“Yet, there was no way in hell you could convince her of that.”
“It was so frustrating and strange because here’s a person I’ve known intimately for 15+ years, and almost overnight she became a completely different person and didn’t even realize it herself. I definitely struggle to find one, but if there was any silver lining, it was that I gained a whole new respect for mental illness.”
“When ones own mind completely turns on them, it’s a terrifying experience to say the least. I wish you the best.” – thatG_evanP
“It’s probably guilt-inducing for her to consider loving the baby that’s alive while mourning the loss of the other.”
“The event has prevented her from finding any joy in the pregnancy. I don’t think she actually thinks it’s a murder baby, she needs to sit with someone and talk through her emotions – reasoning won’t work here.” – Writ_inwater
“She needs professional help before the baby arrives. What happened was just unfortunate and nobody’s fault.”
“The surviving baby has just been lucky that they got to survive and the deceased baby is just unlucky. That’s all it boils down to. But it’s like she needs to punish the surviving baby purely for being the ‘lucky one’.”
“It’s a shame she has reacted this way because if they’ve had problems conceiving she should be thrilled to even have one baby growing healthily and she thought she was having just one baby originally.”
The last statement about how grieving parents “should be thrilled to even have one baby growing healthy” was strongly opposed by this Redditor.
“Never say something like this to grieving parents. People who have trouble conceiving, have suffered losses, had stillborn babies, etc., would be shattered by a statement like this.”
“I’ve known women who have had pregnancy losses, or had twins and lost 1, and people made comments like that to them and it’s extremely hurtful. To them, it can seem like you are invalidating their pain and loss, like the others didn’t matter, but I assure you, for parents who are trying to conceive, each loss is devastating.”
“One of my premature twins nearly didn’t survive, and people made callous comments like this to me, ‘Well at least you have 1 healthy baby,’ and all it did was hurt me and drive me away.”
“It sounds like OPs wife needs professional help to cope with the loss and to have a healthier mindset. Acting like she should be grateful for only 1 loss is not going to help, and I hope nobody is making comments like this to her.” – FTThrowAway123
“But obviously knowing your baby has died is traumatic and people react to things in different ways and rather than count her blessings for the healthy baby she still has left, her reaction has been to concentrate all her energy in the baby that is gone.”
“It’s going to take away any pleasure and enjoyment she has of being a mother and this poor child will either end up hurt physically or, after years of being brought up by a resentful mother, with huge issues of its own to address in therapy. This woman needs help ASAP.” – malfie44
Redditors continued offering their sympathies and strongly encouraged the couple to seek professional help to cope with the mother’s loss.