"Many years ago, at the start of this century in fact, I came to the astonishing conclusion that I once had a twin, but my twin died before I was born. Almost at once, I began to research this phenomenon. I quickly came across the concept of the “vanishing” twin and discovered that this was more common than I could ever have realised. I named the survivors of a twin or multiple pregnancy “womb twin” survivors. As I made my own pathway towards healing, I embarked on a journey of discovery that has lasted until this day and will no doubt continue.
I now know that on average, just one percent of births in the world are twin births. Research has revealed that for every pair of twins born there are at least ten singleton babies born whose twin died in the womb, their “womb twin”. So we now know that there are more than 600 million womb twin survivors in the world but until recently we could not identify them.
It is astonishing that society has somehow managed not to notice or correctly identify such an enormous group of millions of people. This is probably because until the 1980s the loss of a twin in the womb was not fully recognized or acknowledged. People can hardly be expected to pay any heed to the needs of the sole survivors if the lost twins remain hidden from view.
Research using ultrasound scans has repeatedly shown us how many twins are lost in the first few weeks of life. These are called “vanishing twins” but they don’t really vanish - they die. Their tiny bodies may be miscarried, disintegrate or gradually fade away, leaving tiny traces that an expert may be able to identify but that many people would not even notice.
Since that amazing day when I realised that I am a womb twin survivor, I have been looking for the others. One by one, womb twin survivors have come to me by means of my web site. With their help, I have learned how to identify them and help them heal. I know that womb twin survivors have a need to understand why they feel as they do. In order to help them, I intend to bring these little lost twins out of the darkness and into the light. This book is their story, and it may be yours, too.
If you are a womb twin survivor in need of support and help, be reassured that I will be there at every turn of the page, with words of wisdom and encouragement for you. But never forget that you have your own reserves of wisdom and strength - you will realize this more and more as we make our journey together.
We begin by exploring the basics of pregnancy and some seemingly trivial details of vital importance. The theory and research that underlies this work is amazing. This first part of the book shows the intricacies of twinning – an extraordinary 'anomaly' of human reproduction, with far-reaching consequences for the survivor if a twin dies. The issues of twin 'zygosity' are explored, along with the consequences of losing a twin at different points in pre-birth life.
Fully informed about the biological facts underlying the loss of a twin (or more) before or around birth, the book then considers the psychological effect of such a personal loss on the sole survivor. We examine some prebirth experiences that may underlie your Dream of the Womb. We will take a look at the science of Pre-natal Psychology, a growing and important area of psychological science, which is at the very heart of the subject matter for this book.
Next, we will carefully scrutinize what was learned during a decade-long Womb Twin Research Project, carried out with the help of many hundreds of adult womb twin survivors. Every question from the research questionnaire is based on this research. On every page you will hear and feel the voice of womb twin survivors from all over the world, telling a story rarely (if ever) told. Whether or not you think you were once briefly a twin, you will discover many important implications and questions arising. Some questions and answers are presented for you. By the end of this part of the book you will have a clearer sense of what it really means to be a womb twin survivor.
The final stage sets out a pathway to healing. For the maximum benefit, one needs to spend time thinking and wondering about aspects of your self that you may have neglected: the sensitive, vulnerable and fragile side of yourself that perhaps you don’t let many other people see; or the strong, social, adventurous, confident side of you.
This book is an introduction to a step-by-step process through five stages of healing, which can take between three weeks and three weeks to complete, depending on your level of engagement, commitment, or desperation. It cannot replace the help of a professional. But it can open up new ways of seeing your world, and help make the difficulty and pain worthwhile. The inspirational stories offer hope as we make our own journey towards greater wholeness as a womb twin survivor who has awakened from the dramas of the Dream of the Womb. That is a profound healing path."