October 2013

Published 30/10/2013

In this newsletter I would like to continue Ben’s story, but first I must tell the story of “The Pregnant Boy of Kazakhstan”.

A little seven year old boy made medical history when Doctors told his mother that he had a large baby living inside him.

Alamjan would complain that something was moving in his stomach. After realising that the child was in pain the local Doctor sent the boy for tests. After the scan, emergency surgery was performed as the doctors could not believe their eyes.

Alamjan had been born with his own twin inside him. The fetus was attached to blood vessels and had continued to grow. It could stay alive inside his brother, but would not survive on his own. This story at the time made world news.

The question often asked by researchers is “what is the emotional response of the survivor to the Vanishing Twin Syndrome”. Because of the closeness of twins it is believed that they are aware of the loss of their mate even in the womb.

Often when twins are born it is likely that they would need intensive neonatal care. When this happened the procedure of the time was to separate the twins but with the research conducted by the Royal Hospital for Women’s newborn Care Centre into co-bedding the twins, it appears that when one twin is a bit colder the warmer one will heat the other, if one is distressed the other appears to comfort by throwing a leg or an arm around its twin. Co-bedding is thought to have the greater advantage for the wellbeing of the twins.

To continue Ben’s story from the last newsletter, I was asking Ben’s mother if she had ever being aware of any unusual bleeding or spotting during her pregnancy, she said she had had spotting around the 3 months, a bit of pain but had thought nothing of it as it had not continued. I started telling her about the “Vanishing Twin Syndrome” and how I felt that it may have been possible that she had lost a twin. Ben was listening, not saying anything; his mother said that she didn’t feel that Ben had ever been a twin. With that statement Ben jumped up, quite agitated and said to his mother “I have told you about my girl, she looks like me and wears a green dress. I have asked you to mind her when I have to go to Daddy’s place.” Daddy was a very angry man and it turns out Ben was very protective of “my girl”.

Both his mother and I sat in shock and just let him talk about how he played with her and how special she was.

Take this story as you may, but with his Mother acknowledging “my girl” Ben changed and seemed happy that somebody knew, he suddenly wanted friends and started to mix well with other children.

Your health is your wealth


Image courtesy of chrisroll/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net