A client writes:I have a question about vanishing twins and was wondering if you could answer it for me:
I have a 10-month old boy. When I got pregnant with him, about five weeks into my pregnancy, I had an ultrasound and they told me that I had two sacs and that it was twins. At the time they couldn’t get a heart beat, so I went back to the Dr. and she told me then that I had one baby. The other was what they called a vanishing twin. She told me that the one twin absorbed the other?! Anyway the other sac disappeared and I have the one baby boy.
Since all that, I have seen several stories on the Discovery Channel that talked about if one twin absorbed another one, that later on, when the surviving twin reached the age of six, seven, or eight…that they could develop a tumor in their stomach where they had absorbed the other baby. This doesn’t even sound right. I can’t figure out how this would or could happen, but I have seen a lot of stories on this. I wanted to ask someone who might really know about this. If you could help, I would really appreciate it. Thank you, Margaret
Answer: Margaret. I wouldn’t be overly concerned about a cancer starting in his abdomen as this event is extremely rare, but do note it in his history that he has a vanishing twin so he knows of it.
On rare occasion one twin can absorb another, but that’s not usually how it works. A close friend of mine has a vanishing twin (I never told him this.) I could tell, because he had what is called a dermoid cyst on his forehead. A dermoid cyst is a growth that has every conceivable type of cell in it. My friend actually had a little piece of nail growing out of the center of the cyst. He had the entire cyst removed, but some of it grew back!
I have heard where a vanishing twin will grow inside the abdomen. Most are just absorbed by the mother’s body and are a part of the mom’s uterus. This happens all the time in veterinary medicine. Once I did have a client who was taking an oral HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) spray, and the spray enticed the benign dermoid cyst in her uterus to grow and turn into cancer.
What I think you will see as he grows older are those personality characteristics that seem to occur often in the vanishing twin syndrome such as low self-esteem, lack of self love, self-sabotaging, the ability to make lots of money but not save any, searching for someone who is “just like him”, and an aversion to competition. Pay particular attention to helping him build self-love, self-worth, and self-esteem from an early age.
There is an excellent book coming out in 2007 by Althea Hayton that discusses, in depth, all the aspects of the vanishing twin syndrome through the eyes of many, many professionals who have researched and have been aware of the vanishing twin syndrome for many years. Watch for that.
Most importantly though, enjoy your son. Life is precious. It was the vanishing twin’s decision to come into your body and to leave, giving your son a set of some very special spiritual lessons. The twin–and I’m sensing that his twin is a female–usually hangs around for the life of the child. She will watch over him and protect him, so please don’t discourage him when he interacts with his “imaginal friend” as most likely he will be able to see her and talk to her. I bet he will feel more comfortable with women than men in this lifetime and search for a woman “just like him.” You watch, and keep in touch. Namaste. Dr. Moffat