Elise's story - in loving memory of twin angels Darcy and Lachlan

07 Mar 2023

It is so important to us to keep their memory alive as the memory of them is all we have. Speaking their name and including them as part of our family brings us comfort..

Elise - Darcy and Lachlan's mum

It was meant to be the year to heal our hearts and our family would be complete. Instead 2022 completely shattered our hearts and our entire world came crumbling down.

After more than 3 years of multiple miscarriages while trying for our second baby, we thought our happy ending was here. At our 7-week scan, our fertility specialist told us that there were two strong heartbeats. My husband and I were in shock but completely and utterly over the moon that we were expecting identical twins.

Right from that moment we were told an identical twin pregnancy was considered high risk. Particularly if they shared a placenta and ours did. They were MCDA twins. They shared one placenta but were in two separate sacs. 

Up until 18/19 weeks everything was looking great. I was being closely monitored and our twins were growing well. The first trimester anxiety was easing and the excitement of this pregnancy was starting to settle in.

Unfortunately, the pregnancy started to take a turn.  At our morphology scan they found that stage 2 Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) was evident. TTTS was something we were warned about early in the pregnancy because they shared a placenta. It has a 15 percent chance of occurring in an identical twin pregnancy when the twins share a placenta. Essentially it is a disease of the placenta where there is an uneven flow of blood and nutrients.

Within 48 hours I was having surgery on my placenta to laser the blood vessels that were causing this transfusion to occur. 

The first four weeks after the surgery were crucial. There was an increased chance of premature labour as a result of the surgery and these weeks would determine if the surgery was a success. It was! The twins’ growth was back on track. However, we were told that the membrane that separated the twins had ruptured and it was evident that the twins had been moving around the larger sac. There was some slight entanglement of the cords at the insertion point to the placenta. We were told not to be concerned and I would be closely monitored. It was looking like our twins would be delivered at 32 weeks. 

We made it through and we could finally breathe a little again. 

At my 26 week scan everything changed. One of our twins’ heartbeats could not be found. We had tragically lost one of them. We were assured that everything was looking great for our surviving twin.

The polarity of grief and gratitude during this time was like no other. The heavy and deep sadness of losing one baby and the immense gratitude for our surviving baby. Up until this point we did not know the gender of our twins and during the scan found out that they were boys. 

We started mentally preparing for what delivery day would be like. The tragedy of saying goodbye to our baby boy who had not survived and welcoming our baby boy who did with such relief. We knew the weeks leading up to this were going to be excruciating. On edge to get our surviving baby boy here healthy and safe along with preparing ourselves to say goodbye to the twin we had lost.

On Thursday 20th October 2022 at 27 weeks I had another scan to check our surviving twin. All looked great. The next day I so clearly recall feeling my baby boy kicking and telling my husband to come feel the baby. Each time I could feel him move my immense anxiety eased that little bit. 

A day later I hadn’t felt any movement. My anxiety started to heighten but I reassured myself that he would be fine. The scan was great on Thursday and I had felt him on Friday. The pregnancy was changing now that he was growing and his brother was no longer growing so I thought movements could be different. I woke up early Sunday morning with a sinking feeling as I hadn’t felt him overnight. 

We made our way to the hospital to get him checked to reassure ourselves that he was ok. He wasn’t. 

Our absolute worst nightmare became true. We had lost our other baby boy. Both gone. In that moment our world came crumbling down and our hearts completely shattered for the second time. We could not comprehend we had lost both our boys. 

Our boys were delivered by c-section on Tuesday 25 October. Undoubtedly the hardest day of our lives. As were the days to come. We finally met our precious babies Darcy James and Lachlan Matthew but had to prepare ourselves to say goodbye.

The gift of a cuddle cot in the hospital meant we got to spend time with them before our final heartbreaking goodbye.

Unfortunately, we will never know what the exact reason was for their hearts to stop beating. Whether it was TTTS as a result of a blood vessel/s deep in the placenta that were not found and lasered or the entanglement of the cords. 

We are still navigating our new reality after this experience of losing our boys. Rebuilding ourselves and moving through the waves of grief. Our hearts are still so heavy with the sadness of not having them here with us in our arms. 

It is so important to us to keep their memory alive as the memory of them is all we have. Speaking their name and including them as part of our family brings us comfort. Sharing their story with others is something that is helping me move through my grief and connect with my boys along with honouring them.

Our forever twin angels Darcy and Lachlan.

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