A mother with a broken heart has told how she will wear her unborn twin to full length, even though one of them has died.
Becki Van der Land and her husband Cees were overjoyed to hear that they were expecting a son and a daughter earlier this year.
But during the 12-week scan, the Allendale couple in Northumberland were told that the girl was much smaller than her twin and had a hard time.
Tragically, her heart stopped beating five weeks later and doctors have since discovered that she had a genetic disorder.
In addition to processing the death of a daughter, the devastating news also resulted in Mrs. Van der Land (35) running the risk of losing the baby boy.
But he is growing well and Mrs. Van der Land is still looking forward to meeting both babies & # 39; s & # 39; in about four months, even though no one ever comes home.
Becki Van der Land, 35, and her husband Cees lost their twin baby girl after 17 weeks of pregnancy. But Mrs. Van der Land will bring both twins to the full term. Pictured with their daughter Ottilie
Doctors have since discovered that the missing baby twins had a genetic condition that limited her growth. Pictured, scans of the twins in the womb
Mrs. Van der Land, dental technician, said: & She will be born at the same time as her brother, hopefully in four months.
& # 39; It should not affect birth too much, except psychologically.
& # 39; I feel very positive – it's what you make it, so it's still a very positive experience.
& # 39; It will be the only time we spend time with her. & # 39;
HOW OFTEN DOES ONE TWIN THAT DIES AND WHAT HAPPENS?
The death of twins in the first trimester occurs in less than seven percent of twins, according to research.
After 20 weeks, the death of twins would be described as a & # 39; late loss & # 39; between 0.5 and 6.5 percent of all twin pregnancies.
It usually happens with monozygous (identical) twins. Known as the demise of twins, it can be due to a wide range of circumstances. If it is genetic, the identical twins can also get the same problems.
At the start of pregnancy, when the twins die, most will be absorbed and leave a small flattened remnant known as the papyracous fetus.
In later pregnancy, it is compressed between the pocket of the other twins and the uterine wall, thereby forming a papyraceous fetus.
With proper care and management, reviewing studies, the other twins can still be born.
The outcome for the health of the other twins depends on when the disappeared twins pass and whether the twins share a placenta.
A co-twin death in the first trimester does not seem to increase the risk for the other twins.
For twins who share a placenta, the outcome for the other twins is usually not good.
Sharing a placenta with the disassembled twins can lead to anemia, low blood pressure, or limitation of blood flow. According to the literature, this can lead to death or brain damage in approximately 50 percent.
For twins who do not share a placenta, the risk of death or damage is much lower for the surviving twins.
There is controversy and a lack of strong evidence regarding the best time to free the baby.
Mrs. Van der Land and her 39-year-old husband, Earth Science teacher at Newcastle University, dreamed of starting a family when they married two years ago.
& # 39; It was part of our wedding vows to have children, and we thought three & # 39 ;, said Mrs. Van der Land.
Their dream first became reality 18 months ago when she gave birth to their daughter Ottilie.
Mrs. Van der Land said: & # 39; Then we were excited to find out that we were expecting a boy / girl twin earlier this year.
& # 39; I actually knew it was twins right away because it felt very different to my daughter.
& # 39; I also had a strange feeling that something was wrong.
& # 39; On the first scan they both seemed perfect, but after 12 weeks the little girl looked smaller, so we had scans every week.
& # 39; They said she was showing signs of wrestling and that they were a lot smaller than her brother. & # 39;
What followed was two months of testing at the Fetal Medicine unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle.
Unfortunately after 17 weeks the family heard that the little girl's heart stopped beating.
They have since discovered that they had chromosomal translocation, which is when chromosomes form abnormally.
Pieces of chromosomes break off and change places, or a chromosome becomes attached to another chromosome.
The baby had a chromosomal translocation called 15q26-qter deletion syndrome and she had lost her IGF1R gene – a gene for growth.
This meant that she had severe interuterine growth retardation.
Mrs. Van der Land said: & Mourning your lost baby while you still wear her and her twin brother is a bittersweet and unexpected situation you are in.
Mrs. Van der Land from Allendale, Northumberland, is still looking forward to satisfying both baby & # 39; s & # 39; in about four months, even though no one ever comes home
& # 39; We were very upset but at the same time we had a pretty privileged position because we had time to prepare for the sad news.
& # 39; The death of twins puts you at high risk of losing the surviving co-twins, so we were warned again to prepare for the worst. & # 39;
But Mrs. Van der Land is still pregnant and growing fast, with the surviving twin brother who looks strong and healthy.
Mrs. Van der Land said: & # 39; By bearing life and death this pregnancy now remains very special, but in a completely different way than we had expected.
& # 39; We still talk so much about our twin sister as about our twin brother. We have chosen their names that we would like to announce after birth, just as we would have done if we hadn't lost our girl. & # 39;
Mrs. and Mr Van der Land are now collecting money in the memory of their daughter for the renovation of the consultation rooms in the Fetal Medicine Unit of the RVI.
She said: & We cannot thank all the staff enough. Their concern made the world of difference in one of the worst times of our lives. & # 39;
And on Saturday, runner Mr. Van der Land, who is a member of Tyne Bridge Harriers, takes part in The Spine Race – a seven-day non-stop race, 268 miles from Derbyshire to the Scottish Borders.
Mrs. Van der Land said: & # 39; All received sponsorship goes to the costs of refurbishing the consultation rooms. Their goal is to make them softer in decoration with sympathetic lighting, furniture and artwork to create a homely environment.
& # 39; Contributing will also leave a legacy for our twin sister that we will not take home with her brother, but that we will never forget. & # 39;
To donate, visit here.
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