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The Vanishing

“It’s called ‘vanishing twins,’” Dr. Kaplan said. “It happens a lot with multiples but most people don’t know it happens because they haven’t had an ultrasound yet. Just remember that each pregnancy is separate and this won’t have any effect on the other one. It looks outstanding.”

Those are the last words I remember hearing today, but I know I’ve talked to other people since I left the IVF clinic for the last time. I barely remember how I maneuvered my way out of the cramped downtown Chicago traffic only to end up at my desk in Ravenswood with a venti Americano in my hand. The only moment that remains illuminated, beyond his words telling us that one of our babies miscarried, is Tori Amos’ “The Beekeeper” repeatedly haunting the Subaru’s stereo.

I cannot accept that she will be taken from me.

But Constance and I both are leaving work to go home and try to do just that - accept that the first flash of joy in this entire process has been taken from us. I know we still have a lot to be thankful for, and I know that the complications will be less, and I know what’s most important now is that we still have one baby growing strong. But I don’t really care about all of that today. Constance and I will be mourning the loss of something very real and very important that has been taken from us too soon .

Anything but this. Can you use me instead?


For some reason I remembered that Dr. Kaplan said our lost one would be “absorbed.” Now I can’t get this scene from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” out of my head. Hey, at least something made me laugh today.

55 Responses to “The Vanishing”

  1. Matt, I am so very sorry. A loss is a loss no matter if you get a good outcome with the other one. Don’t let ANYONE or anything diminish what you are feeling!

    Hugs from one who has been there! I know what you are going through.

  2. i’m so sorry for your loss.

  3. I am so sorry to hear of the loss. I can’t imagine the pain you guys are feeling. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. I’m so sorry. Nothing I can say will ease the pain, but know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. NONONO. I am so sorry. So so sorry.

  6. I’m really sorry. We had a vanishing twin with this pregnancy, too - though we never saw that amazing heart flicker with the one that didn’t make it.

    I saw that heart rate of 80 and couldn’t bring myself to comment on that post - I’m just really sorry.

  7. I’m so sorry, Matt. Tears in my hand for you.

  8. I am so sorry.

  9. Oh, Matt, I’m so sorry. Sadly, I know others who have gone through this, too. So there’s support here for you.

  10. I’m so sorry. There aren’t enough though sorries in the world to make you two feel better though….

  11. I’m so sorry, Matt and Constance.

  12. Thank you, everyone. I just wanted to let you know that the other baby has a nice heart rate of 171. They are looking for an average of 150-180, so this is a good sign. I’m trying my best not to be a total paranoid lunatic about the health of our survivor, but that’s hard right now.

  13. I am so so sorry. It’s so hard when this happens because you are left with such torn feelings…you have lost a wee one and that little one should be mourned but you can still celebrate the one that is thriving. It’s a really hard spot to be in, especially after seeing two heart beats.

    This happened to us with M’s pg. Tiny’s heart had stopped between the 8th and 10th week u/s and M was HUGE in comparison. I truly understand what you two are going through.

  14. so sorry. sending thoughts of peace to you both.

  15. I’m so sorry….

  16. Matt, I’m so sorry. I was so excited when I read that you guys were having twins. I don’t know quite what to say, except that I’m so sorry.

    I’m heading out to look for your book now.

  17. You are in my prayers…my heart is breaking for your little family….

  18. I’m so sorry to hear this news. But very happy to hear that the other baby is doing well.

  19. OH no. I’m really so sorry.

  20. A dear friend of mine was pregnant with twins through IVF and lost one of the babies further along in her pregnancy, But the good news was that she had a much easier pregnancy and a healthy baby in the end. My heart goes out to you. I remember just how heart wrenching her loss was.

  21. Matt and Constance,
    I am so deeply sorry to hear this. I can tell you that I know exactly how it feels. I lost both of mine this week. I hope you find the inner peace you need to move on. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  22. I am so very sorry.

    Thinking of you and Constance, and all my best wishes for your little one.

  23. I’m sorry matt and constance! :(

  24. Matt, Constance, I’m so very sorry.

    I can’t begin to imagine.

    You have all my best wishes for your wee one.

  25. I’m really sorry and thinking of the both of you.

  26. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  27. I’m sorry, Matt & Constance. You’ll never forget this wee one, no matter how many other babies you go on to have.

  28. i’m so sorry to hear this.

  29. p.s. i just saw your comment that you are worried about your surviving twin. i, too, had a vanishing twin with this pregnancy. mine never actually developed a heartbeat, so it was earlier than your loss. but i was scared to death that it was going to affect the surviving twin. it didn’t, the sac was reabsorbed, and i am now 17 weeks with a singleton. my IVF doc at northwestern said between 15-20% of pregnancies are vanishing twins.

    it will be hard not to worry, i know. just wanted to tell you that i went through the same thing and can empathize (to an extent) with how you guys must feel right now. hugs.

  30. I’m so sorry, Matt and Constance. You will always have an angel looking down on you from heaven. Prayers for you both as you go through this time of mourning. I’m just so sorry.

  31. I am so sorry for your loss. It doesnt matter how far along you are, it is always a terrible thing to have to deal with. I will be thinkin gof you and Constance.

  32. I wish I had something that could make this pain go away. I am so sorry for your loss.

  33. Oh Matt, I feel very bad for the two of you. The stats are just so scary high. Please take care you both.

  34. Oh the roller coaster! My cousin got pregnant and then was told it was twins and the next week it was triplets, and then one was absorbed and then another. It was the hardest month to watch as they got excited and nervous and then sad and they are trying desperately to get that surviving baby to term.

    Sending all the best thoughts and prayers your way while you mourn the loss of one sibling, and keep hoping for the day you hold the other in your arms.

  35. Hello, I would love to offer something you both need to hear right now, but I don’t know what that is. However, I think you are still both lucky in that your relationship seems to be so healthy that you can turn to each other and mourn this loss together as a unit.
    And you still have a heartbeat between you to nurture.
    Hugs and Hope.

  36. I am so sorry.

  37. I can’t tell you just how sorry I am. Will say a prayer for you guys tonight.

  38. Gawd Matt & Constance, I just don’t even know what to say. I wish you didn’t have to go through this.

  39. I gasped as soon as I read your post title on my reader. My heart goes out to you both.

  40. I’m really sorry for you. Take care of yourselves this weekend.

  41. This is hard. I’m so sorry. Thinking of you both, wishing you peace.

  42. I’m so sorry for your loss. Take the time you both need to heal. My thoughts are with you.

  43. I am so sorry for your loss. No one should have to suffer through losing a baby and I am so sad for you and Constance. I will be praying for your family.

  44. Matt & Constance,
    I was so sorry to read of your loss. You have been an inspiration to me. I have been following your blog for months, as my husband and I were trying to convieve as well. We finally got pregnant around the same time as you did. Unfortunately, I miscarried last week. I know firsthand what you are going through. It is a horrible thing to happen, especially after all you went through to get to this point. Be strong and lean on one another. You are in my prayers.

  45. So very very sorry for your loss. It really is a loss, as you’ve said, and it’s probably very bittersweet to grieve and celebrate (and perhaps feel a bit guilty celebrating) at the same time. I’d say to take care of each other but I know you both do a great job of that.

  46. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I can understand your worry about the other baby as well. Try to take comfort that the doctors think she/he’s doing well.

  47. When I was in my first trimester with Avery, I had a weekend of bleeding - we were sure we were miscarrying. It was so acutely overwhelming to feel that loss - and it wasn’t even a confirmed loss. I can’t imagine how you’re feeling right now. We love you.

    “absorbed” - forever a part of you.

  48. I’m so sorry to hear your news. My thoughts go out to the two of you.

  49. I’m thinking and praying for all of you. I’ve known Constance since we were kids and you since college and I know you will make it through this difficult time. Peace.

  50. We love that you found something to laugh at today and it made us laugh as well…sending much love and all our good thoughts to both you and Constance.

  51. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  52. Life is hard. I am so sorry that this happened and I pray for the best outcome possible for your surviving baby.

  53. I’m very sorry. This is a loss indeed.

  54. That’s so gross. The clip from MBFGW. I’m sad and sorry for and with you and so are Janet, Monica, my mom, Erin, and Alison. Janet said her aunt had a twin that her grandma miscarried in the womb, and she turned out just fine, well, Janet said she’s crazy but we both agreed that had more to do with upbringing than biology or medicine. You’re offspring will be fine in that department. Janet also said that she miscarried twice before Nathan and if you ever wanted to talk she’d be glad to chat w/ you. Anyway, you’re gross, funny, and loved…both of you.

  55. Oh my goodness! It’s been a while since I dropped by to see how you guys were doing, and I was delighted to see the “first trimester” category — what wonderful news! But then to see this… I’m so sorry. I too had a “vanishing twin” with my IVF pregnancy. I still often look at my oldest son and think pensively of the one who didn’t make it. In all, I lost three babies including that twin, and my frostie, and it never gets any easier… but the healthy babies make it a wistful kind of sadness instead of the rawness of grief.

    Even though this news is sad, I am very very happy for you and Constance.

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