6 February 2023

Making the decision to terminate their twin pregnancy due to medical reasons was heartbreaking for Becca and George.

Becca has shared their story as Twins Trust Bereavement Service launches its new Termination for Medical Reasons booklet today.

Becca said: “We found out we were pregnant in January 2022. We were obviously ecstatic. My husband and I have a blood condition called Thalassaemia, and we knew it might be complicated in a pregnancy.”

The couple had an eight-week dating scan, when they were told they were expecting twins.

Becca said: “We were absolutely shocked as we weren’t expecting it.”

They later found out the babies had the blood condition Thalassaemia beta but they were healthy.

Yet at the routine 16-week scan, a midwife said the babies’ legs seemed to be crossed and a consultant was called in for a second opinion.

Becca added: “The consultant came in and scanned me for a while and told my husband and I to take a seat. As soon as he said that I knew something was wrong.

“He said the short and long bones weren’t growing quick enough for the twins, which meant that their chests and throats weren’t developing quick enough.

“I asked what our next options were and he said it was really severe. He said we could wait a week and see if anything changes but he thought it was very unlikely. He said he thought we were going to have to terminate the pregnancy.”

The couple, who had just been told they were expecting twin boys, were shocked by the devastating news.

“At that point it was like an absolute blow, we weren’t expecting it.

“After having the Thalassaemia tests and getting past that big hurdle, we thought it was fine.

“My husband and I broke down. Then the next day we spoke to someone from Great Ormond Street Hospital who looked at the scans. They explained the twins would die before I gave birth or they really wouldn’t survive very long after childbirth. The twins had skeletal dysplasia. They said it was up to us when we wanted to start the termination.

“At that point I just had the horrible feeling that I didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. I wanted this all to go away.

“It was just the most horrible feeling I’ve ever had,” Becca said.

The couple decided to terminate the pregnancy for medical reasons. Blood tests took place for genetic testing.

She added: “A few days later, we went for the full termination. It was absolutely horrendous and I wasn’t prepared for it. I wish I had had a bit more information before I went in because I think we went in quite blind to it.

“I asked one of the midwives if I was going to have to push but I was told it was like period pains.

But it wasn’t like that at all it was a lot worse.

“The next morning at around 6am I gave birth to the twins. It was a really traumatic experience. My husband was there with me the whole time. He was really emotional but I had zero emotion. I didn’t believe what was happening, I was in pure shock.

“The midwives were completely amazing and sensitive of our situation. They said sorry for my loss.”

After the twins were born, the couple were able to spend time with them. The hospital gave the couple a memory box with certificates and photos of their 16-week-old babies.

Sadly the trauma was prolonged as Becca had a retained placenta and was unwell after the birth.

She added: “The main thing for me was when I came out of the hospital. I completely broke down coming back to reality. I found it really difficult.”

A few months after the birth, the genetic results revealed that the death was not due to any genetic reasons.

When Becca discovered Twins Trust Bereavement Service, she found the support she needed and people who understood what she had been through.

She said: “Nobody really understood how I felt. I came across Twins Trust and Sharon Darke, Senior Bereavement Support Officer, came back to me.

“I was set up on a befriender call with Sally, who was absolutely amazing. I joined the Termination for Medical Reasons online group meeting and I came off the call and I felt so understood. 

“Hearing other people’s stories and hearing they had successful pregnancies after that really helped.

“Having that support network with Twins Trust has been absolutely amazing for me.”