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Losing twins: Annabelle and Grace

Updated: Apr 1

My Name is Nicole, I am 39 years old and the pregnancy which led to the loss of my

identical twin baby daughters was my only pregnancy to date.... this is my story.

Finding out at 6 weeks 5 days and 6 weeks 3 days that I was having twins (twin 1 & 2 respectively) was a shock to say the least, I think I yelped on finding out. I was also delighted. Having been trapped in bereavement and addiction since the death of my mum four years prior, it was a surprise that I welcomed. There and then I knew my life was to be changed forever, for the better.

The midwife made a comment that only in hindsight makes sense, she said to me and my friend who was with me at the time “celebrate at 13 weeks” and she told me that I was to attend fortnightly for a scan.

My pregnancy was so easy, I ate cakes and slept whenever I wanted. After one of those

fortnightly visits, I came away from the hospital feeling uncomfortable, this discomfort

became painful, and I was getting what felt like cramping. My friend drove me to the

hospital where bloods were taken and as I waited for these results I pointed out to a nurse that part of my stomach was protruding more than anywhere else to which I was told “was my baby” I felt this was in a tone that was condescending but having never been pregnant before I went home on their advice – that was around 2am in the morning.

At around 6.30am my waters broke and I was in labour, and at 19 weeks 5 days and 19

weeks 3 days, I was met with “I’m sorry”. I would go on to deliver my babies’ hours apart

and then have my placenta removed manually. My baby girls arrived at 13:20 and 20:01 on 12th July 2018 having already passed away. I spent 3 days with Annabelle and Grace (what I chose to name them after having a postmortem) and the hospital staff were incredible throughout my time there, allowing visitors to remain with me from the moment I arrived.

I left the hospital with two memory boxes instead of two babies’. I wasn’t aware then of the significance of having these, along with photographs, and how they could contribute to my healing. I have only brought them out again for the first time in a very long time prior to writing this and am feeling strength in doing so, as well as feeling closer to my girls’.

For a few years life was once again a blur as I tried to conceal my pain by numbing it, I'd

thrown myself into college prior to Covid but wasn’t able or willing to address my addiction or grief and this went on throughout Covid. I finally found hope in another charity, and it was Suzie (here at Footprints) who facilitated the online groups, and for the first time I felt heard and understood. For me personally, I needed the shared experience from other parents with double loss - and I no longer felt alone. Grief is such a debilitating emotion, and to have the promise of a future (as I'd

imagined) gone, is something I still find troubling at times.

Somehow, I find myself willing and able to gradually begin to talk about my girls and it

really is with the help from charities like this, and for this reason I am forever grateful.

Within these charities and in the wider world, Annabelle and Grace did and do still exist.

Losing twins Annabelle and Grace
Footprints baby loss: losing twins Annabelle and Grace

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