Talking About Twin Loss
The death of Christiano Ronaldo’s baby boy twin has garnered the sympathy of fans and followers around the world.
On Monday, April 18th, he announced via a social media post that his newborn son had passed away. “Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness,” read the statement on Twitter, signed by both Ronaldo and girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez. No additional information has been released about the birth.
The loss of any baby, at any stage of pregnancy is a tragedy. The unique situation of losing a twin brings its own struggles.
Fetal mortality rates are higher for twin, triplet, and other multiple pregnancies than for single pregnancies. According to the CDC, the fetal mortality rate for twin pregnancies is 2.7 times the rate for single pregnancies. The fetal mortality rate for triplet and other multiple pregnancies is 4.6 times the rate for single pregnancies. This increased risk for multiple pregnancies may relate in part to increased rates of preterm labor, fetal growth restriction, maternal hypertension, and placental and cord problems. Additionally, if one twin dies in the womb, the stakes are raised dangerously high for the other baby. Unfortunately, in many cases, these risks are too high and both babies do not survive.
While we can present these statistics and facts surrounding twin loss, the emotional toll of losing a child who is a twin has on a family is hard to put into words. Life with one new baby, while planning funeral services for another is a difficult situation to navigate; the joy of a newborn coupled with the grief of losing another. The feelings the surviving twin has as they go through life are also very difficult waters to navigate.
Walk In Sunshine sends our deepest condolences to Christiano, Georgina, and the rest of their family. We are hopeful that their story will spark a dialogue surrounding fetal mortality and specifically, twin loss, and help grieving families feel less alone. As more women and families share their stories of pregnancy and infant loss, it’s rare to hear about what it’s like to lose a child in the case of a set of twins or multiples.
Walk In Sunshine provides various resources for families grieving the death of a child, from books and podcasts to support groups. Please see below for recommended books on twin loss.
Untwinned by Althea Hayton
We Are Twins, but Who Am I? by Betty Jean Case
Living Without Your Twin by Betty Jean Case
My Twin Vanished: Did Yours? by Dr. Brent Babcook
For families residing in New Jersey, Walk In Sunshine also provides financial assistance for those who have lost a child. Learn more at https://www.walkinsunshinecharity.org/