My mother was telling me how it's possible for, in the case of twins in the womb, one twin to grow so large it gradually sort of 'encircles' the other twin into their stomachs for the rest of their lives.
I'd heard of twin cannibalism, but I don't know if any such thing like that actually happens.
So you can imagine how astounded I was to discover that, according to family legend, my grandmother on my father's side died because of a baby in her stomach - apparently there as a result of an incident I just described.
I didn't mean to sicken anyone out but has anyone heard of such incidents or knows if it's even possible?
I had only heard of "twin cannibalism" in a Stephen King novel before, and what I have found online during a quick search so far really doesn't seem too credible. Some websites claim that 1 in 8 single births is a case of "a vanishing twin" and causes psychological traumas in the surviving "twin" later. Sounds a bit dubious to me. Seemingly more reliable websites claim that one in 75 single born persons might have had a twin at one point in their development. Some websites thankfully make all this far less "cruel" than the term "twin cannibalism" suggests and just talk about the dying of one or more embryos early in pregnancy. No "eating up" of one fetus involved.
quote:Vanishing twins Many twin conditions that are biologically problematic, including conjoined twins, are miscarried. In fact, the vanishing twin syndrome — in which only one twin survives the pregnancy — probably accounts for more births than was once thought. Sonogram studies have shown that as many as 70 percent of the pregnancies that begin as twins will end up as just one fetus by the fifth month of pregnancy.
Cannibalism in the womb One of the strangest instances of the vanishing twin within the womb is twin cannibalism, in which the surviving twin literally ingests or absorbs the remains of a dead twin in the uterus. This phenomenon of twin cannibalism can lead to some unsettling outcomes. Nick Hill, a 21-year-old gas station attendant from Idaho, complained of severe migraine headaches for years before doctors finally did exploratory brain surgery; they discovered two fist-sized masses in his brain. One was a tumor. But the other consisted of embryonic bone, skin and hair, which they believed to be the remains of his twin. Nick's headaches have since disappeared. Incidents have also been reported of people having cysts removed, which were filled with remnants of embryonic teeth, hair or tissue not belonging the patient.
These are not cysts but common benign tumors (making up about 10 percent of benign ovarian tumors). Dermoid tumors are more common in young women but can occur throughout the reproductive years. Prepare yourself -- these are really disgusting!
What happens here is that the egg begins developing without being fertilized. So these growths develop hair, teeth, cartilage, and fat. Even surgeons are shocked by their appearance. The symptoms and diagnosis process for these tumors are the same as above, and an ultrasound test or even an X ray can pinpoint dermoid tumors. Teeth (!) often show up in the scans or X rays.
Miller-Keane Medical Dictionary, 2000 1. a tumor of developmental origin consisting of a fibrous wall lined with stratified epithelium and containing hair follicles, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, nerve elements, and teeth; a teratoma. When these cysts occur in the ovary they may present no symptoms, but their long pedicles may cause twisting, resulting in acute abdominal pain. Treatment is surgical removal. 2. a benign teratoma of the ovary, found usually in young women, typically filled with sebaceous material and hair.
The risk from dermoid cysts is that they turn and the cyst stems rupture, leading to internal bleeding. - So maybe all that happened to your grandmother was that she had a ruptured dermoid cyst, which *looked* like it came from someone else. - That's of course just a guess. Got any idea how it was "discovered" why your grandmother died from her "twin"?
Maybe our medical expertknows more? Gummy, learned anything about this sort of thing?
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"Through repetition the magic will be forced to rise." Alchemical Precept
Hey, from what my mother said, she apparently died because it was hardened or something like that. My mum also said that if it wasn't the remains of my grandmother's twin, then it probably was the remains of my father's. I have no idea how they worked all that out - my uncle's a doctor, maybe he knows something about that. It's also interesting noting that the official cause of her death written on her death certificate is cancer.
$ummer, that all sounds a whole lot more like a family legend than anything else.
It is not possible for anything to reamin inside the uterus after a birth and to stay there until the next fetus comes along. So it is not possible that your grandmother had "her brother's twin" inside her.
Would be interesting to hear though, what your uncle would say.
Uh, I think that my aunt, when she was born, was so big that they thought that she was actually a half tein, and the other had died very early on, but I don't they said she ate the other twin. And if they did I certainly didn't hear about it
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when my aunt first found out that she was pregnant the doctors told her it was with twins. but when the babies were born there was only one baby and the doctors said that this was what happened. So it may actually happen.
The term "twin cannibalism" is really a bit dramatic. I'm sure a few instances of exactly that happening can be found, possibly proven. However, what generally happens is much much more common and less dramatic than one embryo "eating" the other.
Sometimes during pregnancy twins can be present, but for one reason or another, one embryo isn't strong enough to survive, or the uterus can't support it. One of the embryos is simply then absorbed. It's not like one sits down to have a dinner made up of the other. This is more common than you might think about, and many times it's not even known because it occurs so early in the pregnancy, especially in infertility situations.
$ummer, you mentioned something about the fetus turning hard. that's actually a documented phenomenon called a "stone baby". the fetus dies in utero and for some reason, its body absorbs calcium and hardens (hence a more clinical term: calcified fetus).
------------------ I bust my arse so that I can get somewhere in life, so why am I not there yet?
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Like I said, it's a family legend; my weakest subjects are the science ones and I've had no medical opinion on this (except on these boards) so I'm inclined to accept a lot of what's written here and do some more research on it.
Still I find it very fascinating and intriguing - who wouldn't after finding out about a family legend like that?
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