Zak and Rhianna

In May 2000 I became pregnant after our second try at (ICSI)IVF. At seven weeks I found out I was expecting twins. All seemed to be going well, but at a routine 18 week scan I discovered that there was a problem with one of the babies. We didn't know the sex of the twins, as it would spoil the surprise.

The consultant told us that one of the babies was anacaphic spina bifida at the brain end. To say it was a shock was an understatement. After much discussion among the doctors with knowledge of this it was decided fur us that we would carry on with the pregnancy as to do anything else would have put the other twin at risk.

My husband and I decided that it would be easier not to tell anyone as they would ask lots of questions that we couldn't answer.

At 27 weeks my waters broke and I was admitted to hospital for bed rest and monitoring. Then in the early hours of the 1st December I went into labour and my waters broke completely. All seemed to be well with the twins apart from the obvious problems. After transferring to another hospital and having a scan, we were informed that the bay with anacaphic had died in the womb. We were both devastated and relieved, as we couldn't have watched him die.

Our son Zak was stillborn at 13:06pm. Then our daughter Rhianna was born at 13:12pm.

I didn't see Zak as soon as he was born but I did see him after Rhianna was born. He was absolutely perfect in every way apart from the back of his head. We kept Zak overnight, which I am so pleased about. It is only now that I wish I had him more. Zak was buried on the 15th December and this is now his special day.

Rhianna has always known she was a twin as we talk about Zak quite often and she comes along to the cemetery whenever we go. I often feel that she misses him and thinks that something is missing in her life.

I have read in a magazine about lone twins and would like to find out more information about studies that have been done.

Rhianna is coming along in leaps and bounds. I'm sure that Zak is up there in the clouds watching over her. We made a promise whilst I was pregnant that the surviving twin would always know they were a twin and we have photos of Zak to show her, and as she gets older we can tell her more and explain things to her.

Unfortunately since then my husband and I have split up. However the care and upbringing of Rhianna is still the same and she will grow up knowing that she is loved by both of us no matter what happens.