Nathalie Himmelrich

Mom to Amya Mirica Hope

September 1, 2011 – September 3, 2011

Zurich, Switzerland

After being unsuccessful at becoming pregnant naturally, we conceived in our first round of IVF, after implanting one egg, which subsequently split and graced us with expecting identical twin girls.

During our 19-week scan, we were told that one of our twins showed abnormalities in her kidneys. After our scan, the girls got fed up being called ‘twin 1’ and ‘twin 2’ and we chose Angel cards to give them names in utero. Since then, we referred to them as Passion and Hope – very synchronistic, as twin 2 chose Hope and she was the one dealing with her malformed kidneys.

Basically, the doctors and specialists couldn’t say for sure, but mentioned that Hope showed cysts in both of her kidneys. They gave us worst-case scenarios, which I basically just didn’t take on, knowing that this was just one moment in time and things can change. I continued with the pregnancy, knowing that the life I had inside of me was still very much alive. This was the time we had with the two girls and we were making the most of it.

On September 1, 2011, they were born at just 2070 grams (Passion) and 1740 grams (Hope). Both needed to be rushed into the NICU where they were on breathing support machines and in an isolette to keep them warm. Hope was struggling, as her lungs had not matured past 24 weeks, which we didn’t see coming.

In her second night, she struggled through a collapsed lung and we knew that she wasn’t meant to stay with us and grow up alongside her sister.

I held them both on day three, the first and only time together, alive as sisters, in human form on my bare chest.

Since then I had another early miscarriage. I might have lost Hope, but we are not giving up hope…

Nathalie writes at and

Author of: Grieving Parents: Surviving Loss as a Couple

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