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Losing twins to stillbirth: 'They couldn't get a heartbeat and I knew something was wrong'

ABC Health logoABC Health 13/09/2017

© Provided by ABC Health In February this year, Jacqueline and Jonathan Hoy were ready for the arrival of their identical twin boys.

They'd set up a nursery with two cots, and they'd even picked out their names — William and Henry.

Their older boys, Lachlan and Edward, were looking forward to adding to their backyard rugby squad.

But the Hoys never got to bring William and Henry home.

Two days before she was due to be induced, Jacqui knew something was wrong.

"When I woke up, I thought that they were really quiet, and I tried to get them going and nothing was happening," she said. 

Jacqui went to the hospital for an ultrasound.

"I just remember laying there thinking 'please be OK'," she said.

"And then he told us that Henry had definitely passed away. He had no heartbeat. And William had a slight heartbeat."

She was put on a gurney and raced down the hospital hall to the operating theatre.

"I don't remember much from there. It was so scary. There was at least 30 people in there. Everyone was doing something different to me," Jacqui said.

When Jacqui woke up from surgery, she could hear her husband crying.

"That's when I knew that Will had passed away as well. It was awful and I was in so much pain, from the operation itself. It was horrific," she said.

© Provided by ABC Health

About six Australian babies are stillborn every day.

The cause of William and Henry's deaths has never been determined.

Twins are automatically considered high risk, but Jacqui's pregnancy was also complicated by the fact that the boys shared one placenta.

"Sometimes it's good to have a reason and have a name for something," Jacqui's husband Jonathan, known as Jonnie, said.

"But to me, at the end of the day it doesn't bring my boys back."

They're slowly rebuilding their lives, and are even considering trying to have more children in the future.

"I'm very anxious about that, but it's something that we want. We want a big family. So it's something that we'll work on," Jacqui said.

It would be a terrifying leap of faith for the Hoys.

But the diagnostic test currently being developed by the Hunter Medical Research team to alert doctors when a baby is in danger brings them some comfort.

"It's very exciting," Jonnie said.

"There hasn't really been many breakthroughs in stillbirths research. But then to have something like this, I think it has a lot of promise for the future."

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