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Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.                                                                                  Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

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MBC recognizes anyone who has made a significant contribution to the world of multiples.  It could be someone in your local support Chapter, a doctor, nurse, lactation consultant, newspaper or magazine reporter, funeral director, photographer, charity, organization, magazine or someone who has a made a difference for you and your family in your multiple-birth journey.  You can nominate any one whom has influenced your life.

It’s really easy.  Here is their link, complete with a list of past winners.  Please let someone know how much you have appreciated their support.

http://multiplebirthscanada.org/index.php/about-us/making-a-difference/mada-2017

 

 

In 2006 I gave birth to fraternal twin boys who were sadly stillborn. I was 34 weeks pregnant. They weighed 5 pounds 4 ounces and 6 pounds 3 ounces.  I am also the mother of 4 living sons.

In August the year before, I had [had]my tubes tied so we would not have anymore children. I started to get sick after the procedure and told the doctor. She said that I might have an infection from the procedure. I also complained of pain, so she sent me for a ultrasound cause she said I most likely had cysts on my ovaries. A week after the ultrasound was done I called to get the results and found out I was pregnant again and this time with twins. My husband and I needless to say were very surprised but extremely happy about the news as we thought we no longer could have children. My first question was if they were OK  because I had the surgery around the time they were conceived. The doctor did not check before I had the surgery to see if I was pregnant.

Everything was fine right up till the end. Two weeks before they passed away, I went to the hospital in extreme pain on the left side of my stomach. I was given Tylenol, hooked up to a fetal heart monitor and then sent home. I was told what ever happened inside my uterus my babies were tolerating it well and that was it. No further tests were done. The next day I saw my doctor and told her what happened. She said if it happened again to go back to the hospital and only to come back to see her in two weeks. I never got to see her again. A week and a half later I had a ultrasound that was booked weeks before anything went wrong. [At that time] I was told they were perfectly healthy little boys. I had noticed that the baby on the left’s heart rate was lower than it normally was and I asked why. She said it was because there was really no more room left to grow, he wasn’t active and probably sleeping at the moment. 

On the Tuesday after my ultrasound I went for a nap before my husband had to go to work. I woke up and started to get supper ready for my four boys. I cleaned and then received a phone call from my sister-in-law that she wanted to take my youngest son for the night. I got him ready. By the time I had a few moments to sit, I [realized] that I did not feel any movement since before I went for my nap. I went to get something to eat and drink because usually that would make them move. When that didn’t work I tried to move them myself and nothing happened. I called my husband at work and told him I was going to the hospital. I told him I would call him because he was not allowed to leave unless I was in labor as I already called him home many times that week. I went to the hospital and they told me that they had one baby’s heartbeat but the other baby was probably hiding so they were going to give me a ultrasound to see and hear them better. That was the moment my heart truly broke. The doctor on call told me that both boys were dead. They said that they picked up my heartbeat earlier.  I asked them to call my husband at work. They couldn’t tell him anything on the phone and just told him that he needed to come. He arrived almost a hour later cause he went home first to change because he thought I was in labor and he gets really dirty at his job. When he arrived I heard the nurse tell him in the hallway just outside my room. I remember feeling so numb, how could this be happening to us? 

My stay in the hospital was very emotionally straining because of rude comments I had to endure from medical staff (which I did make a formal complaint about). It was hard enough to deal with what I had to go through then I had to deal with what these (so called) medical professionals were saying to me.  EXAMPLE:  A lab technician said “You had a baby?” I said “Yes, I had twin boys” she asked “Where are your babies?” I said “They passed away.” She replied “Oh you’re the one they are talking about downstairs.  You don’t want any sick or mal-formed babies anyway.  It’s for the best they died.” My sons were not sick , they were not mal-formed. They were healthy little boys. There were other comments as well.

I was told that Lucas died first and he was the baby on the left, the side I  first had problems on, and the baby whose heart rate was lower than it normally was.  I have yet to receive the results of the autopsy report.  I was told by the doctor who delivered my sons that the test they received back showed no cause. I can’t deal with the fact I am being told I buried two healthy little boys. I delivered my boys by c-section and it was discovered later that I had an infection from the surgery.  L. was born at 2:16pm and weighed 5’4 lbs. R. was born at 2:17pm and weighed 6’3 lbs. I remember returning to my room it was 4:30pm. The nurse brought in my babies and placed them both in my arms. I remember thinking they just look like they were sleeping but I knew they would never wake up from this sleep. I kissed each of their little heads and told them I was sorry and that I loved them. The nurse came and took them to another room.  I later asked for them again because I wanted to hold them individually.

We had two services for them because we live so far away from home. We had a service where we live which was open casket and which was the choice of two of my older children. I’m glad we did that because I was feeling a bit better from the surgery than when I originally saw the babies and this time I got the chance to kiss them good-bye without feeling all groggy from pain meds. We had to transfer their bodies ourselves back home which was a hard, long drive (7 hours).  My aunts put together the service back home which was more than I ever expected. I hadn’t been home in 2 years and it was really something to see how many people cared. My boys were not planned but I wanted them more than anything in this world and as each day goes by, I miss more then I think my heart can handle at some times.

 

Question: 

After giving birth to our quadruplets at 26 weeks, our son died at 19 days old. We have a very supportive family, but I continue to struggle.  It is getting worse now that we are going out more with the babies and are getting the comments – Wow, you have triplets!! Sometimes I give more details and sometimes I just say yes…but I feel guilty that I don’t let them know about Devon. It’s nice to read that no matter what I say…it’s the right way. 

Suggestion:  

I am so sorry to hear of your loss of Devon.  That has to be heart breaking and I have no doubt you feel as if you are abandoning him when you agree you have triplets.  In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.  Your heart knows the truth and we do not have to explain everything to strangers.  It may not feel appropriate at the time.  On the other hand, you may feel that you would like to acknowledge Devon’s birth at another time.  If you feel that way and tell a little of your story, that is right too.  Sometimes you want to explain and sometimes you don’t.  You call the shots.  When you choose not to say any thing, you aren’t denying him, you are acknowledging him within you and that may be enough for that particular day.  You are his Mom now and forever.  May your path be gentle and your challenges manageable.

Question:    Hi I was so happy to come across your website and [am] hoping you might be able to help me. Yesterday my best friend have birth to her daughter, who sadly died after a few hours. I’m going to visit her this evening and I’m stuck in gift ideas. I would like to bring something for the baby, something that acknowledges the fact that she lived even if it was a short few hours. I also want to bring my friend a gift but don’t want to bring flowers as they too will die. Would you have any suggestions please?

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Suggestions:  Hi Andrea,  I am so sorry to hear this news and how thoughtful that you want to focus on the baby as well as Mom.  

A couple of suggestions would be a piece of engraved jewellery with baby’s name and date of birth on.  There are beautiful and subtle pieces available so that Mom does not have to “explain” about the piece to strangers or friends, should she not wish to.  A bracelet, charm or necklace could be perfect.  Just Google Memorial jewellery and a bunch of them come up.

For the parents, make a donation to the hospital, a school library or other child-focused facility in the family’s name.  If you think that would work.

Obviously these will not be ready for you to take tonight, but you can make arrangements for them for another time.  Tonight taking love, support, comfort and tears or how about a baby blanket to wrap around the little one, will help.

Your friend is lucky to have such support and understanding from you.  The next few weeks and months will be hard for them.  Try not to forget to ask about the father too. Rather than “How are you doing?” think about “How is today going?”  Some days are better than others and sometimes today is all we can try to get through. Don’t be afraid to mention the baby in conversation or to say her name.  All of this will be welcome, not objectionable, to the parents.  Their child lived for real and now in spirit.  It is so great when someone else remembers.

Hugs and best wishes,

Lynda

Question:  

I lost one of my twins in the womb.  My daughter is now 16 months old. I’ve been thinking what would be an appropriate age to tell her about her twin?

Suggestions:  

Hello,  I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your baby.  Nothing about losing a much-wanted child is easy.  I suggest to parents that they talk about the sibling as early as possible.  It is easier to begin with a young child then to try and break the news to a say, 14-year old who may be shocked to hear the information for the first time.  Teenagers have growing up issues to deal with and learning the truth about their origins later in life can be mind-boggling.  With a young child, the words are less important than with an older child and the parent gets chances to work through the way to deliver the news. When the truth is shared early on, the lost sibling is part of the fabric of who the survivor is vs them facing a completely different scenario at an older age and realizing that they are not who they thought they were.  Even starting now is not to soon.  “There should have been two of you.  Your Dad and I miss your little brother/sister very much and wish whole-heartedly s/he could be here, with us.” And such.  Short sentences, a few words as you also feel the ground for sharing.  It will no doubt be difficult for you as well.  

When your daughter begins to speak, she will eventually ask you questions.  Use age-appropriate language when answering, be honest, try not to avoid the topic – it may come up when you don’t feel like talking about the subject, and expect the same questions over and over.  This is how small children incorporate the idea of death.  It is hard for them to understand what it means to die.  Repetition helps.  “S/he was too sick to stay with us and be a family on earth”  is a gentle way to help her understand until she is older and better equipped for as much detail as you feel you can share.  Be prepared to cry sometimes and that is OK.  You can tell her you are glad to have her but not to have her brother/sister makes you feel sad.  You are helping her learn that life is not always fair, there are loving people around her nevertheless and she is not to blame because he/she died.  She may ask you at some point if the loss was her fault.  It is not her fault, nor yours or her Dad’s.  It was something sad that happened and you would change it if you could, but you can’t.

I hope these are some helpful ideas.  Please accept my sincere condolences on your loss. Lynda

Grieving…..

“I think the hardest part of loving someone isn’t having to say good-bye, but rather learning to live without them.  Always trying to fill the void, the emptiness that is left inside your heart when they go.”*

*This is from the Internet and the Author is unknown.  If you are the Author of this “right on the mark” statement, please let me know and I will add your name.  Thank you.