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Lynda speaks to reducing multiples on Canada’s CTV National News, 8th May, 2017: http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/study-links-fetal-reduction-in-multifetal-pregnancies-better-birth-outcomes-1.3403262

TTTS a disease of the placenta and as soon as you know you are pregnant with multiples, you need to try and find out if the babies (or any of the babies) have transfusion TTTS.  It only occurs with monozygotic (identical) babies, and can happen within a higher order set (triplets, quads, quints) as well if there are monozygotic babies.  In simple terms, it is a situation where one of the babies receives most of the available maternal nutrition and the other one receives almost none becasue their veins and arteries have, due to the circumstances of their formation, intertwined.  Nutrition goes too quickly through one baby, the doner, and the other baby, the recipient, receives too much nutrition and is unable to adequately get rid of the excess about of food and liquid, so it pools within his or her body.  Both babies suffer organ stress for different reasons, one because there is not enough nutrition and the other because there is too much.  TTTS becomes an issue for both babies by about week 20 of gestation.  Some pregnancies can be helped by lasering some of the veins and arteries the babies share thereby giving each baby a better chance at growth and development.  It can be expected that if a pregnancy has TTTS babies they will be born early, i.e. before 38 weeks.  The doner will be pale and wrinkled at birth and the recipient will be larger and redder.  TTTS has a spectrum of severity from mild to severe and the babies, one or both, can be negatively affected.  It is important to diagnose as soon as possible after you know you are pregnant with multiples.

For more detailed information on TTTS, you can go to page http://jumelle.ca/prenatal-education/twin-to-twin-transfusion-syndrome/ on my Web Site.  Many multiple-birth pregnancy books address TTTS and Googling TTTS will also provide many sites to get further information.

Men grieve too when their baby(ies) die.  They just do it differently from women.  Here are a few books I found specially for men.  I am so sorry for your loss.

Men & Grief:  A Guide for Men Surviving the Death of a Love One, by Carol Staudacher, New Harbinger Publications

When Men Grieve:  Why Men Grive Differently & How You Can Help, by Elizabeth Levang, Fairview Press

Getting Back to Life When Grief Won’t Heal, by Phyllis Kosminsky, McGraw Hill

When grieving the loss of a baby or babies, maybe reading is the last thing we feel like doing.  In time, when things feel a little different, it may be helpful to have some titles to search out for comfort and connection.  Here are some suggestions for your consideration when you have the need.  I am so sorry for your loss:

Life Touches Life:  A Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing, by Lorraine Ash, Newsage Press

Life After Loss, by Bob Deits, Fisher Books

Forever Our Angels, by Hannah Stone, www.lulu.com

Remembering Our Angels: Personal Stories of Healing from a Pregnancy Loss, by Hannah Stone, http://www.lulu.com

When a Baby Dies: A Handbook for Healing and Helping, by Rana K. Limbo & Sara Rich Wheeler, RTS Bereavement Services

Miscarriage, Women Sharing from the Heart, by Marie Allen & Shelly Marks, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby, by Deborah L. Davis, Fulcrum Publishing

The Worst Loss:  How Families Heal from the Death of a Child, by Barbara D. Rosof, Henry Holt & Co.

While there is a lot of literature available to support bereaved parents, there is less so for the survivors of multiple-birth and/or who lose their co-multiple later in life.  Multiples come into the world at the same time, but there is no guarantee they will leave it at the same time. What challenges do survivors face?  Below I have shared some of the existing books which I think are very supportive.  If I have missed any that you think should be added to this list, please let me know.

Twin Loss: A Book for Survivor Twins, by Raymond William Brandt.  Dr. Brandt lost his twin brother when they were 20 years old.  Dr. Brandt began the American organization, Twinless Twins, to support surviving co-multiples, parents, grandparents, healthcare professionals, bereavement counsellors and anyone else needing to learn about the unique twin relationship and the challenges when one dies.  Twinless Twins can be reached at http://www.twinlesstwins.org

The End of The Twins:  A Memoir of Losing a Brother, by Saul Diskin.  Saul lost his twin brother to cancer later in their lives.

Who Moved the Sun?:  A Twin Remembers, by Ron McKenzie.  Ron lost his twin brother, Don when they were 62 years old.

The Lone Twin: Understanding Twin Bereavement and Loss, by Joan Woodward.  Joan lost her twin sister when they were three years old.  In this book, Joan explores not only what her loss means to her, but after working in the multiple-birth field for several years and learning about multiples’ connections, Joan prepared this important and eye-opening book.  This is a must-read book for understanding and comprehension of what it means to lose a co-multiple at any point in life and what the survivor has to face moving on alone.

Living Without Your Twin, by Betty Jean Case.  Betty is a twin, had twin brothers and twin grandchildren.  In this book, Betty explores loss of a twin through death, suicide, murder, adoption and estrangement.  She discusses what it means to lose a twin, separation and reuniting and its challenges.

The Survivor, by Lynne Schulz.  Lynne’s first book was The Diary.  Lynne had boy/girl twins and her daughter, Meghan, did not survive.  Lynne addresses the challenges of raising a survivor of multiple-birth plus some of the challenges that parents can expect to have to face as their survivor navigates their lives without their womb-mate.  Lynne also discusses the challenges for her, as a parent, of loving and bringing up her son while knowing there should have been two children throughout the same journey.

 

Heartfelt…..

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”

— Anne Sullivan

Question:

I lost my triplets at 23 weeks, two girls and one boy who lived 7 days.  I’m 40.   Is it possible to fall pregnant again with multiples?

Response:

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your wee babies.  I cannot imagine how it all must feel. It is possible to get pregnant again, but it cannot be predicted with any accuracy if the pregnancy would be with multiples.  Older woman do tend to “drop” more eggs in their cycles in their latter years as their bodies gear up for menopause, so it is possible but not definite.

I enclose peace, comfort and blessings,

Lynda