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Posts Tagged ‘twin loss’

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.

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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

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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

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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

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Question:

My twin sister passed away 3 weeks ago and I am having such a hard time with her death. Can you suggest anything that may help me?  My heart is broken, I don’t want to do anything but stay at home.  I would appreciate any help you can give me.  Thanks!

Response:  

I am so sorry to hear of your loss.  Of course you are having a hard time.  Your sister’s death was only 3 weeks ago.  We are not made to bounce right back in a short period after a loved one’s death.  Please don’t expect too much from yourself.  There is a group in the U.S. entitled Twinless Twins and you might find some solace in connecting with them. Once again, don’t expect to feel better immediately.  Be gentle with yourself, give yourself time and expect to have highs and lows as you try to come to terms with losing this special person in your life.  A grief counsellor who understands the unique twin bond may also be helpful.  Your doctor may be able to refer you to someone in your area.  Please accept my sincere condolences on your loss.

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“Losing a baby is hard.  Remembering them shouldn’t have to be.”

I think this is an amazing idea:

http://www.upworthy.com/this-mom-to-be-did-a-rainbow-photoshoot-to-honor-her-6-miscarriages?c=upw1&u=33bd9b904d25008cde93bd9c19d6921d53ed346e

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Supportive article:  http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/08/20/488991373/for-parents-who-have-lost-a-baby-some-aid-in-their-grapple-with-grief

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