Pregnancy Loss- Coping With The Loss Of A Twin

I lost a child during pregnancy in 2007. Avery was one of two babies that I was carrying, and is my son Jacob’s twin. According to the doctor what happened was called “vanishing twin syndrome” and was “normal”. To me, the mom of twins that was going through this, it wasn’t normal. It wasn’t just “any baby”, a part of a statistic that my doctor could rattle off… it was my baby.

What follows is a writing that I found online years ago. I don’t know who the author is but when I read it I thought “wow, that is how I feel”. This person put into words what I could not so I wanted to share it with you.

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“One twin”–it seems like a contradiction in terms…It was not something we ever would have imagined at the time of learning that we were expecting twin babies, and everything became “twos”. Yet for so many of us, because of the high risks in pregnancy and birth, it is the way it turned out: we have one to care for and raise while missing and mourning for his or her twin. We experience all the realities of becoming a parent at the very same time as all the realities of becoming a bereaved parent, and all in one package. Not this year and next year, but all at once now, and “my twins”. We grieve for our baby and for our twins being together, and we worry about the impacts on our survivor. It is often a deeply sad, confusing, and physically and emotionally exhausting time. We’re the last ones who need to be told to be grateful when a baby lives–yet finding joy in our survivor can be a huge challenge, for so many reasons, even though we need and want to all the more, and want our child to be happy.

As if this weren’t enough, many of us experience feeling like we don’t fit in anywhere, and that no one understands what we are having to go through and cope with. We also usually receive comments by others who may mean well but aren’t trying to “get it”, urging us to downplay or even deny our loss. (Like we want to hurt so much–but it hurts more to act like this baby was the only one or that our other child didn’t matter.) With all the attention paid to living multiples, and little shown of the risks and realities, it is also easy to feel that we truly are the only one and are much more unique than (sadly) we actually are.

Just when others think we are or should be doing fine, is often when we need the most support. Later also there are pressures from others and from within ourselves to be “fine”, to be coping, to not expect to spend much time thinking about our baby who died or doing what we need to do in relation to him or her. Sometimes we get used to putting our grief to the side and then it can seem scary to get in touch with it when we do have the opportunity or the need.

But–we have the same amount of grief as anyone who loses a baby, plus the grief for “my twins” and the concern for our survivor, and so it gets stretched out over a fairly long period of time–longer, not shorter because of having a survivor, and complicated, not “easier”. Besides our sheer feelings of losing our baby, we have a great deal to re-live and process emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even physically about what happened, “why” it happened, and how to somehow integrate it all into our ongoing life. While all that is going on, we are dealing with a birthday which is also the birthday, and then the anniversary, of our twin who died…other landmarks and day-to-day reminders…issues about talking to our survivor and about what they may be feeling.

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*I love and miss you, Avery*

If you have gone through a pregnancy loss, or are currently going through one, please know that I am here for you if you need somebody to talk to. I can’t say that I understand exactly what you are going through but I can listen and pray for you.

(If you are the author of this writing please let me know so I can thank you and name you as the creator of this work.)

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Why I Love Being A Parent

This week I am participating in Top 3 Thursday, a meme from Tamara and Elizabeth.

This week’s question is:

What are your Top 3 favorite things about being a parent?

3. Hugs and Kisses: There is nothing better than a slobbery kiss and a giant hug (except maybe one with just a little less saliva and maybe some clean hands would be nice). I think that once Jacob and Lucas can tell me that they love me that will rank up in my top three things, too.

2. Watching them grow up and learn new things: As a past preschool teacher I have known the satisfaction one gets when watching a child do something for the first time. It’s even greater when it’s something that I have taught them. Greater yet is watching your own child do something new. The pride that I feel when one of the boys do something new is overwhelming and I want to share it with everyone that will listen. If you are my twitter or facebook friend you know I was so proud of my toddler for going to the bathroom on the toilet because I announced it. Yes, I am THAT mom… I swore I would never be one of “those moms” but turns out I am!

1. “The feeling”: I’ve heard it said that no (humanly) love is greater than a mother’s love and that you can’t know how strong a mother’s love is until you are a mother yourself. No explanation here because if you are a mother you know the feeling I am talking about and if you aren’t a mom there are no words that I could use to describe this feeling!

So those are my top 3 reasons I love being a mom. If you have a post make sure to visit Elizabeth and Tamara and link up. If you do not have a blog I would love for you to leave a comment below telling me why you love being a parent. Regardless, feel free to leave me some comment love :)

July 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to me! I thought a lot this morning about my past birthdays. I have had some good ones and some not so good ones but the one thing that they had in common was that they did not meet my expectations. That sounds so horrible to say but I don’t mean it in an “I didn’t get the gift I wanted” way. I honestly would be fine with a card or even no gift at all. What I mean is that each birthday I’ve had I’ve woken up thinking that it was going to be such a great day and everything was going to be perfect because, hey, it’s my birthday and it’s an important day. I think that I am selfish in thinking that because my birthday is important to me that it’s important to everyone else. I think this is why I get disappointed every July 28th. I just assume that everyone is going to find this particular day of the year as important as I find it. Every year it seems someone has forgotten my birthday or has better things to think about and do on this day. I think all I really want is everyone I love and care about to acknowledge that it’s my birthday. I don’t need a party. I don’t need gifts. I don’t need anything more than a “happy birthday” from the people I love. I guess I make it a point to say these two words to others, even if I can’t afford a gift or don’t have time for a celebration. I make sure to let the person know I’m thinking about them on this one day of the year. I guess my birthday is not over yet and they still have a little under two hours to let me know that they care enough to utter these two words but I’m assuming they are in bed and not thinking about me at this time. To all my family and friends that did wish me a “happy birthday”- thank you. You made my day so much better by uttering these two words (or in some cases, writing it). I am grateful for these people and hopeful that maybe next year everyone I love will love me back.