Helping a MOM through the Loss of a Multiple

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Helping a MOM through the Loss of a Multiple

With October being National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, I wanted to take a moment to share with you something that you may not have given much thought to.

Miscarriages happen. Stillbirths happen. And the loss of an infant happens. It’s hard no matter who or when or how it happens. It’s hard.

But there is an interesting situation that arises when the loss occurs in a multiple pregnancy or birth. When one of our own experiences the loss of a multiple.

Twins become a singleton, no longer unique, no longer even in the multiples club. A twinless twin.

Triplets become twins. Still multiples, but with a missing piece. Or even worse, if two of the three are lost, this mom would be like the twin mom that lost one.

Reflection of a Lost Twin

And what do you do? Because the triplets aren’t twins; the twin was and always will be a twin. How does this mom of multiples get over the fact that society will never see them as they truly are? That even their own kind – other moms of multiples – will still refer to their children by the wrong descriptor?

It’s an added sting, and I urge you to do something to help ease the pain of your fellow moms of multiples who may not appear to be what they are.

The mention of my child’s name may bring tears to my eyes, but it never fails to bring music to my ears. If you are really my friend, let me hear the beautiful music of his name. It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul. ~Unknown

If you meet someone and don’t know their situation, you’ll see twins when there were actually three. That’s ok. IF you are diligent about referring to them in the future as the mom would like them to be – for me, mine are NOT twins. They’re surviving triplets. And let me tell you, if you know my story, and you still call them twins, we’re going to have issues…

That’s because I’ve encountered this exact situation from my own moms of multiples group. I choose to keep Carter’s name on my nametag as one of my children, and I put an angel halo above his name to show that he is no longer with us. Do you know that I had members of the group question why I had to do that? They felt that new members wouldn’t understand and would only see twins, so I should just go with twins.

No. I will not do that. And the best thing you can do as a fellow mom in the moms of multiples club is to respect my wishes, whether it makes you uncomfortable or not.

Mom Loses Child and Prays for Them

Not every mom will feel the way I do, so that’s why I say to just make sure you are aware of what each specific mom wants, because it will be different in each situaiton.

Yes, there are other losses to remember this month, but my goal with this post was to hopefully share how you can better relate to the moms that have experienced the loss of one or more of their multiples.

Please take a moment to let this soak in. If you know someone who has lost a multiple, please let them know they’ll always be a mom of twins (or triplets or whatever fits their situation). Include them in your activities accordingly (ex: I am included in triplet play dates as well as twin ones, because I have expresed that it’s important to me to stay connected to the fact that I have triplets – one just isn’t able to be with me.)

And if you’re able to – give your mom friend a hug. She could probably use it.

Do you know a MOM that has lost one or more of her multiples? How have you made them feel included?

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angelabickford3

Angela is a stay-at-home mom raising surviving triplets. She lost her first-born triplet, Carter, after 49 days, and her survivors, B & T, keep her pretty busy with their ongoing needs as a result of their prematurity. She manages to find time for her business and personal blog (angelabickford.com). Her tagline ‘Mom of Triplets. Lost One. Survived & Sharing’ is her goal in blogging and she aims to share with others that it’s possible to survive after loss. She and her husband live in the Houston, TX suburb of Cypress. She also blogs at Thirty-One:10.

8 thoughts on “Helping a MOM through the Loss of a Multiple”

  1. Angela, thank you for using your loss to help others. I think your point about asking each mother what she wants and acknowledging that is so important. I have a friend who considers her early miscarriage to fall in a completely different class than infant loss after birth, whereas I think I would consider those to be equivalent losses. I always think of you as a triplet mom. :)

    1. Thanks, Sadia! I love being a triplet mom, and I’ve learned to deal with the fact that society might see me as a twin mom. I even slip sometimes! I too consider a loss a loss, and in all honesty, my very first miscarriage was harder on me and my marriage than the loss of Carter was! I think because by then I had learned how to grieve.

  2. Angela, I think you are an amazing mom to Carter. He will never be forgotten. It brings tears to my eyes to imagine the loss of one of my sweet babies – and the loss his brother would have to endure too. Thank you for giving us all tools to support to a MoM of surviving baby(ies).

    1. Oh, thank you Rebecca. :) I try to honor him in everything I do. It’s definitely a unique situation to have lost a multiple, but I’m glad that I am able to use it for good and help support others.

  3. Thank you for writing this post. I am so sorry for your loss. And like Rebecca said, for your children’s loss. I had never thought about how a mom would want to be referred to and I really appreciate you teaching us about this.

    1. First, thank you. We mourn him, but mostly we celebrate the life he did have. :) And, you’re welcome. I really feel it’s one of the things I’m called to do – bridge that gap between loss moms and non-loss moms.

  4. Hi….I lost baby c….my son Nolan and have surviving triplets….I feel your pain and understand…..and send you (((( hugs)))))

    1. Nicole, I’m so sorry to hear that. But, I am glad you commented and happy to meet someone who is in my shoes (although, that sounds funny…). Hugs to you as well! :)

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