Sadly, it is rare that a day goes by here that we don’t hear from a mother who has experienced the death of one of her twins or higher multiples in-utero at some time during pregnancy (and dads too). Many whose loss was in the first, second, or early third trimester are having to experience what we call “going longer” in the pregnancy with both or all of the babies, for the sake of the survivor or survivors getting as far as possible past prematurity. We also have known many who are pregnant while “knowing ahead” through prenatal diagnosis that one or more of the babies will not live long past birth. Though it is more rare, we also have known mothers who have given birth to one of their babies, at a time when the baby was too premature to live, and experienced a delayed interval birth, with the remaining baby or babies kept inside for as long as possible.
If you are visiting this section because you are experiencing one of these losses, we are very sorry and hope that it will be helpful to you in some way as you follow a really unexpected path as person and as a parent, and one that others often do not understand. Though this section is written in a more general way, it is really “you” we are thinking of.
Our site sections on the loss of a twin, and on higher multiple (supertwin) loss, as well as the section on selective reduction, are of course relevant and include these losses. In this section, though, we’d like to highlight some of the special needs for information and support of those who are pregnant now with their multiples and know that the birth ahead will involve loss. We’ve seen that people’s experience of coping and healing over a period of time and enjoying the child or children who does remain from the pregnancy doesn’t come from minimizing or ignoring their loss, or others telling them they have to be happy for the sake of the other baby or babies. It comes through recognition and validation of their loss and needs, in a type of situation that is really a major challenge to anyone’s mental health and emotional and social wellbeing.
Each part of this section includes some comments and information, some suggestions on resources – and personal stories of CLIMB members. Also, be sure to see the Bibliography for the articles and books cited as well as other information that may be of interest. Please be welcome to check out the part that relates to you and be in touch with us. We hope that it will be helpful in being your own best advocate for your needs, and in coping and healing over time.