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stillborn twin - feeling really low, anyone else gone through this?

(58 Posts)
Eeek Mon 04-Aug-03 17:12:37


I have posted before but am mainly a lurker so I hope you don't mind this one dropping in.

The header says it all really, one of my twins was stillborn, one born healthy and doing really well. I'm coping pretty well most of the time but today it's really hit me that no-one mentions my dead twin. It's as if he never existed for everyone else, as if because I have the healthy one, everything must be OK. This week was bound to be hard as it's a kind of anniversary but it's hitting me much more than I expected.

Has anyone else gone through this? How did you cope with the real anniversaries?

ScummyMummy Mon 04-Aug-03 17:24:05

Oh Eeek, how awful. I can't imagine how hard it must be to cope with losing one of your children like this and having to go through the process of grieving while also celebrating the new life of your other baby. I have to go offline now but I wish I could post more. How old is your surviving twin now? Do you think it's possible that no one mentions your dead twin because they are not sure how to broach the subject rather than because they've forgotten? Is there anyone you want to talk about him with in particular?

Eeek Mon 04-Aug-03 17:27:53

My ds is 7 months old, just about how long i had both of them. Being sensible I can understand that it's not the easiest of topics to start with me but it's just the fact that he's never mentioned. By friends or family. I don't even know what I'd want to say. Daft, isn't it?

zebra Mon 04-Aug-03 17:36:32

Maybe it's the same as any death? My mom died on the 22nd of April and I feel very funny about the 22nd of the month, now. People don't often ask about my mom any more, which I prefer because I don't know what to say, anyway. Maybe people don't want to upset you by bringing it up, Eek? I think it's ok for you to talk about it, though.

ThomCat Mon 04-Aug-03 17:54:10

Hi Eeek - sorry I have no experience on this so don't know what I'm talking about but why not make people talk about him/her. Did you name him/her? Just bring the topic up with people and then they'll know it's OK to mention it, they are probaly being protective of you. I have no idea if this would help or not but on anniverseries etc think about him/her - light a candle (in church if that's your bag or at home). I
'm sorry for your loss and how you must feel - just don't keep it bottled up - talk about your feeling - on here, with friends, just talk.
Lots of love and a big hug - TC xxx

CAM Mon 04-Aug-03 18:07:24

Sorry to hear about your experience of loss Eeek, my sister gave birth to a stillborn child, then had a live birth a year later and most people assumed that she was then "over it". I know for a fact that this was not, is not and will never be the case as no child can be replaced. I would imagine that to lose one twin must be even more difficult to contend with as there has been no gap in between for grieving. I wish you all the best.

Tillysmummy Mon 04-Aug-03 18:08:05

Eeek, I don't know what to say except how sorry I am. It must be so hard for you. Can't you tell people that you would like to remember him and that you want people to talk about him and not pretend nothing has happened. Do you have special things to remember him by that you can get out and perhaps have a sort of day to remember him each year around now ? Big hugs x

Eeek Mon 04-Aug-03 19:37:07

thank you for the kind thoughts. maybe you're all right and what I should do is bring up the topic myself - after all, if I can't talk about him, how can I expect others to?

Part of the problem is that I've never been bereaved before (grandparents etc not close enough for it to be so awful) so I don't know if what I'm going through is normal . On top of the straight loss there's always this bit of me looking at my ds and thinking there should be another one. And then I feel guilty for not enjoying him enough.

What a mess!

sammyj Mon 04-Aug-03 19:48:08

Eeek I can't imagine how you feel but my thoughts are with you. I was wondering whether you were given any answers at/after the birth as to why your son died? I suppose you haven't had the opportunity to grieve because you've always had a baby to look after. I hope that being able topost messages here is going some way to exploring your feelings.

maryz Mon 04-Aug-03 20:01:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bunny2 Mon 04-Aug-03 23:05:31

Eeek, one of my close friends lost a twin when she was pregnant. I never spoke about the loss to her because she appeared to be coping so well and I didnt want to upset her. I dont think people forget but maybe they feel unsure about broaching such a terribly painful subject.

Tillysmummy Tue 05-Aug-03 12:01:14

Eeek, when is your DS's birthday ? It must be so hard for you but I do honestly think you should instigatge conversations. Do you and dh talk about it ?

zebra Tue 05-Aug-03 12:44:50

I think you are entitled to feel whatever you are feeling, Eek. There is no "normal".

There is an email list on UK for bereaved people in the UK. To subscribe send a message to A quiet list, it's for all types of bereavement. I imagine Eek might prefer a community for people in her specific situation. My aunt died earlier this year from lung cancer & my grandmother is still devastated at losing her child. My aunt being 61 years old didn't reduce the grief.

Teletubby Tue 05-Aug-03 13:42:04

Eeek - i feel such devastation and sadness for you. I had alot of problems in my first pregnancy with bleeding etc and when it came to my first scan it was evident that i had been carrying twins but one had died and stopped growing. This isn't in any way as bad as what you have been through but i can appreciate how you feel when you say others seem to have forgotten there were two. People use to say to me (in their helpful ways) 'well at least you didn't lose them both or at least you have one healthy baby' of course all this is true but it doesn't make things better at the time. My father in law even went as far as to say 'at least you won't struggle with a double buggy'! I still think about it now and again but i do believe that although you will never forget, time does help you to deal with it. Maybe people don't wish to upset you by repeatedly mentioning it but i'm sure that they are all there for you if you want to talk. I feel really upset and tearful on reading your message and can only send you big hugs.

elliott Tue 05-Aug-03 14:38:38

eeek - I'm very sorry for your loss, and I'm sure the mixed feelings of sadness and guilt, and of course love for your surviving twin, are very common and normal in your situation. Have you tried contacting SANDS (stillbirth and neonatal death society) or TAMBA (twins and multiple birth association) - I am sure they would be able to put you in touch with people in a similar situation or provide some relevant reading. I don't have contact details but I'm sure you could find them fairly easily on a web search.
I once had a colleague who had been in your situation - I think her second twin had died at a similar stage in pregnancy, certainly fairly late on. She was very open and used to talk about both of them by name. I know she was also a member of TAMBA which is why I think they might be able to help.
I can understand why other people find it hard to talk about - they are probably worried about upsetting you. HArd as it may be, if you want your baby to be remembered, you may have to take the lead in talking about him. What about your partner - can you talk to him about how you feel?

throckenholt Tue 05-Aug-03 18:50:19

I was just going to suggest Tamba - I got their latest magazine today and it had at least 2 books mentioned in it that were about coping with losing a twin. It would be worth getting in touch and seeing if they can suggest anything.

If you wanted to know the titles so you could get your library to order them, let me know.

Eeek Wed 06-Aug-03 08:32:40

hi throkenholt - we were TAMBA members but they were'nt brilliant during the pregnancy so we gave up. We called looking for others in our situation, or just for general advice, and they never called us back. I guess any organisation can have a bad day so I'll try again. Would you post the details of those books when you have a moment. Thanks in advance.

We knew from the 12 week scan that there was a problem so it isn't the same as a sudden unexplained death. The advice from my m/w was brilliant and we've mementos and we buried him so there are ways of remembering. I think what I'll do is head for his grave - I don't go there often enough.

Does this explain what a mess I'm in? On here it's normal to have ds1, dd2 etc. I talk about my surving twin as ds1 when actually he was born second. Even though it makes perfect sense to do so I then feel guilty - that I'm writing my dead twin out of the story. Ho, hum.

willow2 Wed 06-Aug-03 19:53:09

Hi Eeek,

Have you thought about contacting SANDS? (Stillbirth and neonatal death society) you can find them here . I know they were a tremendous help to a friend who suffered similarly. Don't know if they can help - but please don't be afraid to contact them as, from what she told me, they will understand exactly what you are going through.

Big hugs.

kittie Wed 06-Aug-03 21:22:57

I know what your going through I've had a stillborn baby boy and also a prem baby girl who lived for 2hrs. I know what you mean about you don't want to mention your baby in case people find it too hard to talk to you about when really you should just mention your baby & you will see how people will start to talk you.. I go to my babies grave every week but we are all different so don't feel guilty for not going all the time it helps others and doesn't help others. . Try to find a close friend that you can talk to 7 tell her how excattly how you feel or even talk to your dp/dh if you can, make sure you don't bottle up your feelings or emotions as this will not help you , you need to let every body know how bad some days are & just because you have got a baby dosen't make you not think about the baby you lost. hope all this helps take care xx

Tortington Wed 06-Aug-03 21:26:03

i keep reading this thread ... sitting.. thinking what to say , then pressing the page back button and going on to another thread becuase i just haven't the words, words just are not enough. then i realised just now that i am doing what some of your family or friends may be doing by not mentioning the death of your child.

i also thought about the post which told about the mum who cried on her surviving twins birthday and how horrible it must be. i hope you dont mind eek, but i have a suggestion. perhaps at the beginning of the twins birthday can you have a private family celebration whether that be a small cake, or a candle. some toys given to a charity in your childs memory. maybe this small gesture would help to out your emotion. and as its only an annual event your surviving child will know its sibling without being shrouded in negative emotion- and if its done right from him being a baby then it wouldnt be abnormal.

kittie Wed 06-Aug-03 21:38:23

Forgot to say , I light candels every night and on anniversaries, It's lovely to watch the flame flicking and to have that special moment where you think about your special, picture of your baby fresh in your mind where you can see and feel every little feature that he has. (sorry to go on hope it helps as this is waht hleps me) also the sands group is good I go to their remembrence services they are lovely. take care hope you get to read this.

whymummy Wed 06-Aug-03 21:53:56

eeek i`m really sorry to hear about your loss,i was thinking that maybe on your ds`s birthday you and the family could plant a tree in the garden in memory of him?
lol xx

sobernow Wed 06-Aug-03 22:17:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

throckenholt Fri 08-Aug-03 12:40:30

sorry it has taken me a while to find the right piece of paper (first week back at work after maternity leave !).

Here are the 2 most relevant titles (although they are more for the child):
Living without your twin, Betty Jean Case pub Tibbutt Pub. Co 1993
The Lone Twin: Understanfing twin bereavement and loss Joan Woodward pud Free Association Press 1998.

I just did a quick search on google - there are lots of things come up for "losing a twin"

Also found this yahoo group :
this is its description :
Description Category: Women
This is a place where you can come and share thoughts & whatever about the loss of a twin or more. I am a mom of surviving triplets who lost a girl due to prematurity. I am grieving her loss for almost 3 years now & still can't seem to find any way to move on. I have 2 boys who survived & even though they survived due to a miracle, I can't seem to get over the loss of my beautiful girl who survived a week. Parents who have suffered such a loss are free to express themselves here & maybe with time, we can all be able to move on with our lives! But of course our loss will never be forgotten! Just a bit easier to manage! PLEASE ONLY GRIEVING MOM'S APPLY...NO OTHER RELATIVES OR FRIENDS..Had some problems recently..AND THIS IS MUTUAL WITH OUR GROUP!! THANKS!!! WE ARE SORRY ABOUT THAT BUT OUR GROUP JUST WANTS MOM'S WHO LOST THEIR CHILD.....

Hope that is of some help


LEWEI Thu 14-Aug-03 11:07:53

It coming up to the first anniversary of our ds's stillbirth. I find that people avoid talking about him, if i mention his name they change the subject. I feel like shouting "he was here, he did exist". One person (a woman with a family of her own) said to me the other day, that i didn't need to keep going to put flowers at the cremetorium as it had been almost a year and i should have weaned myself away from his grave. I was so hurt as 1. we go twice a month with a bouquet not every day and 2. she has never suffered the loss of a child and is very lucky to have a healthy family.
I know the problems that i have dealing with his death, i am pregnant at the moment a often wonder how i will react to this little one, i can only imagine how hard it is dealing with the grief of losing a child and joy of having a new baby at the same time.
I talk about my son often and if it makes people uncomfortable then that is their problem, i don't go out of my way to make people feel this way but they talk about their children, he is still my child no matter what.
Sometimes even dp will say "you're pregnant, you have to move on" i try to explain that the fear of it happening again and the fact that ds is not with us makes it impossible to move on.
Sorry if i am rambling, it just annoys me so much when people class the loss of a child before or soon after birth as a blip in your life, not the huge devastating trauma that it is.
My heart goes out to all who have lost at any stage, life is never the same again

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