Advice on what to do and say-very sad.

(20 Posts)
TiredMule Mon 24-Oct-11 10:25:19

Please can I have some advice as I'm so shocked and sad, I have no idea what to do/say.
Our lovely friends were expecting triplets, I've been thinking about them a lot recently and kept meaning to ring to find out how they were, but general life had been very busy and stressful and we hadn't got round to it for a little while, I feel so guilty now.
I text first thing this morning and our friend replied that they were born a couple of weeks ago at 25wks gestation and have since lost two. I'm so shocked. I want to do something but don't know what. I want to send something for their ds but I don't know what. I'd like to send something for all 3 but don't know if that would upset them or would just sending something for one be more upsetting?
Please can I have some ideas on how best to show how much we're feeling for them, I don't want to do anything to upset them and want to help them keep strong for their gorgeous ds who is still fighting in hospital.
Thank you x

OP’s posts: |
curlycreations Mon 24-Oct-11 14:31:10

send a gift for the new baby and a heartfelt card maybe not a sympathy card just a nice blank card telling them how sorry you are for the loss of 2 lovely babies.and say something sincere also if you can write or find a poem that is apt that could be written in it too
my friend lost a baby and she found it hard when people didnt speak about it as at the time she stil needed to get over the loss

Secondtimelucky Mon 24-Oct-11 14:35:33

From the little I know, people find it very hard when the babies they lost are not spoken of. I would do as Curly suggests - a gift for the surviving baby and a card referring by name to the babies who didn't make it.

I'd probably go for a gift like a book (or a boxed set of books) - something for when he's a bit older. Clothes could be upsetting since it's like to be so long until they are dressing him themselves, or he's fitting in them.

parttimedomesticgoddess Mon 24-Oct-11 14:42:18

My nephew was born at 28 weeks last month and has had a difficult time of it since. As a result, I have discovered a charity called Bliss - for babies born too small, too sick and too soon. Bliss sell a lovely bear, which you could think about as a gift for their DS, as it would also support a charity that would be very pertinent to them. Link is here. SANDS (still birth and neonatal death society can also be a useful resource, and here is a link to their advice for friends and families looking to support loved ones through such an awful time. I totally second the advice above about the need to talk about and refer to lost babies (I also went through a full term still birth). HTH x

ChippingInToThePumpkinLantern Mon 24-Oct-11 14:57:05

Oh no sad that's so very sad. I hope the little one pulls through.

I would also send a card - though it would take me an age to word it sad

I, myself, wouldn't send flowers as I have found at difficult times it's just one more thing that needs looking after/dealing with and you feel a little bit crap when they die.

Do they live close enough to you that you could do anything practical to help them?

As for a gift - I don't know. I'd probably leave it for now & take something when I was going to see them.

Try not to be too hard on yourself. We all have good intentions that we don't follow through on - life has a terrible habbit of getting in the way. It's a lesson we should all learn, but really don't sad

TiredMule Mon 24-Oct-11 14:58:58

Thank you for your responses. From the little i can imagine and have learnt from mn I thought talking about and including all 3 was best but I wanted to check. I'll definately send a card, does anyone know of any suitable poems? Thank you so much parttime-I'll definately buy him one of those bears.
I'd like to make something for them as well, I tend to do wall art type things and was thinking about making something with all three names on it. Do you think they'd like that? I thought that then they could put it up in their ds's room when he is out of hospital (hopefully in january) and then there will be something with them all on together, and something that he can look at for years to come?
Definately a good point about clothes secondtime, thanks for that.
I just don't know what to say. I can't imagine how hard it must be, especially with their tiny ds still fighting so hard sad x x x

OP’s posts: |
aliceliddell Mon 24-Oct-11 15:06:00

That's a very tough situation. Agree, from friends and rellys with similar tragedies, it hurts if it's not mentioned. Also, I've been told that leaving the 'anything I can do?' too vague doesn't really help as much as 'I'm free next Weds, what shall I do to help you?' or 'What would you like to do?' Maybe with suggestions (errands, shopping, cleaning, dog-walking, go out for a walk)?

TiredMule Mon 24-Oct-11 15:08:47

Chippingin-thank you. I feel so awful, I really need to stop being so crap. No idea what to write in the card-will take forever to do. I agree about flowers. Unfortunately they live about 3.5 hours away (maybe longer as they've just moved further) so that rules out anything useful I could do sad
We may go up and stay with them in 2 weekends time, suggested by them (well him) but I'm not sure how hard that will be for them as we'd have to take our dds with us, and everything is still so new and raw etc. But we could do a lot to help whilst we were there. Or else we could just go up for the day, as then maybe we'd be less in the way? Do you think it would be a good or bad idea? I hadn't really thought about it til just writing about it, I just wanted to see them, but maybe it's too soon? I don't know.
He just has to pull through sad

OP’s posts: |
lovingthecoast Mon 24-Oct-11 15:12:47

I have a vague recollection of someone I knew in passing who lost two triplets and someone bought her some sort of tree or bush which grows like a plait with 3 bits intwined. So it grew as 3 parts if that makes sense. I only knew of this sad situation through another friend so I have no idea what the bush was called but it may be worth talking to your local garden centre.

Sorry, my post sounds really clumsy. Hope you can find out more. Wishing your friend all the strength.

TiredMule Mon 24-Oct-11 15:25:25

loving-that is such a lovely idea-will definately look into that, thank you x

OP’s posts: |
aliceliddell Mon 24-Oct-11 15:33:42

Visiting would be good, I think. People tend to avoid grief at a time when friends need support. Having a 'bolt hole' is useful if they need space. I'm sure they'll appreciate your intention to visit, anyway.

C4ro Mon 24-Oct-11 15:37:54

lovingthecoast you're probably thinking of a Ficus benjamina. I think they are the most common plaited ones you'll find.

lovingthecoast Mon 24-Oct-11 15:50:08

Thank you, C4ro! I really have no idea what it was called. It was many years ago before I became a mother so I'm a little ashamed to say I paid less attention than it deserved. But even then I remember thinking what a sweet idea that would symbolise the everlasting bond between the three children.

TM, I'm sure one of the staff at a good garden centre or nursery would give the best advice of which plaited bush it might be as some may 'take' better depending on their type of garden and whereabouts in the country they live. But at least C4ro has given you a name to work with. Good luck with it!

turningvioletviolet Mon 24-Oct-11 17:39:00

In all honesty i would not go visiting just yet. i say that as the mother of a very prem baby. When she was still in the NICU the last thing i needed was visitors staying with me. All I wanted to do was either be at the hospital with dd or at home in bed (and add in the possibility of 6 times a day expressing). I appreciate that you no doubt will not expect to be 'entertained' but it's a huge additional pressure.

Asking you to come and stay is the sort of thing i think my dh might have done - maybe a different way of dealing with it all, and not meant badly, but I think i might have gone ballistic, no matter how close the friends. Add in a few of your dcs running around and i think i might have been close to divorcing him.

Absolutely keep in touch, and talk about the lost babies (I have also lost a baby who was born at 21 weeks and loved to have him acknowledged) but i would seriously wait a while until i visited.

chipmonkey Mon 24-Oct-11 18:07:41

Agree with turningvioletviolet ( brilliant name btw!) I lost my dd almost three weeks ago and she was in SCBU for 7 weeks before that. While she was in I was visiting her every day and expressing and sometimes visitors got in the the way of the expressing. I would send a nice card and let them know you're thinking of them. The intertwining plant sounds like a lovely idea.

Four4me Mon 24-Oct-11 21:05:27

So sad. When I had my last baby a friend bought a stone with his name and dob engraved on it. Maybe something with all of the babies names on would be nice for them to keep. I guess it is a difficult one to judge, obviously you don't want to cause insult.

aliceliddell Tue 25-Oct-11 12:25:09

I think I wasn't clear - agree staying with may be a pain; I meant more staying near (holiday cottage?) iyswim.
I think it's very unlikely they'd be upset if you got in touch now rather than immediately after it happened.

curlycreations Tue 25-Oct-11 13:23:18

i think the tree intertwined is quite a lovely idea

ChippingInToThePumpkinLantern Tue 25-Oct-11 13:42:42

Is there anyway you could go for the day or overnight without your DD's?

Everyone is different - but I would talk to your friend, rather than her DH, before making any plans to go up and give her plenty of space to say 'Not yet' if she's not up to it. She may want to be alone or she may really want some company, only she knows - no one here can second guess her.

I know what you mean about needing to stop being crap... I do too. Most of us do... it seems to be the way of modern life, rushing around doing stuff and pushing aside the things that really matter sad You aren't alone, not by any stretch of the imagination. Like you have had with this, I've had many 'wake up calls' but I still don't get around to doing things that I have the good intention of doing...

Let us know if you get any news about the little one.

goingmadinthecountry Thu 27-Oct-11 01:50:50


Many years ago I lost one of my twins - despite knowing she'd be born with a heart defect it was still a raw experience. However it's now 16 years on so nothing hurts any more.

From talking to them since I know friends found it hard. I really appreciated those who could talk about our loss as well as our happy arrival. It's hard. Mainly just being open to talk to, laugh with cry with. Also I needed people who didn't make me feel over guilty over baby O's death. It happened. I still needed to celebrate baby E. Just following my lead and listening were the things I really appreciated. I also still needed to know what was going on in the world. Don't wrap her in cotton wool.

It does get better with time by the way. It really honestly does. The dd who was a twin is very much an individual. She's special and lovely - from very early on I saw her as an individual. Yes she WAS a twin, but she is and always has been very much an individual. She has however always known about her twin.

Talk, celebrate/cry, move on. xx

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