experiences of stillborn twin, what do i expect, how did you cope??(17 Posts)
Hi I know this is a very delicate topic and experiences are personal and emotions are raw. We were told at 32 weeks one twin has died. I'm trying to remain strong for my husbands sake as he has always been my rock and I want to be there for him. I have so many questions that the hospital can't answer and many more. If anyone could share their experience with any of my questions I am grateful, if they are too personal, don't feel you have to answer.
Can I still deliver naturally?(really not wanting cs)
What happens to both babies after birth?
Does hospital have to do post mortem?(don't want one, knowing baby is dead is enough)
How did you cope carrying dead twin til other was safe to be born?
How did you manage mixed emotions grief / celebration?
How did you arrange funeral / goodbye wishes and how long after birth did it happen?
I hope I've not upset anyone with my post, that is truly not my intention. Thank you for reading.
I'm so very sorry for your loss. I have no experience or advice, hopefully someone wiser than me will be along later.
Please be kind to yourself and seek help. At the moment you seem to be 9kindly) focusing on your DH's emotions, but you need to be kind to yourself too.
Does the hospital have some sort of bereavement service in the maternity dept?
I don't know the answers either but I am so so sorry for your loss
There is a long running thread on here for people whose children have died and there would be someone there who could answer your questions.
So sad and sorry to read your post and that you have had such a sad loss.
I know you say you have many questions that the hospital can't answer, but your questions are a priority for them and most units will have midwives with special training and experience to help support you at this time.
Although each unit will have their own protocols in place there are generalities :
You can still deliver vaginally depending on the position of your babies.
You don't need to have a post mortem if you would prefer not to.
You can arrange a funeral with the help and support of the hospital.
I'm sure there will be posters along with personal experience to share with you, but I didn't want to read without responding.
I don't have any wisdom for you, but our thoughts and prayers are with you
I wasn't sure anyone would reply. Thank you all for your kind words.
When I ask questions at hospital, consultant just tells me to take it day at a time, or decide when the time comes. I just want to know What my options / rights are.
Thank you all again.
Please ring your hospital and ask to speak to a supervisor of midwives who will contact the specialist midwife/ midwives to support you.
I'm so sorry for your loss.
I know that sands has some information on dealing with the death if a twin.
In regards to a post mortum, it's totally your choice. We decided not to have one as we knew our dd2 had Edwards after the amnio was done. The full karyotype have us more information.
We had the hospital arrange a service for us, I was in no state to think straight. The crematorium also managed to get ashes from her (she was 22 weeks but measuring more like 19) so we scattered them at the crematorium and have a plaque in the local sands garden.
I'm afraid I cannot help with your twin specific questions as dd2 was a singleton.
Try and give yourself space to grieve. I found, and still find, it hard that we lost dd2 at 22 weeks. 32 must be even worse.
Contact Sands. They are fantastic.
In some ways I think your consultant is spot on - day at a time and see how you feel. My first born was SB although not a twin. I am not sure how that would be - I do have a friend I met through a different website who was in a similar situation to you - I will message her and see if she can offer any sage advice. I think the vaginal/c section decision will probably depend on the position of the babies - but would be the same advice if both were ok.
I needed time to grieve, and I don't know how I would've found that time with a newborn, so the grieving process may well be a delayed reaction in some ways. And of course you are going to get a lot of insensitive comments that are going to drive you nuts "well at least you've got one" "there must've been a reason" etc etc.
We had a postmortem, but we are both from a medical background and were desperate for answers. Turns out there was no answer for us, just "one of those things" (later it has been suggested it was a placental problem but no one knows for sure). Not that getting an "answer" necessarily helps things.
Practical advice I can give - once delivered - it is worth clarifying with the hospital whether they have a cool crib for your baby to be put in - that way you will be able to keep both with you for the length of time you would like. Take photos. Take lots of photos. Even if you think you won't want them. Little hands, little feet. All of them. I also regret that I didn't allow anyone else to see my little guy - only my husband, me and my sister saw him. I wanted at the time for him to be just for me. But now I wish my in laws had seen him/met him. You just don't want people to forget. I know they won't, but...anyway.
Best wishes. And best of luck.
Sorry I can answer a few others
Our service was a month after I delivered dd2. I think that was because we had a hospital space for the service if that makes sense.
I had a tfmr. Because dd was over 21 weeks we had an injection to stop her heart, it then took 2 days to induce me. I carried her for a day when she was dead, it was hard but I tried to distract myself. I know weeks is very different to a day.
I would also ask your hospital if they provide a memory box. We have one for dd2 with prints and photos. It really helps. We also got to spend the night with her. This is something to think about if you want to do or not (please don't feel pressured into either, do what is right for you). If you do want to spend time with your baby the hospital may be able to provide a cold cot for you.
I would say that the hospital should be doing more to answer your questions and support you emotionally. Yes you have one healthy baby but you have also lost one which is devastating.
X post with thegrowlygus
Yes, take lots of photos. I wish I'd taken more I just wasn't in the right state.
The hospital arranged our funeral service too - we did ours quite quickly as it was near to xmas so DS was born on the 17th, funeral 24th Dec.
And your best bet is still probably Sands. Hospitals can be so variable with their knowledge and unless they have a dedicated bereavement/Sands midwife they can sometimes be a bit hopeless as suggesting what you might like to do vs. what you are "allowed" to do.
I was in a similar situation last year, and I am happy to answer your questions. I had a caesarean, but that was for other reasons, not because one twin had passed away. After they were born, Gabriel was rushed to the NICU, and I had Jeffrey in a cold crib with me overnight. The chaplain came and performed a blessing too. The next day, he was taken downstairs. We opted to not have a post-mortem.
I felt really emotional and confused when I was carrying them both, but I tried to concentrate on the fact that Gabriel was still alive. I tried to think about Jeffrey giving his life to save Gabriel's.
Our hospital organised a service for Jeffrey about 3-4 weeks after he was born. We were given the choice of what we wanted to do with his remains, and we opted for an individual cremation, and chose the music. We also had the opportunity to go to a group memorial service a few months later.
I am sorry to hear your news. My situation is different as Dtwin1 lived albeit very briefly. Dtwin2 is fine. There is a bereavement support group as part of tamba which I am sure you will find helpful. Lots of others have experienced this very sad situation and would be able to help with your questions.
I am so very sorry, I will be thinking of you all. If you want to join see here - www.tamba.org.uk/page.aspx?pid=835
This happened to me, one son died at 25w, the other was born at 26w and happily is now fine. My heart goes out to you.
Can I still deliver naturally?(really not wanting cs). No reason why not, based only on what you have said. I did - my stillborn son was born first and then my survivor was delivered a few minutes later. I imagine the decision will be taken based on position of the survivor.
What happens to both babies after birth? My stillborn boy was taken away immediately afterwards and my survivor went to NICU. After my surgery, they brought my stillborn boy up to us in the HDU. They had put him in a little cap and he was in a shoebox covered with a hand knitted blanket. We stroked him and spoke to him for about an hour. I don't know what the procedure will be if your survivor is healthy and with you, I imagine the same - you'll get to spend time with your stillborn child if you want it.
If you can bear it, do think about taking photos. The hospital took some for us, and footprints. We took a few ourselves too. I figure they are part of my survivor's history and he is the only one, aside from my husband and I, who will ever see them.
Does hospital have to do post mortem?(don't want one, knowing baby is dead is enough). I understand that feeling. We did have one, just in case there were any implications for our survivor. Again, part of his history, who knows what information might be pertinent to him down the line? Ask the hospital what their policy is.
How did you cope carrying dead twin til other was safe to be born? Blanked it out, mainly. But it was only 8 days for me. The transition from feeling very 'special' expecting twins to knowing there would only be one was hard. I had moments of 'wanting' my survivor to go away too so I could start again afresh and have two again. Obviously I didn't really want that, but my emotions were all over the place.
How did you manage mixed emotions grief / celebration? Badly! Go very easy on yourself - there is no right and wrong way to handle such a complicated mix of emotions. Now, my survivor knows he had a brother. We have a memorial for him. His casket will be buried with me. He is part of our family and our home, because he matters.
How did you arrange funeral / goodbye wishes and how long after birth did it happen? We had a cremation service. The funeral home did a beautiful job (and didn't charge us). It was about 5 months later, once my survivor was home. That felt right for us.
I would add a couple of things from my experience.
1. I had a massive (as in, almost died) post partum haemorrhage and needed emergency surgery. Apparently my stillborn boy's placenta didn't detach properly. That is an increased risk with stillborns apparently. Not saying it will happen to you, of course.
2. Your hospital will almost certainly have a bereavement midwife. Make use of her to find out practical details.
3. You will have to register your stillborn as a stillbirth. You can do it at the same time as you register your survivor. So you probably will want to think of names.
4. Sorry - no easy way to say this. Please be aware that, particularly if you go to term, your stillborn will not look like he or she is just sleeping. They will be obviously dead I'm afraid, with dark lips etc (I'm sorry if that sounds clinical). The longer the gap before your survivor's birth, the more obvious it will be, and the smaller they will be as some of the fluid will have been reabsorbed. You may find it useful to google images (even 'nice' ones, like nowIlaymedowntosleep
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