Loss of a one, more or all multiple birth children to this: "Loss of one, more or all multiple-birth children at any stage of pregnancy, birth or any time after. Support is also offered for Grandparents and Surviving Co-Multiples.
If you would like to connect with the Loss Support Network Chair, you can do so at email@example.com
Through our Loss Support Network, Multiple Births Canada offers bereavement support and resources to parents and families who have lost one, more or all of their multiple-birth children. As well, we have support and resources for bereaved grandparents and surviving co-multiples who lose their co-multiple at any stage. The loss of a child is a devastating experience and one that any parent is ill-prepared to handle. Such a loss is not only the wrong order of life; it's just not fair!
With the increase in multiple births, unfortunately, there is also an increase in the loss of one, more or all babies. Bereaved parents of multiples experience their loss on several levels:
For parents who learn that they will have twins, triplets or more, the fantasies quickly take over as they proudly "display" their babies in their minds to family and friends. There is worry about the practical issues such as to the logistics of bathing all of these babies, getting them onto the same schedule or financial concerns. The prospective parents worry about the size of their house (especially if there are other children already in the family) or the fact that the family will need a bigger car. These fantasies are quickly shattered when they learn that one, more or all of the babies will not survive. The future is changed forever; our innocence is lost.
It is not unusual for bereaved parents of multiples to feel like "outsiders" when faced with finding a safe place to express and/or share their grief. Families who have lost all of their babies can feel an inability to connect with or acceptance into the grieving group by families whom have lost only one. There is very little commonality to connect them in their grief.
Families with surviving multiples face a different set of challenges. For example, losing a triplet can bring some very painful remarks: "You could never have handled triplets anyway." "Get on with it! You have two other children that need you." One mother of a surviving twin who attending a Bereavement Support Group was angrily confronted by a bereaved mother who lost her singleton baby - "Why are you here? You have a baby, I have none!" Statements such as these quickly undermine a multiple birth family's feeling of security within the bereavement group setting and/or leave them feeling guilty and confused as they try to come to terms with the fact that even though they may have a surviving child(ren), they also lost a child(ren). Guilt becomes a dominant emotion as they struggle to make sense of the words flung at them and to find balance in this very sad situation. In this particular case, the parents felt unsafe in the group situation and did not return to the support group.
One mother of two surviving triplets reported that she was "not allowed" to mourn the loss of her baby and subjected to inappropriate comments and opinions when she tried to acknowledge his birth and death. She ended up simply feeling guilty about mourning him while having two other healthy babies and in the end kept her thoughts and feelings to herself. Needless to say, she lost sleep, her appetite and became very depressed.
Children are not interchangeable and having a survivor(s) does not make up for the precious baby(ies) that has died. It is essential that all bereaved families have a safe and secure place to mourn their loss(es).
We cannot move forward in our lives without mourning our loss(es) and taking appropriate steps to try to integrate the pain into our day-to-day lives. No easy task in the face of the loss of a much-wanted baby(ies). Every bereaved parent is entitled to a safe, secure and non-judgmental place to grieve and the Loss of Multiples Support Network attempts to provide this support system to our bereaved families.
If you are a bereaved parent, grandparent or surviving co-multiple and would like to join the Loss Support Network, please complete and return the following Loss Questionnaire. Your information will not be shared with anyone else without your express consent.
Multiple Births Canada publishes a series of 16 Fact Sheets on Loss and Grief. All are available as FREE downloads in our Publications list here. Please scroll down to the section on Bereavement.
Please consider making a donation to the MBC Loss Support Network. For more information, click here: Donate to the Loss Support Network.
As well, please consider submitting a memorial message for the Memorial page and/or photos for the Loss Support Network member's photo gallery.
Forever Angels e-newsletter
We have received requests for back issues of Forever Angels and are pleased to offer this service, if you would like an issue further back please contact the Loss Support Network Chair. If you would like to join the Loss Support Network or contact the Loss Support Network Chair, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loss Reading List
The Reading List section of this website contains a Loss section and a Surviving Adult Co-Multiples section that may be helpful.
Loss Support Web Sites
Note: The following Web Site addresses are provided for your information only. Multiple Births Canada is not responsible for their content.
Lynda P. Haddon - www.jumelle.ca
Pre and Post natal information for families expecting twins, triplets and more. Also bereavement support and resources for families losing one, more or all of their multiple birth babies or infants. Provides support for adult surviving co-multiples as well.
Centre for Loss in Multiple Birth (CLIMB) – www.climb-support.org
U.S. multiple birth support organization for loss in multiple birth
The Fetal Treatment Center - http://fetus.ucsfmedicalcenter.org/twin
Detailed information for parents whose monozygotic (identical) babies have Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS).
Murraylands Twin Loss - www.murraylandstwinloss.org.au
Specializing in Twin Loss Educational Resources - Australian website by Lynne Schulz - author of "The Diary" and "The Survivor". Lynne Schulz is also the creator of the Apex Australia Twin Loss Awareness Kit which was recognized in 2003 with the South Australia Premier’s Community Service Encouragment Award.
Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) - www.tttsfoundation.org
Solely dedicated to providing immediate and lifesaving educational, emotional and financial support to families, medical professionals and other caretakers before, during and after a pregnancy diagnosed with TTTS.
Twinless Twins - www.twinlesstwins.org
Support for adult surviving co-multiples
MOST Online - www.mostonline.org
Website and network for parents of triplets, quadruplets and more. Memorial page and Loss of a Multiple package available.
Compassionate Friends - www.compassionatefriends.org
Support organization for those suffering a loss.
Prematurity - www.preemieparents.com
Information for parents with premature babies including multiples and the loss of a multiple.
Multiplicity: The Special Challenges of Parenting Twins & More - www.synspectrum.com/multiplicity.html
Loss, prematurity and special needs
The Canadian Foundation for The Study of Infant Deaths - www.sidscanada.org
Providing current and accurate information and emotional support to families who have suffered the devastating experience of an infant death due to SIDS.
Bereaved Families of Ontario – www.bereavedfamilies.ca
Providing support to parents who have lost a child to death and to children, adolescents and young adults who have lost a parent or sibling.
PAIL Network | Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network Canada - pailnetwork.ca
PAIL network is an organization of volunteers who support families who have suffered pregnancy and infant loss. We achieve this through education, peer and telephone support. There is no fee for service for a bereaved parent.
To contact the Chair person or if you would like to become a loss parent contact, e-mail email@example.com .