Babyloss, Life, parenting

Twins: Together Forever

One of the advantages of having two babies at once is that they have a built-in playmate, a friend to learn and grow up with. It’s something everyone said to me when I found out I was having twins, that they would never be lonely. And it’s one of the consolations I have about losing them. That they have always been together, and will always be, even in death.

When we first lost them and were “doing the rounds”, calling everybody to let them know, one of the first things people said was ‘they couldn’t even save one?’. It’s hard to explain why, but this question made me hurt even more. If I couldn’t have them both, why could I only have one? How could I have chosen between them? How could I separate my boys like that, when they had only ever known each other?

The only, tiny comfort I had when their hearts stopped beating was that they stopped together. That even in the afterlife, they will always have a friend. They naturally shared a coffin at the funeral, and we released two blue balloons, tied together, after the ceremony. One balloon dragged behind a little bit – I know this was simply the helium starting to run out, but I like to think of it as my little boy Eric reluctant to leave us, and his bigger twin brother gently guiding him to a better place. Helping each other just the way they would have if they had lived. 

It must be nice to watch your twins grow up together, knowing they will always have a friend. I don’t get that. It is admittedly painful for me to see other twins displaying that connection.

I do, however, know that that special twin connection is a beautiful thing; and that it can’t be beaten by death. My sons will always be twins, and always have each other. Even if one had lived and one had not, I have come to realise that that would always be true, just in a different way.

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Baby Number 3, Babyloss, Life, parenting

Recap: April

I haven’t felt the urge to write much lately. I usually use writing as a bit of an outlet during bad times, so basically life has been treating me well recently. I’ve been feeling really good. Not a lot of down days – although even on a good day I still believe life is unfair – and lots to keep me busy.

Here’s a quick recap of my last 2 weeks:

  • My cuddle cot fundraiser has been featured in the newspaper, on the radio and on TV – The local news really jumped on it, and the response has been fantastic. Charlie, my boys & I featured front page on our local newspaper Tuesday morning and as a result we received a message from ABC Radio wanting an interview, our local Prime7 News followed not long after. I was pretty nervous about being interviewed, but I think I did okay. Check out the article here: ‘Gift offers time with lost babies’, or watch my nerve-wracking TV appearance: ‘Mum on a mission’.
  • My fundraiser is now at over $1,100 – As a result of the recent media coverage, we’ve now raised enough for 1/6th of a cuddle cot in only a month of fundraising. Which also translates to 22 Bears of Hope packages in honour of my boys (if enough money for a cuddle cot isn’t raised).
  • I got chickens – probably not an important point but I find it exciting. Six 6-week-old Isa Browns. Seriously looking forward to not having to buy eggs in the near future. Charlie also absolutely adores them, which is a nice little bonus. We spend probably half an hour with them every morning playing outside and it definitely makes the day seem shorter having so much fun.
  • I spent some time with my beautiful sister, and my brother also visited from Melbourne – Family is important. Mine may not be very functional at the best of times, but I love them all the same and Charlie spending time with my family is also very important to me. My sister’s visit meant non-stop giggles from Charlie, we’ve missed her while she’s been away at university.
  • We got out personalised child loss book in the mail yesterday – From the author of Sam and Finn, these books are ‘a story of hope created especially for you’. It’s going to be beautiful reading it to Charlie as she gets older – a special little story about her big brothers. We already have Someone Came Before You, and it’s lovely, but this book actually has Andrew & Eric’s name in it! You can buy your own here: Personalised Child Loss Book.

That’s pretty much it. Condensed into a list, none of that seems as big of a deal as it actually was – I feel like there’s been so much excitement here lately!

My laptop is officially up and running again by the way, so look forward to more frequent blog posts. Unfortunately there’s been a hiccup with our new internet installation, but hopefully that’ll be working soon too.

How have you all been while I’ve been gone?

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Babyloss, Life, parenting

Quick Update

Haven’t written much in a little while. I’ve been really busy, but also my laptop is out of action (updating to Windows 10: worst mistake I’ve ever made) and I much prefer typing on my laptop. We’re also getting new internet installed soon and in the interim only have mobile wifi.

Anyway, my fundraiser is now just over $250! Thank you so much to everyone who’s donated so far. I’ve also spoken to the local newspaper and they’re doing a small article on it. Super pumped. You can donate here: Cuddle Cots for Andrew & Eric.

I’ll aim to write a proper post within the next few days. Stay tuned.

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Babyloss, Life, parenting

#BearWithMe

So many exciting things happening lately!

First off, I am extremely excited about my new fundraiser (found here). I am super pumped about making a difference to future loss families.

Secondly, a brilliant new website has been launched about the #BearWithMe project. My blog is also featured in the resources section of this site. You can click here to view the site.

And finally, the Australian Multiple Birth Association has mentioned my blog on Facebook, and maybe my blog might be linked in their bereavement resources section in the future!

I’m having a good day. My boys are making a difference and being remembered today.

💙💙

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Babyloss, Life, parenting

Leave no family behind.

This week is Multiple Birth Awareness Week here in Australia, and the theme for 2016 is “leave no family behind“. I’m very excited about this years theme, and I think it opens up some opportunities to talk about multiple-baby loss. 

As someone who lost both of my multiple babes, I have often felt left behind within the multiple birth community. I must say I can’t wholly blame the community itself for that though, I have purposely distanced myself a bit because it is quite hard to see happy, healthy multiples when mine never made it home. But I also never felt particularly welcome in my local AMBA group because multiple-loss is a topic that’s rarely mentioned by them.

This years theme is very all-inclusive though and it’s beautiful. It’s encouraging to see the words “leave no family behind” emblazoned on a flyer, like a special reassurance that I’m not being forgotten, even though I’m a very different kind of twin mum.

The Australian Multiple Birth Association, who run MBAW, provides support for all multiple families (even if I feel like my kind of family is left out sometimes) and I found it to be an excellent resource while pregnant. 

Much like this blog, I joined the AMBA in the early stages of my pregnancy. I loved their forum. If you don’t log in often enough though, your account becomes inactive – I remember after losing my boys I’d get warning emails from them and rush to log in because I couldn’t bear the thought of my account becoming inactive, even though our boys were no longer here. Their forum also has a bereavement sanctuary, which I posted in occasionally during those rushed log ins. But it seemed so lonely compared to the rest of the forum. Every time I logged in there were newly-pregnant multiple mums posting in the introduction section, but it was rare that the bereavement sanctuary had a new post. At some point during my grief journey, logging into this forum just became too much and I ignored the warning emails.

Actually, my last email from the AMBA community forum came just before Multiple Birth Awareness Week last year. I got it in the midst of being interviewed over email by my local newspaper about MBAW itself. I guess perhaps I took that as some sort of sign – instead of holding onto the past, I had moved forward into a future where I was trying to help other multiple-loss families.

This year to commemorate Multiple Birth Awareness Week, I’d like to take another step towards helping other families like mine. In memory of my sweet twin boys, and in the spirit of the “leave no family behind” theme, I have created a fundraiser page through Bears of Hope to raise money for two Cuddle Cots to be donated to my local hospital. 

You can find out all about Cuddle Cots, and donate to the cause, by clicking here.

Happy Multiple Birth Awareness Week everybody xx

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Babyloss, Life, parenting

What I remember…

I’ve never written about my boys’ deaths & subsequent birth. I feel like it’s something I should have done, even back when it was happening I knew I wouldn’t want to forget anything. But it was too hard to write about so I never did. As a result the memory is now slightly faded. Of course I’ve gone over the details a thousand times, trying to commit them to memory, but it seems each time I do another tiny detail slips away.

But here’s what I remember.

I remember the midwife searching for my boys’ heartbeats with the CTG machine. She thought she had found them a few times, but realised it was actually just my own – my heart was racing with anxiety, it was fast enough to be mistaken for theirs’, and got faster every second she couldn’t find them. I remember when she finally gave up, and called a doctor over instead.

I remember the doctor trying to tell me tactfully that he couldn’t find any hearts beating in there. He said they couldn’t be sure they were really gone until I’d had a scan, but he’d been using the Doppler his whole career and it hadn’t failed him yet, so there was little hope.

I remember the ultrasound technician. We’d seen him walking home from work on our way into the hospital – he’d clearly just been called back in. He was inexperienced, he’d scanned me once or twice before and been supervised because he was just learning. I’m not sure if we were the first lost he’d seen, but it sure seemed like it. He didn’t know what to say, he asked what the doctor had told us before sending us down here – ‘that they couldn’t find their heartbeats’ – and just responded with ‘I’m sorry,’.

I remember Matt calling his dad while we walked back to the maternity ward, and breaking down a little on the phone as he told him our boys were gone. 

I remember the loneliness of lying in that hospital bed, even with Matt by my side. Before I guess I had never felt alone – I always had two little humans kicking me from the inside. Now they weren’t keeping me company any more.

I remember calling the nurse in and asking for Panadol because I was in pain; for some dumb reason in hadn’t occurred to me that that pain might actually be labour. I didn’t even need to be induced – my body was doing it all itself, just a day too late for my sweet boys.

I remember labour was much easier than I thought it would be. I have a terribly low pain threshold and was pleasantly surprised with every contraction. 

I remember the room being so full – the midwives and doctors didn’t leave us alone for a second while I was giving birth. They were very hands-on. I guess they thought we needed that extra support.

Most of all I remember the silence. The silence that came after they entered the world was deafening. It enveloped everything and everyone and was only pierced by the cries of other babies being born just down the hall. But it didn’t stop once we left the hospital, it still hasn’t stopped. My boys’ names are always followed by silence, if they’re mentioned at all, and it breaks my heart.

#BreakTheSilence

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