The first compassionate friends meeting we went to after we lost Perry, we simply weren't ready. It was less than a week after he died and we were too emotionally raw. Honestly everyone was nice, but when you are in that much pain there is not a lot anyone can do except cry with you. It was so intense that I actually never went back, it became tied up in the early days of loss memories. Instead I actually went to a different chapter but in a city that was a similar distance from my house.
During that meeting, what stuck out to me were two similar losses. I listened most intently to them because in some ways they were similar to ours, parents simply waking up and one of their babies was gone. But they were also different in that they had surviving twins.
Later I learned that many twins are at increased risk of dying while sleeping simply because they were born earlier on average than singletons.
So when I found out I was expecting twins, I had two very different reactions to it. The first was an ironic amusement... I was so angry at having three full term pregnancies with only two children here to show for it, twins seemed like a surprise. Here I was, the poster child for early pregnancy loss, and the one time I wasn't expecting anything, it sort of hit... X2. So I certainly looked at it as a blessing, perhaps as God with a sense of humor. By most RE (reproductive endocrinologists) accounts my blood work basically shows that I should be infertile. Yet although I have had many miscarriages, I have somehow wound up with what is shaping up to be a 'larger family'. It is odd to say the least, and I feel ridiculously lucky at times (sometimes cursed for all the loss, but knowing that I do not deserve my kids). You see nobody really deserves their kids, and it makes me sad when I hear parents talk about their children like a burden or like they are doing something noble by parenting. And I know very well I have won the kiddo lottery.
The second feeling though is outright terror. Because while everyone loves to think of twins as this cute ultra lucky event, what they do not often think about are the increased risk of gestational diabetes, preE or Hellp syndrome. They do not think about the added risk to labor or about how they will likely be born early. Yes, hopefully not super early, but even 2 or 4 weeks can mean a huge difference in complications and potential outcomes with infants.
And there's that little (HUGE) sids statistic....
I watch so many twin Moms place their babies in situations where they sleep together, often with boppies or other unsafe objects, and they are so blissfully unaware. 'Don't you know your babies are already at a higher risk?' I want to shout. It seems to taunt fate. Sometimes there is simply nothing you can do, but placing babies together or in other unsafe situations starts to throw things towards preventable deaths. There are infants that have been found with fiber's of their twins pjs in their airway. What story will their Moms tell them when it comes time? Twins can bond awake... and you know what, they are two separate individuals, they will be ok if they spend 8 hours apart sleeping.
Perhaps when women lose a twin they drop off the boards or twin facebook pages, so most do not hear the stories.... But I remember two Moms with that instant bond of pain.
And it terrifies me.