Welcome back to my new series Life After the Loss of a Twin. Last week was Baby Loss Awareness Week and in support of it and the aim to keep talking about baby loss past the week itself I wanted to share more than my story on my blog. The loss of a twin isn’t something is talked about as much in the baby loss world and I wanted to do my bit towards changing that. Losing a twin is such a bittersweet experience and brings on such a range of emotions. As always, with baby loss there is no right or wrong way to navigate the grief but I was interested to hear how other twin loss parents coped with it. Here is Kathryn’s story about her gorgeous twins.
Tell me about you and your family.
Our family is myself Kathryn, my husband Paul and our three sons – Theodore & identical twins Arloe and Reuben.
How did you feel when you found out you were having twins?
We were gobsmacked, we knew we would love to have another baby but the thought of twins had never entered our mind as we had no idea that identical twins can happen to any pregnancy as it’s not hereditary. Our shock quickly turned to excitement and quickly to fear as we made the huge mistake of googling “identical twins pregnancy”.
Sharing as much or as little as you like tell me about your twins story.
How do you cope with the bittersweet emotions of losing a twin and having a surviving twin?
How do you remember your star in the sky?
We talk about Reuben as a family every day, we look for him in the moon every night and we say good morning and goodnight to him every day with Theo and Arloe. We raise money for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity in his name so that other families can be supported should they find themselves in a position similar to ours. We promised him that he would never be forgotten and we would forever work to repay him for those precious 24 hours together.
Did you get the support you needed from those around you when you were going through this time?
I have been so lucky to have the support of a wonderful psychologist throughout my pregnancy and for 6 months after Arloe and Reuben were born until she left to have her own baby. I had a 6 month break from therapy but have just recently returned as I found the twins first birthday and Reuben’s first anniversary in May a very difficult time. When I couldn’t bring myself out of the darkness, I knew it was right for me to reach out and return to counselling.
Do you think the loss of a twin is something that is talked about enough?
How is your life now after loss?
I’m still very much riding the waves of grief. Some days are gentle and calm and on some days the waves are huge, ferocious and crashing against the rocks. Milestones are difficult as it’s more obvious that someone is missing but we are happy and grateful and living as positively as possible in Reuben’s memory.
Do you have any advice for parents that might be going through a similar experience?
My advice is be gentle. Gentle with yourself and each other. Paul and I have always been on different pages and stages with grief. As long as you both respect each other and have no expectations of how you “should” be feeling, I can promise you, even the darkest storm gets a little lighter and brighter in time.
A massive thank you to Kathryn for sharing such a personal story and for telling us all about her lovely boys. If you want to follow their journey more than head over to Always Looking Up on Instagram.
You can read other life after losing a twin stories below: