For many families, prematurity brings with it loss. In cases where mothers and fathers must say goodbye to a preemie who was a twin or a triplet, coping with that loss can be a complicated and difficult process. One life has been lost but there is still life there that needs your care and attention. Preemie parents in this unique situation can feel like they have no time to breathe, much less grieve. And moms, dads, and siblings may have many questions about what the loss of a multiple means to a family as a whole.
First, let’s get one thing out of the way. You are, contrary to what others may tell you, still a parent of multiples.
Whether the baby you lost lived a day or a year, or simply lived inside of you, you are a parent of more than one child. If you would like the people around you to acknowledge that, they need to respect your wishes. You are the only one who gets to decide what your parenting journey looks like.
At the same time, you need to deal with the emotions you’re feeling in the way that makes the most sense for you and your family – and that can mean so many different things.
Below, we’ve compiled some advice for parents who’ve lost a twin or triplet, but understand that you may feel compelled to handle your circumstances differently and that’s okay. These are only guidelines that may help you cope when you’re not sure what to do next.