4. Coping with trauma and putting grief on hold
Parents with surviving babies who are still in hospital have to find ways of coping with their grief, whilst they worry about the surviving twin. Some may decide to ‘deal with their grief later’ whilst still feeling traumatised; others don’t know what to feel. Parents who suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth of one twin, may remain pregnant and continue to have antenatal clinic visits. Generally parents value and find comfort in photographs and mementos of the twin who died e.g. footprints, memory boxes. Where possible, parents appreciate having memories of both of their twins together, even if this is very briefly. Take lots of photos and keep all of them; sometimes parents don’t want them at the time, but regret not having them later.
- Reassure parents that it is OK to have mixed emotions
- Recognise every parents has different needs- there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach
- Find out what parents want, and if, for example, counselling may help
- Recognise the importance of memory making
It was like being dumped and put out of the way.
You want everything explained, and you want someone to take the time to explain it.