Does My Loss Count?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’m not sure what I want to say about it, but I feel like I have some kinks to work out in my head.

The question that’s been on my mind: Was the loss of Baby B not a real loss?

It doesn’t seem to count as a loss in the medical community. When I first met with the maternal fetal medicine doctor, he told me that I technically don’t have enough losses for him to officially say I have antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. “You need three early losses to qualify,” he said. I didn’t say anything at the time because I suck at saying things in the moment, but now I wish I would have asked him, “What about this baby’s twin? Why doesn’t that count as a loss to you? Is it because I had no bleeding? No D & C? Is it because half of the pregnancy continued to grow?”

It doesn’t seem to count in the general population either (present company excluded, of course). I’ve mentioned to several friends recently that this pregnancy started out as twins, but one didn’t make it. And you know what? Not one person said they were sorry to hear that. There was no acknowledgement whatsoever. Doesn’t that seem kind of…odd? On the one hand, I completely get it. I have a healthy pregnancy, which is freaking amazing, and I’m sure these friends just wanted to focus on that. I understand, I really do. Their responses, or lack thereof, made me feel weird, though.

And sometimes, the loss doesn’t even seem to count in my own head. For instance, I haven’t named Baby B yet. I named Anna and Gabriel right away, but Baby B remains without a moniker. I suspect this is in part because Baby B is inextricably connected to Baby A, and it doesn’t feel quite right to name B before the birth of A.

But still, I wonder about my lack of interest in choosing a name.

I’ve also spent far less time thinking about this loss than my last two losses. Practically speaking, I think it needs to be that way, at least for now. I have a little girl growing inside of me that requires my love, care and hope, and it doesn’t feel right to focus my energy on the pregnancy’s darker beginnings.

But still, I wonder, am I a bad mother for not grieving for Baby B more?

I feel confused about all of this. Because when it comes down to it, Baby B was alive. He or she had a beating heart. He or she was loved. And most importantly, I truly believe he or she helped her sister to grow and thrive.

And that, in my heart at least, counts for a lot.

45 thoughts on “Does My Loss Count?

  1. I dont think it is wrong of u at all. When we lost baby b and still had baby a, I tried not to grieve much about it either. I wanted to stay strong for the life still growing inside of me. It wasnt until we lost baby a too that i was fully able to mourn baby b’s loss as well. A loss is a loss in my eyes, and I am so sorry for the loss of your baby’s twin.

  2. First let me say that your loss absolutly counts. I firmly believe right now your focus is on the twin who is still with you, and i think your lack of grief right now is because you probably just cannot go there right now. I think when the time is right for you, you’ll be able to process this loss and name the baby as well. I say give yourself time and space to feel whatever comes naturally, whenever it happens.
    As always, so much love to you my friend. I can only imagine how many mixed emotions must be running through you.

    1. It doesn’t let me like comments so I chose to write instead. LOVE this comments and I think MPB is exactly right!
      Absolutely the loss of Baby B counts. MPB has perfectly captured the thoughts I was having whilst reading your post.
      I totally understand if you wanted to wait until Baby A was born to name them both, after all they are twins.
      I am so sorry for you loss.

  3. I really get this struggle. The mix of feelings. The reticence to look too deeply into the loss for fear of it looking as deeply into you and derailing the precarious balance of pregnancy after loss. I think you will know what to name Baby B when that time comes. And you will know when that time is. Be gentle with yourself in the meantime, my friend.

  4. OMG I wrote a big reply to this on my phone at the Drs today and it is GONE. I am hating WordPress and my phone right now.

    Honey a loss is a loss. Of that I have no doubt. But brains are funny things. Right now your brain knows you need to stay on track to be in the best place possible for Baby A and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someday down the track after your gorgeous girl is born and everything is normal again (well, as normal as it can be because LIFE) you suddenly break down in tears and grieve for little Baby B. One of those out of the blue cries where you hardly even know what you are crying for. That is that little part of your brain that is saying “Oh, it is safe to do this bit now”. BUT even if you don’t end up doing that it’s not bad. The other thing about loss is that we all grieve in different ways AND we can also grieve for each loss differently. None of those experiences are wrong. Sending love and hugs xoxoxo

    1. Thanks, Em. You are right, the brain is a strange beast, and is very good at protecting itself. As I was reading your comment, I remembered that a couple of months back, I did have one of those crazy, ugly cries when a friend announced she was having twins. So I suppose grief will come out one way or another, when it’s meant to. Xo.

  5. Oh dear, loss is always a loss for a mommie!. We all know that well right?. But, i would like to say that as your angel baby is guarding the little miracle girl inside you!. Isn’t that cute and sweet?.❤️

  6. I’m really sure your friends do not mean to hurt your feelings in any way. I imagine they are worried about saying the wrong thing (because it is so easy to do) so by saying nothing they think they are avoiding that mine field…. except they haven’t. I hope that makes sense. I’m sorry they aren’t responding in the way you need but I am sure it is not intentional. Wishing you the best with your pregnancy and I am sorry that you lost one of your twins x

    1. Thank you, and I completely agree with you about the friends. They are trying to do the right thing, I think. If you are not very familiar with loss or grief, it’s hard to find the words.

  7. Aww, I understand this very well. As you know, I have had four losses in total but I don’t talk about the three early losses as much as losing A.G. (also the only one to be named). I think they all count. I also think it is super odd no one said, “I am so sorry” about Baby B, but I can also say people were used to me miscarrying, so by my fourth, I felt like it was hardly acknowledged. And that did hurt. It’s not like it got easier to miscarry! I wonder if because Baby B is a twin, it was harder to bond with him/her because you were bonding with both as a set. Maybe that’s why you didn’t have a name and why no one acknowledged it. It doesn’t make it right, but I can see that throwing the scenario off a bit. I didn’t bond as much with my others because I didn’t spend as much time with them. It seemed like each one that made it further got more bonding. That’s just my story, though. Anyway, everything you write makes a lot of sense to me, and I am sorry any of us even have to question these things. Baby B matters for sure. Hugs.

    1. Oh my gosh, you are so right! People do get used to miscarriage and loss, and maybe they assume it doesn’t hurt as much the more losses you have? It’s totally crazy logic, but I think you are right on with that. And you are also right, of course, that it never gets easier to miscarry. I’m sorry you had to experience that four times.

  8. I definitely think it counts. I’m sorry that others you gave told don’t seem to think so. A lost baby is still incredibly sad, no matter how it happens. I think it’s fine that you’re focussing on the baby that’s still growing right now, and maybe when she’s in your arms you will be able to mourn her twin a little more fully. *hugs*

  9. (oh I pressed enter before I had finished). I am surprised at the way friends have reacted, but I found this with some friends when I miscarried and I am not sure if it is not knowing what to say or not being able to appreciate the depth of the loss. I do not think there is a right or wrong way to react but think maybe the fact that you are pregnant means you have reacted differently to your other losses. I think MPB is right you will deal with it when the time is right and your energy is totally focused on your baby girl right now. I feel a bit guilty I dealt with my early miscarriage so well and even think DH did not seem so affected (not to say we did not feel the loss, just in a different way.) You will have a name for Baby B when the time is right, maybe when Baby A arrives. My first baby I did not decide straight away, I had a boy name I wanted to use but my husband wanted a gender neutral name. In the end he avoided all conversation on picking a name so I went ahead and chose, I think it was easier for him not to have a name. So I think that is okay too for some people who choose not to name baby, it was very important for me though. Sending love and hugs.

    1. Yeah, what is UP with the medical community’s insensitivity? It’s so bizarre because you’d think they got into that business in the first place because they cared about people. I’m sorry you too have experienced the insensitivity of friends. Thanks, as always, for your support!

  10. I wasn’t able to fully grieve the 2 triplets I lost while pregnant with Tru until much later. I guess because I was still pregnant, I didn’t let myself feel their loss as much. In fact, I still grieve them now. I’ll be watching Tru play and it hits me out of nowhere… there should be 3. They would all be as perfect and wonderful as he is. I have been meaning to post about it actually but I haven’t yet. I also didn’t name them and I think I never will. I feel bad about that in a way….

    So many people whom we told about the losses said “I’m sorry to hear that but at least you still have the one.” While that was true, there really should have been no “at least” being said. A simple “I’m sorry” was enough and should have been all they said. But I understand they didn’t know what to say and probably felt rather awkward. I know I would have responded the same in their situation.

    All that to say, this loss counts just as much as the others. Give yourself time before you expect to fully grieve.

    1. Wow, I don’t even think I knew that your pregnancy with Tru started out as triplets. I wasn’t following your blog at that point. I am so sorry. I would love to read that post should you ever write it. And I completely agree that no one should ever start a sentence with “At least…” Nope. You’re right, a simple “I’m sorry” will always suffice. Xo.

  11. Of course it does! OF COURSE IT DOES! In time, I think you will be able to say (generally) when talking to family and friends (in general), that it was hard for you to lose babies and not have people bat an eye, or even have it seem to register in their mind that it is a crisis or tragedy. Baby B, you lived and were loved!!
    I’m been pretty shocked to learn just how little thought-processing or empathy goes along with learning of someone’s miscarriage. On the part of good people, and especially, parents! Parents that are peers and even our own parents. Our parents – in some ways they briefly seemed sad, but none really seemed to consider it a tragedy (even knowing about years of IF treatment, and the struggle to get a BFP) or something that was worthy of grieving, extra support, assistance, something beyond a one-day disappointment, rather than a medical and emotional emergency. And I have found wanting to validate a lost one’s life, and deal with let-down of people that should be raising you up, is an additional weight during this time.
    For Baby B, I think this special little angel will always have a special place in your heart and that you will come to feel strongly about how to represent this life and how you want to discuss it (or not, or how, or with who) with others. Right now you are navigating (superbly!) through pregnancy following loss, and your goal is one foot in front of the next. You are doing a great job and are such a fabulous mother. You will figure everythiing out, and when you need extra strength and listening ears, we will be here!!

    1. Thank you! You are right, it is surprising how much lack of empathy there is in relation to miscarriage. It was you, I think, that wrote about how miscarriage is not a “casserole disease” and I think about that a lot. It’s a thing that many of us suffer in silence. There is just so little support out there–from friends, from the workplace, from society in general. I hope that by talking about it and being open about it, we can hopefully help lessen the suffering of those that go through this after us. I often think that is I can truly help even just one other person by sharing my struggles it will all have been worth it.

  12. You are far from a bad mother. We are all wishing Baby B had survived but are overwhelmed with gratitude for Baby A. I remember our hope that B would make it, especially after Dr. Braverman said not to give up on him/her. In the excitement of the next few weeks, we were so grateful to B for helping baby A. Maybe there will not be any mourning, just gratitude. And maybe that’s what B’s short life was meant to teach us.

  13. Of course it counts my friend. It was a life you created. There is a beautiful story involved in that he or she helped keep this little girl growing safely. I can imagine the feelings are complicated and they are all right and ok. Hugs to you.

    1. Thank you, friend. It does help so much to think about the beautiful story behind the loss. The sweet with the sad–I think the best things in life are often a mix of the two. Love to you.

  14. I know it’s different circumstances but I didn’t name Ever for months. And I didn’t feel the need to. I think it’s part of the grieving process. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. Maybe it will come to you when you name their twin.

  15. It really does count, but some losses are easier to bear and that doesn’t mean you should feel any guilt. We didn’t name any of ours, even the baby boy we lost when I was 11.5 weeks along. I chose to focus on the present and for whatever reason those babies weren’t meant to be here today. I always knew they weren’t able to join us for a reason (even if it remains unknown), and giving them a name seemed too ‘ordinary’ for their special and remarkable little lives, if that makes sense. I think that it very, very much does count, but perhaps you are wary of tainting this pregnancy with unecessary grief also. In time you will know the right way to view everything. Perhaps after the birth it will be clearer. We all deal with and process things differently and as long as it is right for you, then it is right for you. Hugs. xxx

  16. Of course you are not a bad mother and I’m sure your heart and mind are protecting you now when you have baby A growing and needing so much from you. A friend told me a strange story some years ago about how she had been pregnant with twins and lost one and when her daughter was about 5 she had plucked up the courage to talk to her about her lost sibling and her daughter had simply replied “I know mum, she went away and she was my family and then I was all alone” like she had known all along. Maybe you will all find a way to incorporate baby B’s story into your lives once A is with you, or not, or whatever – but we have all heard the love that you felt and feel for B. Hugs xoxo

  17. Yes yes yes, your loss counts. I can only speak from having a single miscarriage but they have definitely been losses that I have grieved (still am). I can’t imagine how confused you must be feeling but whatever you feel is right. Don’t feel guilty, just take each day as it comes. You will never forget them and I’m sure that will make you an even better mummy x

  18. Baby B definitely counts and I’m guessing that you and all the other ladies above are correct. Once Baby A is here, you’ll probably be able to grieve at that time. Sending you lots of love!

  19. I believe your loss counts. That baby was special to you, important, you wanted that baby very much… So yes I think that loss counts. As for the grief, I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to mourn the loss while trying to remain hopeful and positive for Baby A. There is no right way or wrong way to mourn or grieve… It may be now, or next month or ten years from now but you will never forget Baby B and you will get where you need to be.

  20. It definitely counts. They all count. We actually went to the cemetery where my parents and brother are buried and did a balloon release with 7 balloons for all our embryos that didn’t make it. Because even for that brief moment when they were placed inside me, they were our children. Especially for this one, we never saw a second sac or heartbeat, but with how crazy high my numbers were and the bleeding business around week 6, I’m positive in my heart that this pregnancy began as twins also… It felt right to do that somehow to say goodbye. A lot of people probably don’t or can’t understand why that feels like a loss but of course it is. ❤❤❤ big hugs

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