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Sharon's Story - Twin Loss of Boys

Updated: Apr 1

My twins were born 24 years ago- they would have been 25 this year on Sept 13th. They were born at 26 weeks and Charlie lived for a week and Joshua lived for 13 days.

 

At 26 weeks I had a small bleed, phoned the hospital and was told to go in. I had presumed that at the very worst I would go to the JR in Oxford but was told that there were no hospitals nearby with 2 incubators. We ended up an hour and a half away by ambulance at Stoke on Trent which was more like a 2/2.5 hour drive during the day time for us and our parents. I only had one lot of steroid injections to mature their lungs as they came soon after. 

 

Charlie was born weighing 1lb 12 and Joshua 13 minutes later weighing 1lb 10. I needed much guidance following their birth. I didn’t know whether it was normal to even name them. The neonatal staff were amazing and encouraged my husband and I to be fully involved in their care. I have some really lovely memories from the 7 days that Charlie lived and the 13 days for Joshua. One of my most beautiful memories is holding Joshua for the first time in the middle of the night- the nurse at the time, Erika, bargained with me that afterwards I would try to get some sleep. The tenderness and the care that the nurses and midwives gave my boys was so appreciated. 

 

It was after they both had died, that I felt the care of the twins and of both myself and my husband, was just second to none. For both of the twins, but especially for Charlie, my husband and I needed a lot of guidance and encouragement to do everything we did, and I am so grateful. We did have lots of time holding and cuddling them, we did take lots of photos but I needed encouragement with bathing them, putting on the nappies and dressing them. I am so glad that we have hand and footprints, locks of hair, ID bracelets and memory boxes- although at the time I found it incredibly difficult to be leaving with two memory boxes instead of my babies. Now though, those memories are so precious and all that I have. We asked for a specific midwife, also called Sharon, to help us with the memory making with Joshua. We had become really attached to her during the two weeks and really trusted her. It was really important to me that we did the same with Joshua that we had done with Charlie. It was also the first time that we really got photos of them together. Some of those photos are my favourites. 

 

I hadn’t realised at the time that the care was almost more than could have been expected at that time- 24 years ago. I feel truly lucky that we did have the best care and that everything was done for my twins.  

 

When I found out I was expecting twins it felt so special, everyone was so excited, even people I didn’t know. And then ‘identical’ twins – I planned the outfits, the holidays, school etc. Then it was so awful when it all went wrong, I didn’t know where to turn.  I found some support through a few baby loss charities and eventually found a befriender. The first phone call was quite scary but so reassuring. We exchanged many calls and letters after that first call. I continued to be supported by her for the whole of that first year. I was pregnant with Jessica by then too so needed lots of reassurance! I needed support that was specifically twin related. I would never know what it would be like to have twins growing up. I would have loved to have more twins, they fascinate me. Once Jessica was born I would constantly imagine what it would be like to be doing everything with two, feeding, bathing, dressing etc.

 

I began to volunteer as a befriender at Sands and Tamba after Jess was born, talking to people who had lost both of their twins just as my befriender had helped me. I volunteered for about 14 years until I was asked to coordinate the Twins Trust Bereavement Group which I led for 9 years.  I have spoken to so many lovely people and made lots of great friends along the way. 


I met Suzie when I was her befriender after her twin boys Rory and Daniel died, and we became friends before becoming colleagues. We decided to start our own charity Footprints Baby Loss Twin & Triplet Support, focusing on peer to peer support as a charity for bereaved parents, run by bereaved parents. We launched in Jan 2024.


I am passionate about providing the best possible support that we can for our bereaved twin and triplet loss community.  I love speaking to people and hearing all about their precious babies. I hope that our charity helps people in some way at the most devastating time of their lives.  


I am a mum of twin boys and feel very proud to be so.

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