One week after we buried Mia and brought Emma, her twin sister, home from the hospital, my husband started a brand-new job. I do not know how he did it. While I was in the hospital, he was offered the job. We both knew it was the right decision to take up this new opportunity, so he did. Men who must bury their child often “let on” to be unaffected. But my husband grieves just as much as I do, albeit in a different way. Like me, my husband waited excitedly for Mia’s arrival, and when she did, he lovingly took her still body into his arms. He talked to her and took photographs of her with us. He organised a lot of practicalities of what needed to be done for her funeral. On the day of her burial, he was the one to gently lower her coffin into the ground to rest. Now, during the summer months, he tends to her grave. He supports me in my writings about our loss and my quest to increase awareness about the needs of bereaved parents who experience loss in a multiple pregnancy. Like me, he remembers Mia every day. My husband, Mia’s dad, also lost a piece of himself the day she died.
Niamh Connolly-Coyne is mother to three daughters Alice and twins Emma and Mia. Mia passed away a few weeks before she was born. She had a heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
Niamh lives in Ireland. She set up an awareness / advocacy group for bereaved parents who have experienced loss in a multiple pregnancy called Peas in a Pod: loss in a multiple pregnancy @peasinapodireland. Niamh hopes also to create more awareness and inclusion of the needs of parents who have lost a baby from a multiple pregnancy through campaign and lobbying work.