As I was talking to the intake specialist about Joseph she told me that he sounded like such a complex medical case that Dr. Melmet may want to see him personally. She said the first available appointment was February 19th and I said I would take it. Towards the end of our discussion the intake specialist asked me what exactly are surviving quadruplets. I have used that term and sometimes I forget that not everyone will understand that I am implying.
I am not sure who I first heard use the term but essentially anytime you see a high order multiple (HOM) mom and she says she has surviving fill in the blank then one or more of the children are no longer living. I have surviving quadruplets. I lost my darling Martha Renee about 14 hours after she was born. The other three children made it home to me. I think surviving quadruplets is a more accurate term to give to people, especially medical professionals, because to call them triplets would be inaccurate. The pregnancy was a quadruplet pregnancy and not triplet so the risks are different. The birth was quadruplets. Again the risks are different. Also, in my particular case, Baby D of the quadruplets is still alive (Joseph) and since he is the last to be born in a quadruplet pregnancy it may be of importance when considering his medical issues.
The last reason HOM moms use the term surviving fill in the blank is because they do not want the angel sibling(s) to be forgotten. I know a mom (see Jennifer's blog on my Other Blog page) that has surviving triplets. Her son Logan fought hard but lost his battle and went to the Lord six months after being born. It is tough to be a HOM mom and walk away from the hospital without all your children. It is even harder when one or more of them die. Your dream of your HOM life changes. Your dream of the child(ren) that passed away is shattered. It is hard to move on but you have to for the sake of the surviving children. There really isn't anytime to grieve for the child(ren) that are lost. When you do it can be YEARS later. I think I went through that about two years ago with Martha. That is why I can at least look at the few pictures I have of her now and not cry my eyes out.
Hopefully this explaination will help others to understand the use of surviving fill in the blank. Out in public and sometimes for the sake of simplicity I will tell people I have triplets so I do not get asked any questions. If you hear surviving fill in the blank from a HOM mom then she wants you to know there are other child(ren). So feel free to ask (in a compassionate way!) about the other child(ren). I know I am happy to tell anyone who cares to listen about my sweet angel Martha and how beautiful she was.