Sunday, September 9, 2012

Surviving Quadruplets

Here I am with all 4 babies in my tummy! This is at 6 months!
This past Friday I got a call from the Melmed Center in Phoenix.  I have been looking for doctors that are specialists in all the areas that the children seeing here.  The Melmed Center has a lot of neat services and is staffed by developmental pediatricians.  I had called to get an appointment since in Las Vegas there are only a couple of developmental pediatricians here (literally less than 5) and most of them do not accept insurance.  So a visit to them is VERY expensive (At least $1,500 per child).  In Arizona it is different.  Plus I found out as a cash pay patient I could see one of the head people there for a first time office visit of $540.  That is a lot but not near as much as other specialists charge!

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, not triplet pregnancy, 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 that has surviving triplets.  Her son 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 it took me two years to finally find time to grieve the loss of Martha.  I can at least look at the few pictures I have of her now and not cry my eyes out.

Hopefully this explanation 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.  This way I do not get asked any questions on where the other child is or the looks of pity/sympathy.  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 to me.  


  1. Thanks so much for this explanation. I am the mom of 3 boys, but my first did not make it home...I sometimes don't know what to say when people ask me how many children I have. I don't want my first to be forgotten, so it depends on who is asking how I will answer. My mom uses 2 living grandsons. Thank you for sharing your voyages.

    1. I am sorry for the loss of your son. (((HUGS)))

      Thank you for reading my post and I hope you found the explanation helpful. Surviving quadruplets is a term I had been using but never thought for a moment that other people would not understand what I was implying. I am dense like that! I am glad the intake specialist pointed this out to me.

      I also do not know how to answer the question of how many children I have. I have six children as far as I am concerned but like your mother I sometimes tell people I have five living children. It is hard when you lose a child. You don't want them to be forgotten but answering questions can sometimes be awkward.

  2. Thanks for writing this!

    1. You're welcome and I am glad you found it helpful!