Last March, about 10 weeks into her pregnancy and expecting triplets, Mandy Corrado, of Fairfield Township, lost one of her babies.
The miscarriage unleashed many emotions in the 27-year-old mother-to-be. Making matters worse were the people who would try to comfort her, telling her that it was OK because she was still pregnant with twins.
“No singleton parent (parent of one child at a time) could understand because they have never been there,” Corrado said. “They didn’t think that it was a miscarriage. They didn’t think that it was the same kind of thing, when in reality it was.”
Corrado needed to grieve the loss of her unborn child but couldn’t find another person understanding of her situation and had no one to talk to besides her mother and husband.
She also had trouble finding comfort at the hospital, where she asked her doctor’s ultrasound tech to not print out any images with the name “Baby A” on it. The expecting mother told the tech that they could list it any way in the computer, but all printouts should identify the developing babies as “Baby B” and “Baby C.”
“She then printed one out that read ‘Twin A’ and I about lost it because I had a ‘Baby A’ and I don’t have a ‘Baby A’ in this picture,” Corrado said. “This is not ‘Baby A,’ this is ‘Baby B.’ ”
At that time, she didn’t know many moms of multiples. She didn’t know how to cope with the loss and had trouble dealing with people who didn’t understand.
Eventually, she found the support she needed when she learned about and reached out to the West Chester Mothers of Twins and More Club, also referred to as the “Twins Club.”
“Once I was finally able to reach out to them, it was like night and day,” said Corrado, who joined the club when she was about seven months into her pregnancy. “I love the Twins Club … it has been one of those things that has been a life saver.”
After she gave birth to a boy and a girl – Andrew and Luciana on Sept. 29 – Corrado received a phone call from one of the group’s members. She asked Corrado how she was doing, if she needed any help.
The two moms had never met but shared a bond that permeates the group and helped grow the Twins Club from six members in 1988 to more than 230 members today. The club has grown into one of the largest of its kind in the nation and plans to host the National Organization of Mothers of Twins annual convention in downtown Cincinnati in 2015.
Club members are unique:
- One is a mother of Twiblings (children born near the same time, but from different surrogates).
- Some are mothers who have had multiple sets of twins.
- Some are same-sex parents.
- Some are grandparents raising twins.
During monthly meetings, the club hosts speakers, has mom-pampering nights and a twin panel every other year, when young adult twins share the pros and cons of how they were raised.
“This is a group of women who thoroughly understand,” said Chris Lemmon, 54 of Milford, mother of 28-year-old twins and one of the original six members of the Twins Club.
Not only has the club grown, but it has adapted, staying connected online through message boards and on Facebook. While there, they share stories, remedies and comfort.
“I wish I had that access to people nine years ago, but I am so glad that I can provide it now,” said Kari Combs, 38 of South Lebanon, mother of 9-year-old twins. “I think back to how much support I got, and now I want to give that back.”
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