Perhaps it's been the yucky weather. Perhaps it's been the fact that one of my little angels has been under the weather. Perhaps it's been the fact that I, too, have been under the weather, and we were Dad-less for the first full night last night. Whatever the case, I suppose now I have enough courage (or rather frustration) to make a small public service announcement regarding twins for the very small, I'm sure, amount of followers who read this blog.
I suppose it all started during my pregnancy. For awhile, I dismissed certain comments as, "Well, they didn't really mean for it to sound that way." or "Hmmm...that seemed like a strange thing to ask someone." or "Um, well that wasn't really any of their business." And now in the 4th month of actually having twins, I think I've officially come to my boiling point. This small cartoon so very eloquently displays my, and many other multiples moms', frustrations.
Allow me to say that were I not blessed with twins, I could very easily fall victim to asking a multiples mom some of these very same questions. And I write this post with equal amounts of sarcasm and seriousness. If you have ever asked a mom expecting multiples any of these questions, don't beat yourself up, but in the future, it would serve you well to avoid them.
From the beginning of my pregnancy, I just wanted to be like every other "expectant mom." I wanted people, whether it be friends or strangers, to smile and congratulate me on my impending motherhood. Some did, and some gave me some rather, ahem, odd responses. Such as:
1. "I'm so sorry. Bless your heart." (no lie)
2. "Better you than me." (gee thanks)
3. "Ooooh, double trouble!" (so original)
4. "You'll have your hands full for sure!" (no crap)
If you've ever given a multiples mom any of these responses upon discovering she is carrying more than one fetus, just don't ever say it again. A simple, "Oh congratulations" or "How exciting!" will suffice. How would you feel if everyone's initial reaction to your little bundle was one of grief and sorrow? You may think it, but for heavens sake, don't say it.
Another thing I learned very quickly while carrying twins, is that people need a concrete, fool-proof absolute certain reason as to why you got pregnant with twins. Very few individuals can end a conversation without somehow slyly (or not so slyly) probing into the cause of this freakish phenomenon. But what I eventually discovered is that really, they just want to know if you struggled with infertility. Some women (like me) happen to be unashamed of the fact that they had to take fertility drugs to become pregnant. Others, however, are not too open to the idea of discussing it. Bottom line, it would serve you well to not ask the question I've been asked more than any other:
"So do twins run in your family?"
This is a super sneaky way of wanting to know, officially, if this person used fertility drugs. And quite honestly, it's none of your business if they did! While some women do in fact get pregnant with twins and triplets spontaneously, not all of them have twins "in their family." And while some do, and will gladly share that 4 of their cousins, and 9 of their aunts and uncles have twins, how does it make the moms who did in fact use fertility drugs feel? In a word, awkward. For awhile, when a person I didn't know very well would ask this question, I would give some awkward response like, "Well, my mother-in-law was a triplet" (which, coincidentally, is the truth!). It would be so funny to watch the person's response. Most would just give me a strange look, feeling like I just gave them a partial answer. Recently, I've just decided to make the person asking the question feel equally as awkward by saying, "Well, not really. We used fertility drugs if that's what you're asking." I don't believe this is a rude response, but rather an equal response to the question asked. And allow me to say that, once again, I'm not ashamed of my dysfunctional ovaries that required a little assistance. It can just be awkward to launch into my personal history with a person I don't know that well at a social gathering, Target, or check-out line at the grocery store. Also, bear in mind, how many times a mom of twins has, in fact, been asked that question (oh how I wish I had kept track from the beginning!). And think about how irritated you would be having had to awkwardly answer it a gazillion times!
And honestly, while I'm ranting and raving, I think the issue at the bottom of it all, is the fact that so many people want to attribute my babies as the result of fertility drugs. Yes, I did take 5 little pills for 5 days the month I got pregnant. But in no way shape or form do I believe that's the reason I stand here today with my 2 daughters. I think there is a much higher power that is responsible for them being here. Millions of women all over the world undergo fertility treatment after fertility treatment that, unfortunately, never results in a baby. But I happen to believe that every life on this earth is not here by accident, and certainly not here only because his/her mom took fertility drugs. And how unfortunate for those who believe that.
I realize that this all may sound a little harsh. And allow me to reiterate, I say all of this mostly in humor, but also to make you more aware of how moms with multiples may perceive your questions. And before you think I'm a crazy lady with pent up anger and frustration, I do not in any way lose sleep over this matter, or come home and beat things with a baseball bat (Ok, maybe only some days. Hey, what do you expect? I have twins).
So now you can officially consider yourself "twinformed." :)