I've never quite come to terms with the fact that it happened to me...TWINS. That's the sort of thing that happens to other people, not me! All during my pregnancy, seeing those two little growing babies on the ultrasound monitor was very surreal. Lying on that table for hours at a time while each baby was measured meticulously while I tried not to vomit...."this has all got to be a dream." When we got their bedroom set up before they were born I would just stand in there, looking at the two cribs in disbelief. This is a ritual I practiced long after their birth. I can't even tell you how many times I would just watch my two baby girls sleeping side-by-side in disbelief..."This can't be happening to me. There's no way I just gave birth to two babies." (disclaimer: my disbelief had no negative connotation.)
Being a parent of twins puts you in a special "club". Suddenly you are a part of a special, exclusive world that only grants access to other parents who have given birth to two or more babies at one time. Sorry, if your children are 13 months apart, you do not qualify (more on that later). No matter how much you think you might feel like a parent of multiples, unless your kiddos actually shared womb space at the same time, we have to deny access. Sorry.
I'm not one of those moms that likes to hole up at home with my new baby. I get ants in my pants easily, so I like to be out and about. We had one of those side-by-side strollers because I didn't think the "snap and go" front-to-back was cool looking or easy to maneuver and I missed my Zooper single stroller (the "BMW of strollers") so as with my vehicle, I sucked up the practicality for "cool." What I didn't realize is that this made me and my duo prime target for strangers - it was like holding up a big sign..."Here we come and we are TWINS!!! Notice us!!" And notice us they did! This is how I learned my trick (twin parents take note!): wear one, stroller/cart the other. It throws the strangers off and by the time they consider you have multiples you're long gone. When my husband and I were out together we each wore a baby...yup, his & hers babies.
The strangers - in the beginning, the infant stage, they are very concerned with the fertility of a parent of multiples...
"How did you get them? You know, what did you have to do?"...um, the same thing I did to get my other kids. Just sex...do you need more details than that?
"Your girls are so cute! Are they IVF?"...No, actually, they're human. But if you're asking about my reproductive life, no they're not IFV they're IUI. (this is actually not true of my twins, but I like to say it because it throws most people off who know nothing about fertility treatments.)
When my aunt learned that I was on Clomid she said..."OMG you could have had like 8 babies!!! You realize that, don't you?" Uh, yeah, right...50mg is not typically conducive to causing a woman to drop EIGHT eggs in one cycle. (the chances of conceiving twins on a 50mg dose of Clomid is less than 10%...go figure!)
Fortunately, my twins are same sex, so I don't have the joy of answering the question that is often asked to parents of B/G twins..."are they identical?" My friend Ashley told me her cousin with B/G twins answers this with: "Yes, except for his gigantic penis." Ask a dumb questions, get a dumb answer.
So, I'm out with my girls shopping on Sunday afternoon. They'll be 5 in July and it seems that people inquire about them less and less as they age. Perhaps it's because they're not sure if they're twins or not. However, on Sunday they strangers were out in full force. My girls were behaving like 4 year old twins in the store and a woman next to me with a well behaved little girl of about the same age said...
"I know exactly how it is! I'm so glad to be out with only one right now."
As twin parents we love finding "sisters", someone who understands what it's like so I excitedly say..."You have twins too?" Stranger..."No, but mine are 13 months apart so it's basically the same as having twins." Bite tongue, shut up Julie, walk away. I smile, turn away, roll my eyes and walk away.
Then as I'm standing in line waiting to pay for my goods my girls are rolling around on the floor like the well behaved children that they are and the woman behind me asks...
"How far apart are they?"
I answer.."21 minutes!"
"OH my! So they must be twins? [what was your first clue?] Did they have separate placentas or something...is that why it took so long between births?"
While I was so ready to tell her the story of the rasta on the beach fathering one of them and my ex-husband fathering the other I went for the truth..."Well, as a matter of fact they did, but that had nothing to do with the spacing. The second was pulled out by her feet and was very resistant so it took awhile."
By the look on her face she really wasn't expecting me to tell her my Superhero story of having a human pulled from my body by her feet. Hey, don't ask a question you don't want to know the answer to!
I have had strangers ask me if I used a surrogate because I don't "look like I had twins." Well, thank you, but proudly, I carried these babies by my bad ass self, thank you very much!
And then..."You must have had a tummy tuck afterwards, right? Because I would think you'd have a lot of skin on your tummy." Actually, no. I have not had any kind of plastic surgery, but thanks for askin'.
Nowadays, when strangers hear that I'm a single mom they want to know if I had a sperm donor or used embryos or how, exactly did I get these babies?? (Because the obvious idea that I once was married just doesn't seem to compute) Sorry, strangers, but the truth is far less exciting...
I am just one of those regular folks who walked down the isle, got a ring, had some sex, dropped a couple of eggs and had two babies. It's really not very exciting.
The list goes on and one, but I'm sure you have other things you'd like to do today, so I'll just leave it at this. If you're a parent of multiples and have some great stranger comments to share, please leave them in the comments! I always love to hear what those strangers are spitting out!