Inquiring twin moms want to know

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Categories Famous Twins, Multiples in the News, Pregnancy

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Pregnant J.LoAnywho, last week brought us the news that Jennifer Lopez gave birth to her boy/girl twins. Congrats, J. Lo, and a hearty welcome to the secret society of twin moms. I hope that your fame doesn’t prevent you from connecting with others around you, as I have found networking with fellow twin moms has made a big difference in my life. Hey, feel free to visit our blog, even! :-)

I was struck, though, by the short announcement carried by all of the news outlets. Time, date, weights, genders. Parents are thrilled. End of story. Clearly, the interview was not conducted by a mother of twins. While we certainly like to hear the stats that were reported, the questioning would have taken a more detailed turn if we had been in charge. It’s not even a fame thing, we give this same interview to any new twin mom.

How many weeks were you? First thing we want to know, and a stat that any twin mom will immediately relate to you. Anything before about 34 weeks is pretty preemie. The 35-36 range gets a nod for being solidly average. 37 and over and you start to enter the realm of impressive, and you’ll get immediate sympathy as we know how uncomfortable you must have been. As for J.Lo, I’m assuming at least 35+ weeks, as the weights on her kids (5lb7oz and 6lb) were very respectable.

Any NICU time? Another factoid we’re all ready with. We know what it means if you say they were there “for 37 days, but were just feeders and growers.” If you managed to avoid the NICU altogether, more power to you.

If someone is feeling bold, we might ask whether or not you had a c-section. Practice varies so much between different hospitals and doctors. Is one baby breech? Discordant size? Only one head-down but you went for the vaginal, anyways? Did you get the dreaded combo platter (baby A vaginal, baby B emergency c-section)? The moms of How Do You Do It? speculate J.Lo had a vaginal birth, given the reported 12-minute separation in times of birth – way more time than your standard c-section, but probably not so long that she had one vaginally and then a c-section. The time of day (just after midnight) also suggests it was not a scheduled c-section. That’s our guess, anyways. 

Then, we’ll ask you about your pregnancy…

Did you have to go on bedrest? It’s not the news anyone wants to get. “Restricted activity.” Sometimes they just tell you to put your feet up, sometimes you’re only allowed to get up for the bathroom, and the really lucky ones get hospital bedrest and learn about things like steroid shots and terbutaline. Good times.

Any other complications? Pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, any other of those rotten side effects of pregnancy. We sure hope you avoided them, but we know that sometimes you don’t. Especially with the extra strain that double babies put on your body.

When did you find out it was twins? Some of us have an early ultrasound for any number of reasons, and pretty much knew all along. Some bounce along happily all the way to 20+ weeks, and then get a big surprise at the anatomy ultrasound.

If you have identicals, we might even ask if they were mo/mo, mo/di, or di/di twins. We not only know what the abbreviations stand for, but we know that each step along the spectrum means a whole different level of risk. But we solemnly swear that we will never ask J.Lo or any other mom of boy/girl twins whether or not they’re identical. Argh.


So, fellow moms of multiples, what other questions are on your standard twin-mom interview sheet? Note that these are the questions other twin moms ask. We’ll deal with the crazy questions other people ask some other time.

And, for the record, I went to 36 weeks exactly, c-section (baby B breech and discordant size, born 45 seconds apart), a week in the NICU just for transitioning. No bedrest, but pregnancy-induced hypertension and a lot of associated swelling/water retention. And we found out at an ultrasound around 6 weeks.

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12 thoughts on “Inquiring twin moms want to know”

  1. My first question when I see a mom with multiples – are you a member of the local twins group? Then I extoll the virtues of it and give them a business card with the website of my local group.

    And I always ask if the mom is working out of the home because I’m always interested in meeting other WOH moms with twins.

  2. To JLo: Are they identical? Oh, wait. That’s a question from OTHER people.

    Twin-mom question: Do you have help? If anyone offers, take it. Good luck! And if you need anything? Just ask.

  3. I can always tell if someone has twins, or knows someone who has, because the “how many weeks” question is number 1. (Or maybe two, after “how old are they?). I had a grandmother of twins ask me that the other day (outside of DD, a key place for moms of twins) and her twin grandchilden were 29 weekers! Am I the only one who has had the “when did you find out?” question open the door to more personal questions than you wanted to address? “Why did you have an ultrasound at 6 weeks?” “You were at an inferility center?” “Why?” “How old are you?” “You’re not old enough to need IVF!” (Um, thanks for the last one. My body (and doctor) seemed to disagree with you.)

  4. Good point, Rebecca. When I really think about it, the “when did you find out” is more of an other-people question. I don’t actually ask it that often, I think I’m just floored when people find out at 20 weeks, since I knew so early.

  5. On the J Lo tip, I read in a couple of places that the babies’ births were 11 minutes apart…so I’m guessing vaginal (ours were 7 apart going that route). From what I’ve gleaned, c-section births tend (not always, but tend) to occur within a very few (if not a couple) of minutes.

    Now maybe, she was a “one via each path” mama, but my gut says no. 😉

    On the questions, I ALWAYS ask “How long did you keep ’em in?” (largely because I never minded being asked…) Thought J Lo’s’ babies’ birth weights were great…ours were born at 36 weeks, 5 days (dodged NICU altogether) and were 5 14 and 4 14…wondering if she was around 36-38 weeks or so.

    One thing do I ask (if not keeping the askee twin mama from her tasks at hand) is how did you spring the news to relatives and what was the reaction. Have heard some wonderful tales. :)

  6. Great post! As a twin mom, I always get those same questions. They look right at my girls and say, “are they identical?” ( They look nothing alike anymore, they’re 2 and a half, with about a five pound difference.) I just smile, and say no. :-)
    My favorite question is “what did you say when you found out?” I always think, “wow, they’re really asking me this again.” I tell them, I asked the doctor was he kidding, which I did. And again, I just smile.

  7. Cheryl’s comment reminded me… we found out at our big ultrasound at 18 weeks. Everyone knew we were having our big ultrasound so we called people and said, “We’re having a boy!” then we’d wait for the big congratulations and then we’d say, “AND ANOTHER BOY!”

  8. I found out at 19 weeks! We did like LauraC – called everyone and said, “We had our ultrasound! We know that one of them is a boy!” Then the family had their freak out (with excitement, I think) and then asked, “wait, why did you say ‘one of them’?”

    Other question from twin moms – nursing or bottlefeeding? and how’s that going?

    The one I hate from everyone else – did you do fertility?

  9. Ha these questions crack me up. Some people are so nosey. My twins were born 2 minutes apart, vaginal! I went very very fast. I am amazed at the people that find out so late. They probably thought “why the heck am I bigger than most pregnant women”
    Another one I get alot. It’s more of a comment. “you must be done you have a boy and a girl” I just smile and say “no I would like more.” They then stare with a blank look thinking I must be crazy!

  10. These are great questions…being that I have b/g twins, I do get the question “Are they identical” and I just politely say “no” (giggling in my mind). A question that I get is “Do twins run in your family”? I also get the comment “OH a boy and a girl, you must be done right? One stop shop!”…

    I was lucky to find out right away, had to have an US because I had to menstral cycles in march, so we needed a due date, and then there was 2…I delivered at 34 weeks, 1 vaginal, 1 c-sec, 2 and half weeks in NICU…no major problems, just getting them to nipple feed and keep their saturations up…

  11. i, too, despise the fertility question. it just seems so intimate and personal. and, no, we did not do fertility. biggest surprise ever at my 13 week appt, first visit with my OB (saw my family doc until then because everything was ‘normal’.)…i thought i had a two headed baby. thanks to my healthcare job, that was my first thought when i viewed the US screen. and to finish up, 36 weeks on the dot, 12 weeks of strict bedrest (at home, thank the lord) with regular doses of multiple meds, came in at 4.12 and 6.4 one minute apart via c-section. no NICU at all….i highly recommend delivering at huntington hospital if you are near pasadena, we likened our five day stay to a “vegas trip with babies”. we just hit 10 months yesterday and they are healthy, fun, crazy little boys that decided walking was it this past week. lord help me.

  12. I had so much fun telling everyone the news it was twins!!! All day long i would call people and say “guess what it is?” And they would say GIRL and I would say AND!! Some people would scream, some wouldnt get it! But it did get a cabin full of girls screaming! Probably my second favorite moment after finding out!

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