Dear J. Lo,

(First, please note this letter is from LauraC and does not necessarily represent the views of the other authors of How Do You Do It?)

I have to admit – I don’t get it. I don’t get anything from your People magazine interview with your newborn twins.

When I completely ignore the photos, I connect with the words in your interview. You talk about loss of sleep, how much you love your babies, and bonding with your husband over shared 3AM feedings. You don’t focus on your career or having your body back – you focus on your babies. When I read your words, I feel like we could be friends. Like you could take over Mia Hamm’s spot as my celebrity twin mom BFF.

But the pictures? The pictures, woman!!! Do you expect us to take you seriously?

I understand People is a magazine where common folk are supposed to yearn to live the life of celebrities. But I do not want your life. I do not want to wear a ridiculously expensive do-rag and gaze lovingly at my peacefully sleeping twins. I do not want to dress in high heels, dress my husband in pink, and run down our driveway while pushing ridonkulously expensive matching carriages. I do not want to have to babyproof that ornate nursery.

These over the top pictures make me think you are hiding something. Maybe having twins kicked your butt a little more than you thought it would. And you know what? That’s ok. It’s ok to say that being a new mom is hard and crazy and exhausting and overwhelming, even when you have two baby nurses and all the money and resources in the world. But by acting like everything is perfect, you’re not fooling any mother no matter how perfect you look in every photo. 

LauraC
supermom to Nate and Alex

Jennifer Lopez and her Twins

The first look at J.Lo and her newborn twins can be seen in the new People magazine! Woot!

PEOPLE world exclusive! Here’s your first glimpse of Jennifer Lopez and her twins, Max and Emme, born Feb. 22 in Long Island, N.Y.

This week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, features 12 pages of new photos of the pop star with husband Marc Anthony and their 1-month-old bundles of joy inside their Long Island home and nursery.

The happy new parents spoke candidly to PEOPLE about the pregnancy, addressing everything from Jennifer’s weight gain to rumors of infertility. For all the details, pick up the new issue, on newsstands Friday.

Inquiring twin moms want to know

~First, a shameless quick plug: Don’t forget to submit a question for this week’s Ask The Moms segment! Post it in the comments here, or through our Features page.~

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.

How American Gladiators ended a friendship

While on bed rest for over three months, I picked up a nasty habit – gorging myself on television. The internet, terbutaline, and my husband Jon were my constant companions but TiVo was my best friend. TiVo gave me something to look forward to besides doctor’s visits and ultrasounds. TiVo was always there for me to help me find a way to laugh or cry. I thought things would change when the boys came along, but then Jon and I watched countless hours of TV while feeding babies. When the boys finally started sleeping through the night, we were so exhausted the only thing we could do was veg in front of the TV.

Being a child of the 80s and a newly confirmed couch potato, you can imagine my delight when I heard American Gladiators (AG) was coming back. I ALWAYS wanted to be on AG, but this time around, I’m a twin mom with a full-time job and a husband who travels for work. I have a million reasons why I’m not back in shape yet, and about a bazillion reasons why being on AG is out of my reach.

I’m going to assume you did not watch the season finale. Monica, A TWIN MOM, won the whole shebang. She is going to be a Gladiator next season. During the season finale, she said, “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I have twins.” Did you notice how she qualified her statement? She tried to think of the only thing harder than AG and it was TWINS. Maybe it’s because I’m in the trenches of twin toddlerhood (or one might say terrible twos times two), but if a twin mom says something is harder than having twins, that something has to be insanely hard.

Seeing a twin mom win AG opened my eyes. Having young twins, I often think, “I can’t do XYZ because  ______.” Instead of thinking about what I can’t do, Monica has made me think about what I CAN do. She made me realize if I can be a mom to twin toddlers, there’s very little I can’t do if I set my mind to it. I already do so much – being a twin mom takes patience, dedication, energy, physical stamina, creativity, and perseverance – that I’m ready to see what else I can accomplish.

I have no more excuses for being a couch potato. TiVo was my best friend when I needed him, but it’s time to for us to part ways. After so much time giving to my boys, I need to reclaim some of that time to focus on gaining some of me back. I may not end up on American Gladiators, but at least I won’t be sitting around watching other twin moms accomplishing their dreams.