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Anywho, 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.