Are They Natural?

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Categories Attitude, Fertility, How Do The Moms Do It, Mommy Issues, Other people, PerspectiveTags , , 13 Comments

If there’s one thing that bugs me, it’s people seeing my identical twin daughters and asking whether they’re “natural.” I know where the question comes from. People are well aware that there’s an increased chance of conceiving multiples with certain types of fertility treatments. They see a pair of children who are pretty clearly twins, and they want to know whether they were conceived with or without medical assistance.

First, let me answer the question. J and M are spontaneous twins. (Thanks to Goddess in Progress, the founder of HDYDI, for giving me that term to use when I complained about how awkward I found the phrase “natural twins.”) I quit taking birth control pills, waited a month, got busy with my husband, and 7 months later had two amazing daughters.

I’ve never struggled with infertility, so I can’t truly understand what that experience is like. I can imagine, though, that I wouldn’t want to discuss infertility with strangers, especially in front of my children. I would imagine that early attempts to get pregnant, repeated visits to the doctor, diagnoses, perhaps even miscarriages, are none of anyone else’s business. If someone is asking because they’re suffering from infertility themselves and are seeking someone who understands, that’s one thing, but most of the time the question comes from pure nosiness.

When I hear the horrible, “Are they natural?” I sometimes answer, “Yes,” and go on about my day. Sometimes, I say, “They were conceived spontaneously.” Sometimes, it’s, “IVF increases the chances of fraternal twins. Mine are identical.” Once, it was, “Are you asking whether my girls were conceived through unprotected sex? Yep, they were!” I was in a bad mood that day.

When I have the time and patience, though, I try to raise awareness. I say, “I was lucky not to suffer from fertility challenges, but I imagine that if I had, I might not want to talk about it. I think of all the tears I’ve shed over friends’ miscarriages. I’m not sure I consider that a topic for casual conversation.” More often than not, the response I get back is, “I never thought about that. Thanks.”

We have fraternal triplets in the family. I don’t know whether they were IVF babies. It’s not my business.

How do you respond to, “Are they natural?”

Sadia lives with her daughters M and J in the Austin, TX area. She is divorced and works in higher education information technology.

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Guest Post: Counting Higher Than Two

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Categories Mommy Issues, PregnancyTags , , , 29 Comments

Mommy, Esq. is a lawyer at a Big Firm and mom to almost 10 month old twins, Edmund (Ned) and Penelope. In between conference calls and deal closings she thanks her lucky stars for an unbelievable Husband (and co-parent) and nanny. You can find her blog about Big Law and the three loves of her life at www.mommyesq.com.

Goddess in Progress has discussed her struggles around whether or not to go for number three and Laura C has also blogged about knowing she is happy with two rambuncious boys. This may shock some of you moms of multiples out there but my husband and I decided to start trying for a third kid right around month 5 with our newborn twins.

If I saw me through a lens I would think we were crazy. After all, I work too much, Husband travels too much, we haven’t even figured out how to be parents – why add another baby into the mix? You may be toying with the idea yourself so I thought I’d let you in on all the discussions we’ve had since deciding to take the plunge:

1. Parenting is Fun. Husband and I originally decided to have kids because “hey, that’s what you do”. If you love each other and want to pass on your values and genetic code you force the next generation to suffer through your parenting mistakes. We both can’t believe how much we like it. It’s not always pretty but we think someday we’ll love our kids not only because of their genetic code but because we helped raise them into loving, self-sufficient (here’s hoping) adults.

2. Did You See My Gray Hair(s)? We started trying for kids before I turned 30. Two years and 2 rounds of Clomid later, we discovered we were having twins. My mom had her FOURTH kid at 32. I’m not getting any younger so I want to have another kid while I can – ideally before I’m 35. The bigger and as-of-yet unresolved issue is whether we undergo any fertility treatments if we don’t have any success in the next 6 months. Husband says no way. I say, hmmm…. [noncommittal noises].

3. TWO MORE? Since I’m a triplet there is some possibility – and every mom of multiples fear – that we could end up pregnant again with two (or more) even without fertility treatments. We’re okay with that. Seriously. I not-so-secretly think having two babies at once is more of a joy than one even when factoring in the headaches that go into two babies. I also think that the third kid might feel a bit left out so why not have another set of twins?

4. Little Helpers vs. Bring On the Chaos. Lots of moms wait until multiples kids are older to have more kids. I’m more of the mindset that we lump the diapers, the potty training, the assertion of independence right in a row so we “get it over with” (can you tell I’m not a big fan of the “newborn” phase?). My brother was 6 years younger than my sisters and me and while yes, we were able to make him breakfast and eventually drive him around we weren’t close or “played” together in any way until he became a full-fledged adult. As my kids have started to go through the development leap phase (as of yet unsuccessful) and I have spent some time with my 2.5 year old nephew I know it will be hard, very hard to have 3 kids under the age of 2 or 3 (since time is ticking without any results). But won’t it be better once they are all 5 and 7, right? Right? Plus if we delay then we could love the self-sufficiency of having older kids so much we don’t dare create new chaos. To be honest I was sort of hoping I would get pregnant my first month back at work so I could keep everything off balance.

5. Logistics/Money. It’s not going to be cheap and it’s not going to be easy. We’ll continue with our retirement savings goals and try to save for their college costs. Our primary financial goal is that we don’t want to have to rely on our kids to support us in old age – even knowing that social security and Medicaid will likely be bankrupt when we retire. I’d like to tell you we carefully looked at our finances but frankly it’s a crap shoot. We have enough faith in ourselves that we can make it work.

Our family would be complete without any more kids; but we have room in our hearts for more. What about you, readers: When is the best time for another kid after multiples (if ever)? Would you go for more if it involved fertility treatments?

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