For my fellow twin moms, you know the questions and comments that always come up.
- Are they twins? ( In fairness, a safe question, much better than assuming.)
- Wow, you must have your hands full!
- Double trouble! (or the one I love : Double the Blessing) (not kidding, I really love that)
- Do twins run in your family?
- Were they natural?
Honestly, I don't really mind most of the questions. They are normal for people that don't have or know twins. They are curious and they are interested about the two carbon copies looking back at them. I know there are situations where I have asked the typical questions, because I just have no clue and am genuinely curious. Those moments when you don't know what to say and don't even think about how many times the person in front of you has answered the same questions long before you asked them. I am honored that people are willing to take time out of their day to talk about my kids with me. Even when they think it is okay to essentially inquire about the functional state of my eggs and uterus.
I always answer with a smile and make the polite conversation. There are moments when I am tempted to say "Yes. My husband's super swimmers were so powerful that they essentially split my egg in two."
It is the asking if they are identical that sets me on edge. Not because these kind people intend any harm with a perfectly reasonable question. It is because there is so much emotion behind it. There is so much I want to blurt out to them, so much more than just a simple answer.
I know the boys don't look completely alike. G-man is a half inch taller and a good 4 pounds heavier. His head and face are a little more round. E-Dude has a longer face and a leaner physique. The question is reasonable.
But it makes me want to cry. It makes me want to say "After an in womb surgery, a marginal cord placement, a sac rupture, 8 weeks of prematurity, diagnosis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, 4 months of being on oxygen and steroids, plus a noticeable case of NICU head, I know they don't look identical. But genetically, they are." (Seriously, his flat NICU head was awful. We lovingly referred to him as Cro-Magnon Man until it started rounding out.)
I never say that to anyone. It is usually something like, "It was a rough pregnancy and they were 8 weeks early, and this little guy was on oxygen for awhile, so he has always been smaller."
This isn't meant to be a post of what to say or not say to a parent of twins. I suspect there are plenty of blog posts out there on the subject! It is more of a post for me to vent. How I hate twin to twin transfusion syndrome. How that stupid, killing, syndrome robbed my babies of their 'identicalness.'
I know that is petty and stupid. Believe me, I know how lucky I am that they are both here, both happy, both healthy. They aren't the usual outcome and I am thankful each day for their very existence. I am painfully aware there are moms out there who don't get to snuggle with one or both of their babies and I should not complain.
I hate that I have to answer the question in any variation. "Are they identical?" (safer) or the "They aren't identical, are they?" I hate that it conjures up all of these rotten emotions and it makes a traditional, honest, and simple question into such a chore.
On a good day, I am able to remember the things that I love about these random interactions.
I love that people think my boys are adorable, that they sweet, that they are a blessing. I love that the boys get to hear people talk about how great they are. I love that E-Dude gets to hear his mommy tell people what a strong little fighter he is. How they both are sweet, strong, and thriving.
That they are truly miracles.