Here’s the thing…being pregnant is a blessing. It’s an amazing process that has an incredible end result. Twins? Double the joy! They’re exciting. They’re also somewhat unique. Because of this, there are all sorts of comments that come out when people find out you’re having them! Some are supportive and uplifting. Others leave you questioning yourself and wondering why they came out in the first place.
Just for fun, I thought I’d put together this little list of comments to avoid when you find out your friend is having twins. These also apply to mamas and soon-to-be-mamas having singletons! Pregnancy is hard and one seemingly innocent comment can make it even harder!
1. Were you trying for two? Were they conceived “naturally?”
This may come across as a simple, straightforward question. But, it’s sort of loaded. It’s also asking if we went through fertility treatments, a painful process that some may not comfortable talking about.
2. Do twins run in your family?
Loaded question, just like #1. It opens up a whole lot of other questions (the same opened by number one). For me, it also brings up a personal history of adoption that I may or may not be comfortable sharing with the world. You don’t know where someone is coming from, so keep the questions surface level.
3. Any comments on size.
We might look huge (in which case we’re probably insecure). We might look small (in which case we might worry about the health of our babies). We might feel like a tractor trailer. We might feel insecure looking in mirrors and be terrified about how we can stretch further, we may even burst into tears. You just never know. Keep appearance comments to a minimum.
4. That’s so exciting! I always wanted twins!! My best friend has twins!
Yes. We’ve established that twins are exciting. They’re also terrifying. Most of us have no idea what they future holds. We’re scared about delivery. We’re scared about how we’re going to handle it all. We have no idea how the balancing act is going to go. It’s awesome that you’ve always wanted twins, but try to see where we’re coming from and offer a little support, or a hug. Especially if that comment leads to tears that you never expected!
5. I hope you have (two girls, two boys, one of each, etc).
That’s fun and all. But, we’re focused on healthy babies here. Yes, I know if I have two more boys that I’ll have four boys. This doesn’t mean I value them any less than girls. Whether we’re finding out what we’re having or want to be surprised, be excited no matter what. Saying you’re hoping for one or the other (when you have nothing to do with the pregnancy…harsh but true), is the same as saying “I’ll be disappointed if you DON’T have (two girls, two boys, one of each, etc.).
6. Are you scared about delivery? Do you have to have a c-section? I had a c-section, you’ll be fine.
The simple answer for ANY pregnant woman, especially one having twins is yes. Of course we’re scared. We’re terrified. Having twins is a whole new ball game. We have weekly doctor appointments where we talk about delivery. We don’t know whether we’ll need a c-section or not (in many cases). If we do, we’re terrified, especially if we’ve never had one before. We’re scared to go through a painful delivery and then take care of two babies. We’re happy you have a happy birth story, but once again, we’re focused on staying healthy and keeping the babies healthy. Please be supportive!
7. Better you than me!
Wow. Thanks for that! That’s another way of saying “tough luck.” Remember, we are still excited and feel blessed! Please don’t downplay this!
8. How are you going to manage?
Simple answer: we have no idea. But, lots of other mamas have made it happen so we’re pretty sure we can too! We are also scared about this. We may have jobs, other kids, other responsibilities, and we can’t comprehend the idea…but we are spending these 9 months preparing ourselves for it! We’re spending money, taking classes and talking to other twin mamas like crazy to absorb all the information that we can and to get ready for what’s ahead!
9. You still have XX weeks to go?!
This is another way of commenting on our size (in some cases, at least that’s how we’re likely to take it). It also brings up all of the fears that have been mentioned in this piece. We’re already a little more sore than we would be if we were carrying one and we spend every day counting down to our little ones’ arrival!
10. Horror stories: twins in NICU, vaginal delivery of one twin/c-section for the other, loss of a twin or both twins, labors that went haywire, etc.
It probably sounds like a given to most people. But I can count and recall quite a few of these conversations. I know sometimes it’s hard to know what to say and those are the stories that stick with you. But, once you share them with me, they’re going to stick with me too. Please don’t use fear to further a conversation. Even if I don’t react in person, I will probably break down later on.
This might sound like a little bit of an over the top vent. But, when faced with these questions every day, when already struggling through things, it can be hard! Whenever possible, just think about what could be beneath the question…then proceed with caution! 🙂
Wondering what to say instead? Here are a few ideas!
- Congratulations! How are you feeling about everything?
- What can I do to support you? Where are you feeling a little lost?
- Let’s get together to relax, chat and do nothing!
- Is your house ready? Can I come help set things up?
- How are the (other kids) handling everything?
- As the delivery date approaches…”Are there any last minute details you’re working on?”
- You look GREAT! (even when we don’t! We appreciate the positiveness!)
- POSITIVE birth stories. We love hearing about successful twin deliveries and parents who have survived the infant stage! It encourages us and keeps us going! If you have a best friend with twins, let us know, introduce us! We have hundreds of questions about schedules, needed products and purchases and everything else under the sun!
- I’m praying for you! I know for me, this means the world! This past weekend, John’s grandmother shared that I’m at the top of her prayer list. It brought me to tears because it just meant so very much!
- I’m excited for you and will be here for you!
Having twins, whether it’s our first or fifth pregnancy is a whole new ball game, something most of us have never thought of or prepared for. We want to invite you into our new world and to share where we’re at, but when we’re surrounded by questions that we’re not comfortable with and comments that sometimes seem a little out of place, we shut down (especially those of us on the introvert side of the spectrum!).
If you’ve made one or a few of the comments above, please don’t stress! That’s not what this is about. I’ve been there too. Until you’re in the situation, you have no idea what comes with everything. Just move forward a little differently next time!
Great post Laura! Being a twin, I remember hearing my parents talk about the joys of having twins, the stress of caring for 2 newborns at once, but also the fun of David and I always having a friend the same age. Good luck and I think you look fabulous!!
Birth Without Fear is a great website that has lots of encouragement for mommas of twins. And lots of birth stories.
I hope your pregnancy continues to go well. You look wonderful!
I love that site! I have been checking it out daily!