Boy and girl? So are they identical??

22 Dec

Pretty much every pregnant woman goes through the same routine once she starts to show. People stop her on on the street, in the grocery store, etc and let loose with a barrage of questions. If these people are of the “I’m oblivious to personal boundaries” variety, they’ll reach out and touch your tummy while asking questions. And frankly there is nothing more awkward than standing there helpless while someone is touching your tummy. I can never figure out what to do with my arms, so they just hang there, silently begging me to let them smack said toucher.

If you’re having twins, multiply these encounters exponentially, especially the unwelcome touches from strangers. And, for some odd reason, almost all grocery store encounters take place in the produce section. I haven’t yet figured out why that is yet.

I’ve found that I’m answering the same questions many, many times daily. Take, for example, my chiropracter’s office this morning. After seeing the Dr. for an adjustment, I usually have massage therapy with one of their therapists (and yes, it’s heavenly. And let me just note that it’s Patrick who suggested and set up my regular visits, because he’s just amazing like that). They have a number of therapists who rotate, so I almost always have a new one. So Dr. leads me to the therapist-of-the-week and tells them what treatment (it always sounds medical: “three units to the lower lumbar, stat” but it always just feels like someone rubbing my back with aromatherapy lotion while soothing music plays in the background) then notes “and she’s pregnant” so they know not to make me lay on my back. At these words, the therapist usually looks me up and down with a slight tinge of fear in their eye, like I’m going to explode all over their nice fancy table.

The interchangable massage therapist, hereafter known as IMT, excuses themselves to wash their hands while I get comfortable. IMT is usually gone a few more minutes than it takes to wash ones hands so I know they’ve really run over to the next room and frantically asked another IMT about massaging a pregnant lady. IMT returns and asks in a nervously high voice “so when’s your due date?” When I give them the official, but meaningless date of March 1, I can almost smell the relief. Which fits in well with the whole relaxation aromatherapy thing.

Then, to make conversation, IMT asks whether it’s a boy or girl. I tell them both, then brace my ears as this is always followed by a screech of the same decibel and tone, no matter who the person is. Usually they say “twins?!!” followed by an “oh my gosh” or a “bless your heart” or a “you poor thing.” I’m then asked a serious of questions, always in the same order and always with their expression betraying their thoughts, no matter the person. Was I surprised when I found out? I really mean horrified, because I would be horrified. Yes, yes I was surprised.  “Do twins run in your family?” OMG, could this happen to me? “Are these your first?” Holy crap, she has a toddler already?! What is she thinking?? I would just die! followed by “I hope you have lots of help” You’re gonna need it. Altough, it’s not like the world isn’t overpopulated enough already, maybe you deserve to be taught a lesson and then the conversation drifts off into silence.

If I’m at the grocery store or elsewhere, this is the point where I attempt to stroll away. If I’m with an IMT though, I’m trapped. And I’m never sure whether they want to keep talking or would prefer me to be quiet. I’d prefer quiet, personally. After all, it’s my time to relax and sometimes the tone of people’s questions/reactions seem aimed to stress me out. Like a receptionist today who I went through the same conversation with. When we got to the point where I told her I had a two year old, she gasped in horror. “You’re going to be, like, a nanny!!” Yes, or a mother.

Anyways, if I can’t escape the conversation at this point, it spirals into more personal territory, which is where I start to get annoyed (despite the way I describe the conversation above, I’m not too bothered by it, just the frequency of going through it). A sampling of the usual with my answers, just for you:

Are you terrified? Yes, but I was when I was expecting my first baby too. It’s just a different kind of terror. Shock, denial, bargaining, etc. And then you realize your life will no longer be your own and once you’ve given up, you’re at peace.

What does your husband think? and this one is always in hushed tones, like husbands routinely beat their wives for getting pregnant with twins. I’m always tempted to tell them in similarly hushed tones “He was pretty angry with me. He threatened to leave until I promised it would never happen again”

Do you have to have a c-section? chances are higher but everything looks great for now and we’re hoping to deliver normally, close to term, and with as little intervention as possible.

Are you planning to nurse? yes. can you imagine how much it would cost to buy double formula? I’d rather go topless for a year and deal with the curious fascination people have with a women breastfeeding a baby, let alone two. So we’re hoping I can nurse them but understand how much harder it is with two.

Are you going to get a nanny? um, do visiting grandmas count? if not, can you send me a gift card for that? a lady I just bought a stroller from on craigslist recommended a korean au pair. Can you get those on craigslist? Because we’re trying to save money.

You’re going to be huge! ok, this one is not a question, nor something I really want to think about, but thanks for the ray of sunshine. And for the record, I love my pregnant shape and think I’m rather cute at the moment. But ask me again in Feburary.

Belly shot at 31 weeksWhere'd they go??I always thought "from the back you don't look pregnant at all!" was just a lie people told me to make me feel better.


8 Responses to “Boy and girl? So are they identical??”

  1. Liz December 23, 2009 at 12:47 am #

    I think you look fantastic, and I’m not even saying that to be nice. I really, really do.

    What’s the advantage of a Korean au pair to, say, a Taiwanese one? Or a Brazilian au pair? Is there something specific to Korea that I don’t know about?

  2. Lydia December 23, 2009 at 1:56 am #

    I think you look adorable as well! A very very enviable cute pregnant shape. Seriously!! I say get the Catogni girls and make it an authentic au pair. And you know, if you really do reply with the ridiculous answer in a completely serious tone, it usually shuts them up. They either take you seriously, then you laugh; end of convo. or they just laugh along with and, again, end of convo. 😉 Just like with people wanting to hear that living overseas is like a nonstop vacation. Yes, yes it is. My life is amazing. Would you hand me that artichoke?

  3. mom & dad December 23, 2009 at 5:00 am #

    1)What about au pair of grandmas?
    2)Daddy and I think you look pretty darn cute too!
    Scratch that. You look beautiful.
    3)Ultimate stupid question? Where did she get her red hair? My why not answer with a deadpan look: The neighbor down the street.

  4. Nancy December 23, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    You are cute! And you cut your hair! 🙂

    Do you want to know what’s funny–people used to ask my brother and I if we were identical twins. Not only are we not twins, we’re two years apart, and…different, yeah.

    Anyway, I’m still excited for you.

    I have a friend who nursed her twins for a year–she had a nice pump, too, though. She said it wasn’t too tough once she got the hang of it.

    Sometimes I WISH I had a second baby to nurse (hello, my name is Lotsa Milk).

    I think you’ll do just fine.

    And, just think, since you don’t live in the ME anymore people won’t randomly come up and kiss your infants…grrrr…that’s my beef right now. 🙂

  5. Lisa December 26, 2009 at 11:47 pm #

    One thing I did with my twins in regards to feeding – I never have really produced a lot of milk so i knew it would be tough feeding two. So i combined nursing with formula and tried something that worked for me. At each feeding, I would nurse one baby and then give formula to the other baby. Then I would switch at the next feeding. Its definitely possible to breast feed two babies, i have two friends who both did it with their twins.

  6. Javi (not the brother) December 30, 2009 at 12:30 am #

    At my college graduation party, I made an opening statement and fielded questions because I knew I was going to get the same questions from EVERYBODY.

    I wish we could do this for big events where a person, couple, or a small group of people were the center of attention for everybody. It would make things a lot simpler. Because when it comes to a press conference, when you answer a question, it’s understood that you’ve given your answer and that you’re not going to be asked that again unless the situation changes.

    You guys should have made a written announcement, taken questions by email and answered the common ones in a video posted on YouTube or something. It would’ve worked.

  7. Lauren Quack December 30, 2009 at 6:59 pm #

    Hi Melissa! Funny blog! I’ve been laughing the whole time I’ve been reading it.
    I don’t think you look huge at all. You look great, in fact. 🙂 Good luck to you and I just realized that your twins and Baby Ava will probably share the same sign. She’s set to come in mid to late march.

  8. Nadine January 29, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    OK, sorry, but I know I’ve asked some of these questions more than once!

    I think my jaw dropped when I asked you if you’d found out what you were having and you answered “both”. I really thought you were joking! Mostly because you could carry off something like that… (yes, you could answer that your husband was angry you were pregnant with twins in a deadpan manner that would have people wondering as you laughed your way over to the bananas.)

    Still, (to my credit?) I haven’t attempted to rub your belly. Mostly cuz I find it an affront (especially when done without asking first), and what can another person really feel? Unless the baby is kicking, anyway.

    I loved the exclamation of you going to be like a Nanny. So, does that make me a day care leader? or is it mandatory to have more than one of the same age….?

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