Questions, Questions, And More QuestionsNov 21, 2000 Write an essay on this topic.
Oh, the fascination with the unknown. Despite the fact that, as an expectant parent, you are told that 1 in 82 conceptions is a multiple conception (that number skyrockets to 1 in 40 if you factor in fertility treatments), people are still overly curious about multiple births.
Whether twins, triplets or (oh my goodness!) quadruplets, see a set of multiples in public and the questions start to fly. Now, admittedly, we used to be part of that part of the general population, but now that we have crossed over to the dark side (parents of multiples), Iím struck dumb by some of the questions that we field. Many are well meaning, but a few really do border on the absurd.
Iím sure other parents of multiples will recognize some of the questions, and maybe get a little chuckle out of them. Similarly, I bet many others will be able to recall asking these questions at least once before. I will warn you that there is at least one question on the list that is truly obscene; I truly hope that we were the only ones ever subjected to it.
So hereís my list of the top 7 questions weíve fielded since the birth of the Boom Brothers:
7. Which one is older?
Well, technically neither. Thing 1 and Thing 2 are identical; by definition, that means they were conceived at the same time. Furthermore, the born via C-Section, so there birth was recorded a minute apart because thatís how long it took to lift the little buggers out, but it was arbitrary and determined by man. Weíve actually met parents of twins who never told anyone, not even the twins, which one was delivered first. With our monsters, itís interesting that most people assume that the one that was delivered second is the oldest because he is about a pound and a half larger and is usually the first one to figure out a new way to destroy something. However, the one that delivered first is actually the more stubborn of the two and is the stronger and more agile of the two.
6. Do they have different personalities?
Uh huh. Everybody does; thatís what makes us human. Sure, there are similarities; after all, they are usually subjected to the same stimuli at the same time at the same point of development. Additionally, the same people in the same environment are raising them. But they do have their idiosyncrasies, as almost any siblings would.
5. Are you going to have any more?
Any more twins or any more children? I mean, we didnít plan on the first set, so I can comfortably say that we are not planning on a second set, but recent history has proven me wrong before! Closely aligned with this are comments like ďI always wanted twins,:Ē or, ďI wish that I had twins the first time so that I could get it over with in one shot.Ē Well, the only people that Iíve heard say, ď I always wanted twins,Ē are people that didnít have them. Donít get me wrong, I love my sons and wouldnít change a thing, but I donít know anyone in their right mind that would willfully sign up for 600 diaper changes a month! And as for the getting it over in one shot crack, thatís a lot like saying youíd like to get all of your teeth pulled at the same time to cut down on your toothpaste costs.
4. Were you expecting twins?
We think this is the funniest of them all. Itís the politically correct way of asking us if the boys were conceived naturally, or were they a marvel of medical science. Itís actually funny, but weíve found that people now assume that if you have multiples, you had help. Well, for those of you still curious, the research weíve seen suggests that identical twins can only be conceived naturally. Then again, doctors used to think that saccharine couldnít harm you either.
3. Are there twins in either of your families?
Couldnít tell you. Getting back to that figure about 1 in 82 conceptions being a multiple conception, a lot of women conceive multiples and all but one of the fetuses is either absorbed or never matures and is expelled. Medical care has improved such that more and more multiples are surviving, but going back in history, the likelihood that women in our families may have conceived multiples and never knew is probably high. But hereís a scary thought for all you aspiring parents: Identical twins are not genetically predetermined. Fraternal twins are. So identical twins can happen to anybody. Heh heh.
2. Were you nervous when you found out that you were having twins?
This one always confused me. As anyone that has ever had a baby knows, there are so many emotions surrounding the birth of a child, I donít think it makes a difference whether youíre having 1, 2 or 3. I really donít think that the prospect of more than 1 is any more mind numbing than the thought of being a parent in general. And for us, it was actually a relief. At the time that the doctors first did the pregnancy test, he said that the hormone levels werenít high enough for there to be multiples. Then, at 13 weeks, the doctor was concerned at my wifeís size, so he scheduled a sonogram to make sure that there werenít fibroids or a tumor or some sort of abnormal growth. The fact that the only thing wrong was that we were having two healthy babies was a really a blessing.
And the most bizarre, and clearly the most ridiculous question weíve gotten to date:
1. If you had to choose to save the life of one of your twins, which would it be?
Oh yes, we really did get this question. Thinking back to it, Iím still speechless at the thought that someone could ask such a pointless and stupid question. For starters, why would twins be different than any two children? How could you even ask a parent to make such a choice?
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