Actually, yes, they do. There are three sets of fraternal twins on my Mom’s side of the family (though not since my grandma’s generation). But obviously I know that’s not why hubs and I are pregnant with twins.
When I told my two bosses we were pregnant last week, one of their first questions was, “Do twins run in your family?” And then when the news began spreading around the office, and various co-workers stopped by my cube to say congrats (soooo surreal but wonderful!), that question was asked at least another half-dozen times.
I know some of you bravely share your IF struggles with others. And I think that is AWESOME! Perhaps you will be frustrated or saddened by this revelation, but the truth is that I am not one of those people. For me, IF has been a very private journey (in my real life, of course not on this blog). And I simply DO NOT want to share my reproductive history and sex life with coworkers or random strangers or even most of my friends.
So when people ask if twins run in my family, I say something like, “a couple of generations ago there were twins on my mom’s side!” or just “yes, actually, they do.”
I also say “YES!!!” when people ask if twins were a surprise. (Seriously? Yeah, of COURSE they were. Does anyone “expect” twins?) But I’ve decided that people who ask that are actually asking if I underwent fertility treatments in a less invasive way than “Did you undergo fertility treatments?” And by the way, people ask that, too—several coworkers and a friend so far. “Did you do IVF?” “Did you take Clomid?” etc. It’s amazing what people will ask.
I am learning that when you’re having twins, that’s just how it goes.
So far I’ve kept pretty darn quiet about our 10 months of infertility treatment. Our parents know. One dear friend of mine knows the whole saga (she is not connected at all to my college friends and 100% keeps it to herself). Another friend in NYC knows I couldn’t get my period after going off the pill (I confided in her when we were visiting friends last Thanksgiving, back when I thought 100mg of Clomid the next month would be my answer—ha!) so I’m sure she’s put this all together. My older brother knows we had some help. And that’s it. (Besides you awesome bloggies!)
But then on Monday my SIL (hubs’s brother’s wife) sent me a really sweet congratulations email. She’s a physician’s assistant and I guess that automatically means she’s been schooled in fertility stuff. Because over the course of emails she asked if twins run in my family. I said yes and figured that was that. But then in the next email she outright asked if—even though they run in my family—they were conceived “au natural or if we used Clomid or something.”
It was really nosy and I was taken off guard. But it’s also, like, well, she’s in medicine and she’s family and she wasn’t asking in a mean or ignorant way, but in a curious and loving way. And it’s one thing to blur the details or evade the truth with strangers and coworkers. It’s another thing to lie to family. You know? It rocked my internal ethical code, as much as I wanted to lie. Plus, it crossed my mind that hubs’s Mom knows about our struggles (as of last April) and while I trust her, I wonder if she couldn’t help but hint at our issues to her kids?
So I said to my SIL, “We did have some help, but were so lucky it didn’t come to IVF. Please keep that between you and BIL.” And then she wrote back congratulating me again, apologizing if she had been prying and promising not to discuss with anyone else, and that she was interested because of her career in medicine.
I still don’t know if I did the right thing by opening the kimono, so to speak. It has really been bothering me. And I can’t figure out if that’s because she knows my secret or if I’m bothered that it bothers me so much.
I’m so protective of how these sweet babies were conceived. I want to shield hubs, myself and—most important—both of them from the stupidity that is out there. And maybe I’m perpetuating that stupidity and stigma by not courageously sharing our story. But I am shy, I am very private, and this incredibly dark and difficult time has been something between hubs and me. I’m not ready to let the whole world in on all of the miracles we have been blessed enough to benefit from—low-dose HCG, Gonal-F, trigger HCG, ultrasounds, blood tests, progesterone supps, IUIs, the brilliant Dr. Awesome, amazing nurses, and on and on and on….
The truth is that these babies are honest to goodness miracles and we are so so so so so blessed and grateful and bursting with happiness because of them. No stranger/friend/family member/coworker can take that away from us.