Did you have help? Are they natural? Are they twins? Did you breastfeed? How did you do it? When did you sleep? Did you have them “naturally?” Were you on bedrest? How long did you carry them?
These are the questions that I have been asked since our family doubled in size with the addition of our triplets E, H, and G. They seem to be the “normal” questions for a mom of multiples and since everyone is always curious…let’s just get this out of the way.
Warning: Some of my answers “may” be snarky. My triplets are almost 7 and I guess the questions are starting to get “old” and yet I encounter someone nearly everyday who asks them. I try to be understanding of those who have never had multiples and I am always answering them with a smile. But this is my blog and here I can tell you how I really feel. 😀
Ha! No, I’m kidding. April Fool’s! You have 5 kids? Why do people always ask this? Are their people in your life who joke about this?? If so, slap them. Maybe when I tell people I have triplets I should first say, “okay, this may seem like a joke but it’s not…I have triplets.” Would this help?
Did you have help?
Yes and no. This is different for all families. I was too embarrassed, shy, etc. to ask for much help from friends. At the time, Shawn and I did not have family living in the area nor did we have the amazing community of friends we have now. My mother-in-law was able to help out a ton while the triplets were in the NICU, where I was on my own in a hospital far from family and friends, but returned home a week after the “babies” came home.
My friend who had also had a baby came weekly for playdates and to help with some laundry. We had many contribute meals in the first few months. However, day to day child care was all on me. It was tough but we survived. Shawn and I took feeding duty together at night.
This question bothers me, mostly because I don’t know what specifically people are asking or why it matters. Maybe it’s because it’s usually followed by the statement “I could never do it!” Snark: Do you truly know this? It’s not as if I planned to have multiples all my life. However, God was gracious and gave us triplets. There is a saying that “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” You never know what you are capable of until you are asked. I was given the task of being a mother of 5, including a set of multiples. He knew I could handle it…with His help and grace.
Are they natural?
Let’s be frank. This is an awkward conversation for everybody. Every child is natural. An egg and a sperm have to come together in order to create a child. What you really want to know is if we used infertility. We did use insemination. Now you know. Please try not to ask this question of too many people because basically you are asking about their sex lives and if you ask about mine, I get to ask about yours.
Are they twins?
I actually got this a lot and spent a lot of time pointing out the HUGE differences between the boys because I assumed they were specifically asking if the boys were identical twins. I never understood this either because if one would look, even now, you would know that they are absolutely NOT identical. Finally, I realized that the answer I should be giving is (um…hello) no, they are triplets.
Did you breastfeed them all?
Another question I find 100% awkward. We are, in fact, talking about my boobs. Would you also like to know my bra size?? Then because #momguilt I have to go into a huge long explanation of how hard it was to get two of them to nurse. How I pumped literally half of the day away and was able to provide 70-80% of their daily needs. I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding and I also believe that there are huge disservices done to women in this area. However, this is a very personal subject and it’s hard to not feel like maybe I should’ve tried harder to breastfeed all of them or quit earlier since it was mentally and physically exhausting to pump so much.