Double The Pleasure, Double The Fun!
No matter what people say to you, they generally mean well. For moms and twins, they often really have to grin and bare it, because they hear some of the goofiest and sometimes downright rude statements moms have ever had to hear. What should you not say to a twin mom? Here's a basic primer.
"Are they twins?"
It seems like a simple conversation starter, but moms of twins report that this is one of the most annoying questions strangers and casual acquaintences can ask. "No, I just had them really close in age," one mom told me she likes to say in response -- the looks she gets are priceless. Yes, it's possible that a woman would be out and about with two babies who are the same age that aren't twins (such as a babysitter) but it's really more likely that the mom has twins.
"Did you plan to have twins?"
I don't know about you, but I think hoping to have twins and actually physically planning to have a set are two entirely different things. For starters, if you're not going through in vitro fertilization, it's basically impossible to physically try for a two-for-one special. Certain fertility drugs, such as Clomid, can cause extra eggs to release each cycle too, sometimes resulting in twins. But outside of these situations, you can't really "try" for twins.
"Did you use fertility medication?"
This one falls out of the silly category and into the invasive and rude category. While the question may be sincere -- that is, the asker is genuinely curious -- this question is one that should only be asked by a close friend or family member, and she probably already knows the answer. Someone's fertility history is just like any other medical history -- if the information is not offered to you, don't ask about it.
"Did you have a C-section?"
This is another question that is too personal for casual acquaintances. Method of birth is a fun discussion topic in some circles, such as in a mother's group or at a breastfeeding support meeting, but asking someone you barely know if she had a vaginal delivery or a surgical one is on the nosy side.
"Do twins run in your family?"
When someone is first expecting a baby, it can be fun to think back to their family tree and try to decide if someone has twins in their family. For starters, identical twins just happen -- a fertilized egg splits into two early on in development and you get two babies with identical DNA. Fraternal twins happen when Mom ovulates two eggs and both get fertilized, which results in twins that are related like any other sibling -- but they just happen to be born at the same time. Fraternal twinning is the type that can have a genetic component, but it's only if Mom has fraternal twins on her side of the family.
The bottom line? If Dad is a twin of any sort or has any in his family, or if Mom has identical twins in her family tree, it won't make Mom more likely to ovulate two eggs at once, and it won't have any bearing on splitting early on in the process. And asking a twin mom if she has twins in her family is a question she's heard a thousand times before.