Archive for April 13th, 2009

Ever since I got pregnant with my babies, I have endured an endless parade of questions dancing around the “Are they natural?” question. Most people simply come right out and ask it. Some people say, “Do multiples run in your family?” Some people say, “Did you know you were having triplets?” Others say, “Did you do fertility?” or “Did you take those pills?”

Personally, I find all of these questions offensive (with the possible exception of whether multiples run in my family, which I mostly brush off). I believe that asking me any question about how my children were conceived is flat-out rude and is akin to asking me about my sex-life. How would someone feel if my response to “are they natural?” was, “Did you have sex to have your singleton?” I’m quite certain most people would be quite taken aback, as well they should be. It’s not a polite question to ask, is it?

So there’s a prominent family in our community, and their daughter just had triplets a month ago. I was called upon to help them in a variety of ways. Their daughter came down to stay with them for the holiday (and probably will stay for several weeks afterward). We had lunch with them last week and it was lovely and I got to hold and feed the triplets and, well, I was in heaven. I do so love babies. It helped remind me of why I’m going through all this crap. I mean, not to have THREE at once. But that snuggly little baby. Oh yes.

Anyway, I mentioned to another friend that I’d had lunch there and she said, “Oh! Did you get to see the triplets?” Of course I did. “So, um, do you know if… well, you know, we’re all speculating… though I guess we really shouldn’t be, but you’d know better than any of us, whether they were – “

I cut her off right there.

“I wouldn’t answer that question, even if I did know the answer to that question. It’s not anyone’s business.”

I should mention that the friend I was speaking with is pregnant right now, with twins. This is her fourth pregnancy, a spontaneous, surprise pregnancy, with her fourth and fifth children.

I explained that the question is completely inappropriate and, in my opinion, is akin to asking about someone’s sex life because it’s asking about the conception of one’s children. “No it’s not! It’s completely different! There’s nothing wrong with that question!” She insisted. Furthermore, she said, “People ask me all the time if I did fertility treatment to have my twins and it doesn’t bother me a bit!”

“That’s because you didn’t do fertility treatment.”
“That’s not true!”
“You did do fertility treatment?”
“No, I didn’t. But if I did, I wouldn’t mind people asking me.”


I wrote about her earlier, actually. When I’d first found out she was pregnant. I couldn’t find the post to link to it. But she’s one of the sweetest, most generous, most supportive people I know. But she’s also one of the most clueless people I know when it comes to this stuff. She never could understand why I was petrified throughout my HOM pregnancy despite the fact that she was there through the times I was in and out of the hospital for preterm labor and through all the monitoring and bed rest and scary stuff that happened to me. But when I got to the end and had healthy babies her answer was, “See? You had healthy babies just like I said you would, I told you you shouldn’t be so worried.”


Here’s the thing. If you acknowledge that you’re speculating about something behind somebody’s back. And you acknowledge that you probably shouldn’t be. And if you’re not willing to walk straight up to that person and simply ask them the question outright, then surely you must recognize and acknowledge that there is something indecent and inappropriate about the question in the first place, don’t you??

The family isn’t sharing the details, and it’s none of anyone’s business. I know that I’m a bit of an enigma because I don’t exactly hide the fact that we did fertility treatment to get our three. But you know? There wasn’t really any hiding it anyway. We went through five years and a foster son before having HOMs – I’m pretty sure everyone figured it out!!! They’re not as dumb as I’d like to think they are. So I don’t hide it. But neither do I bring it up as casual dinner conversation, either, unless I’m with fellow infertiles or people who “get it.” It’s not something I expect people to bring up by asking if my children are natural.

All babies are natural. There’s no such thing as a baby made out of space-age polymer.

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