I'm getting this question a lot lately. I expect I'll be getting a lot in the years to come. I'm not sure how to answer it.
Well, ok, that question isn't so hard to answer. The answer is no. Out of 50 billion people in my family, this will be the first set of twins.
It's the follow-up questions where things get awkward. There's always a moment of confusion that crosses the face of the person like "so, uh, explanation please?" and I know that they want to ask the next question, and I really don't care who knows what, but I'm also aware of the fact that people don't really want to discuss a persons infertility issues within 2 minutes of meeting them.
So the follow-up question is usually something along the lines of "Wow, did you have any idea that it might be twins?" There's only one answer to that question. Yes, I knew there were two embryos, we've been pregnant with twins before, I had every reason to think and hope that this pregnancy would also be twins.
Here's the thing, I can't lie. I don't do the little white lies that society makes us tell in order to allow a conversation to move forward in a polite and purely superficial manner. I would totally be the first person voted out of Survivor because of this little personality trait. It's a social convention that I simply don't understand. And after years of trying to understand it and work within it while growing up, one day I just threw up my hands, declared "fuck it" and decided that if someone asks me a question, I'll just answer the damned question rather than kill myself trying to figure out what they want to hear.
Part of this decision is due to my own failure to figure it out, and in part due to deciding that I'm simply not ashamed of a few things that I've had to deal with that most people keep politely behind closed doors. Behind closed doors indicates shame and I'm not ashamed. I battled bipolar disorder for years and despite the millions of people afflicted with this, how many in your life can you name? Probably not many because the struggle tends to be private. Not me. When people ask the opening question of "How are you?" I would respond politely, but honestly. "I'm having a bit of a difficult depression day, but I'm battling. How are you?"
It's the same with infertility. I have no shame. I really don't give a hoot who knows about my IVF or the fact that my periods are wonkalicious. But if it's mentioned, the conversation has no other avenues of moving forward. Unlike the depression answer that allows the conversation to move past that little information nugget, you just can't discuss anything else if I answer the twins question honestly.
Again, I'm not ashamed, I have no intention of keeping that part of my life hidden, and I don't care what strangers or colleagues know about it. However, I am aware of the fact that it's not the most pleasant of topics of conversation and complete strangers really don't want to walk away from meeting me for the first time with intimate knowledge of my reproductive organs.
So how the hell do I maneuver past that follow-up question? Again, I can't politely lie. Even if I try, it just kind of hangs in the air because there's obviously something big going unspoken and we all just smile at each other trying to figure out how to get out of this awkward silence.
So I'm open to suggestions. How would you answer that follow-up question? It needs to be honest, yet allow for the conversation to move past an infertility discussion. Wit is encouraged. Maybe something along the lines of "Oh, we had a whole medical team hoping for a delightful outcome." Would that work? Polite, honest, and doesn't drag down the conversation? Help!