Sometimes when people realize that Cass and I are BOTH the moms, they will just turn on their heel and walk away. Mid-sentence. That's disheartening, but I guess it's better than them saying something in a tone that would scare the kids. Others will approach us and say, "I think your family is GREAT. Keep up the good work and best of luck!" Fortunately, there are more of the latter than the former. And that gives me hope.
We get a lot of questions about the "donor". Gotta be honest, I don't even really think about him. Cassie got a blood transfusion when she had Drew, but we don't spend much time thinking about the person who donated the blood. Before the IVF procedure, we spent a lot of time choosing a donor. We looked for intelligence, values, and, obviously, looks. But the second we conceived, the girls became all ours. And while they inherited genes from the generous stranger who donated sperm, all their traits and habits are uniquely their own. So, I'm always a bit startled when people ask about the donor. Simply because, well, I kinda forget he had anything to do with this at all. I look for characteristics that remind me of Cass or her family. But the things that are unfamiliar just become unique to the child.
Most strangers with questions are well-intentioned. We're an unusual spectacle, and we know it, so we expect some inquiries. But, wow. Some people. It seems that since we have the gall to appear in public, people feel entitled to ask either the dumbest or the most personal of questions:
"Did you have them vaginally?" Dude. Did you just say "vaginally" to me? In Safeway? Who the hell asks that? In return, I usually ask them about their bowels.
"How big did you get?" Well, this is a tough one. Do they want my weight? Our combined weights? A measurement of some sort? I usually say, "even bigger than I am now". A fat girl saying that usually embarrasses them and they move on.
"Are they natural?" How does one answer this? "Yes, but they use artificial sweeteners..."? "They are cyborgs?" I know they're asking if we used fertility drugs, but again, you are a stranger. I am extreme-coupon-shopping for Triscuits. Go away!
"Which one is the smart one/cute one/brat?" I dunno, but I bet I can guess who the stupid one is in YOUR family!
"Are they identical?" I realize I see them all the time and can easily tell them apart. But, seriously. Drew is 3 inches taller than the other two with green eyes, while the others have blue. So, um?
Most of our friends and family are pretty well-versed on the whole situation, so they've had their questions answered. And we don't mind their questions because they know us. But there have been some comments that blew me away.
One friend said, "Now that you've been pregnant, don't cheat on each other with men. You'll be much more likely to get pregnant." I'm SO glad you told me. I was just waiting for a free weekend so I could cheat with a man. But now I won't. You saved me a lot of heartache...
One incredibly ballsy friend said, "The girls are old enough now for daycare. It's time for you to get a job." She has not been invited back.
I'm always amused (and not-so-amused) when people tell me they know "JUST what we're going through!" They say, "Oh, my two sons were born 2 years apart, so I know JUST what you're going through!" or "I raised FOUR kids, so I know JUST what you're going through!" (Of course, those four kids took 12 years to all be born...) Actually, you don't know what we're going through. Don't get me wrong, our kids are miracles and our worlds revolve around them. But, having three newborns, then three infants, then three toddlers is just not the same as having a 12-year-old, an 8-year-old, a 4-year-old, and a baby. Not saying that isn't insanely hard--it undoubtedly is. Nor am I saying this is necessarily harder. It's just different and it comes with challenges (and joys!) that are unique.
Generally speaking, I really enjoy answering people's questions. I am so proud of my girls and, to be honest, with us! It's a story that's hard to tell in soundbites, and I worry about some fools' reactions, but overall, it's my favorite subject to discuss!