Everything Twins Twin Life

10 “annoying” questions our mom gets asked about having twins, answered by our mom!

(This blog post was written by our beautiful mama, Tammy Gaffke. Enjoy!)

Being a mom of twins, I have been asked all sorts of questions. There is something curious about seeing a mom toting around two children who look extremely alike. I get it! To this day, if I see a mom with twins, I coo and make a comment to whoever I am with, “Look! Twins! and you bet, if the situation allows, I will ask the mama about her precious two.

As my girls gave answers to their top 10 questions they get asked as twins, they have requested me (their mama) to piggy-back on their article; and answer 10 questions I often got asked being a mom of twins. And just to be clear, I was NEVER annoyed by people who are curious. I love talking about my girls, I am fascinated by them too. So here I go…

10 “annoying” questions our mom gets asked about having twins, answered by our mom!

(You can read my daughters’ answers to their top 10 FAQ’s by clicking HERE)

  1. Do twins run in your family?

Yes. My grandpa, on my mother’s side, was a twin. Also on my mother’s side, both of my great grandmas were twins. However, I do not have memory of this being talked about prior to my surprising discovery. I had never considered that I may have twins one day.

2. When did you find out you were having twins?

At my twelve-week appointment, the doctor told me I was measuring too large for the dates I gave since my last cycle. I was told the baby could be felt at my naval and it was expected to be found just above the pelvic bone. I went to my scheduled ultrasound expecting to get an accurate due date, never considering there may be two bodies setting up shop inside of me.

3. Did you carry your twins to full term?

I went into labor at 7 months. I was put on bed rest and prescribed medication to stop labor. Katie Lynn and Kristen Lee arrived at 36 weeks.

4. Did you get huge?

It was not so much that I got bigger with the pregnancy of the girls. I just got bigger faster. I was large on my first pregnancy with my 9lb 14oz son. He was almost 10lbs, and the girls together equaled a bit over 10lbs. If I had carried them to term…YIKES! That would have been BIG!

5. Did you breastfeed?

I breastfed for the first two weeks. At each feeding, one girl would be breast fed and the other would be formula fed. At the next feeding the offering would be switched. Even this rotation proved to be too much, and I realized the amount of stress it was producing was not something I could continue with.

(You can read my daughters’ answers to their top 10 FAQ’s by clicking HERE)

6. Did you ever get them mixed up?

No, Katie came home with a golf ball sized lump on her head as a result of sitting in my birth canal. So from the very beginning, there was no mixing them up. But even without a lump, the girls always looked distinctly different to me. 

Katie & Kristen in my arms

7. What was it like to have two babies, and how did you do it?

When the girls arrived, their brother Michael was 20 months old. At the time of trying to conceive, we knew we wanted two children, and we wanted them 24 months(ish) apart. I did not expect to get pregnant so quickly. I did not expect to get a set of babies rather than a single birth. Needless to say, our home was very full with three babies. My clearest memory of this time was of someone ALWAYS crying. It seemed when one would cry, the other would start. If one woke up crying, it was not long before the other would follow.

Bedtime came with spectacular challenges. And then there was our toddler with his own set of needs. I attended to the child by prioritizing who had the greatest need. Going places was a big job, but we did it. I have never had such beautifully sculpted arms as when I carried a baby in each arm. And to think my toddler would walk along side of me holding on to my pant leg; what a sight we must have been! Now I consider having three in diapers and three in bottles with feelings of awe. Raising babies is what I did. I remember telling myself that things would get easier once the girls were three. And it is true. Life really did get easier after the girls were three and Michael was five. I cannot speak of this time without expressing appreciation for the great support our household received from my mom and mother-in-law.

Katie, Kristen and their big brother, Michael.

8. Are they twins? Are they triplets?

I was regularly stopped by people, simply asking if the girls were twins. I would say they were, as the onlooker would continue to openly stare and comment. This was all fine except for when they would overlook big brother who was right in front of them and just as amazing as his sisters. One summer when they were all in elementary school and their development seemed to be even with one another, we would get asked if they were triplets. That was a fun summer!

Katie, Kristen, and Michael – 20 months apart.

Big brother, Michael.
Katie, Kristen & Michael all grown up!

9. You look too young to have three children. (aka…How old were you when you had your children?)

OK, full disclosure. This may have been an annoying (and rude) question, depending on the attitude of the person inquiring. This is a sensitive and tender topic for me. I was a young mom by choice, not accident. I felt the looks of judgment and heard the comments spoken. In hindsight, I do think it is wise to wait and have children at an older age. But I did not do that. It did not serve me well to have harsh comments and judgements sent my way. I may have been young, but I adored my children and was completely invested in figuring out motherhood. I made many mistakes. I know every moment was a gift of God’s grace and goodness. He was watching over us and protecting us. Thankfully, I had a family, friends, and a church community who embraced my sweet, crazy family. The answer to the question is, Michael was born right after I turned 20. Katie & Kristen came right before I turned 22.

Me (Tammy) - 23 years old, Scott (aka Dad)- 25 years old, Katie & Kristen -18 months old
Me (Tammy) – 23 years old, Scott (aka Dad)- 25 years old, Katie & Kristen -18 months old

10. The question I wished I were asked- What would you tell a parent who is expecting twins?

A vivid memory I have is from when I was visibly pregnant with the girls. A beautiful, older African American man was visiting with me. It came up that I was pregnant with twins. In his deep, deliberate voice he told me he also had twins and what a great blessing they were to his family…I mean this man GUSHED about the blessing his twins were. He went on to say what a blessing my twins would be to our family. This kindness came at a time when I needed the encouragement. Thinking back, it makes me teary. He did not judge me with my young face, small son, and large belly. He only encouraged me and spoke positive words over me. This is the message I give to any parent who is expecting or has twins that have newly arrived.
Though the announcement of twins came as a huge surprise to us, God knew the plan and future He had instore for our family. My husband and I have been so blessed by our three children. We love being their parents and it continues to be a fun journey!

(You can read my daughters’ answers to their top 10 FAQ’s by clicking HERE)