What is your due date?
This is not as straightforward a question as you might think. The due date listed on all my doctor related paperwork says November 22, which would be 40 weeks. This would be accurate for a singleton pregnancy, however with each additional baby comes a shortened due date. The average time for twins is around 37 weeks, triplets 32 week, and quads just 30 weeks. My doctor would be thrilled if I could get to 32 weeks, as each additional day and week past 30 gives the babies more time to grow and develop and generally leads to shorter time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
30-32 weeks would give us a delivery of late September or early October.
How big will the babies be?
Our doctor explained this to us in depth a few weeks ago. He told us that with all the advances in medicine, one thing that has not changed is the capacity of a woman's uterus. Any given woman, Doc J. says, maxes out at about twelve pounds of babies. If you look up average weights online, you would find that twins average six pounds each, triplets average four pounds each and quads average three pounds each. Yes, all add up to twelve. So if everything goes well and everybody stays healthy, we would hope to have babies very close to or at three pounds each. It has been hard for me to wrap my mind around what a tiny bundle that is!
To give you an easy reference, our itty-bitty monster chihuahua Lillian is 3.1 pounds.
See how tiny she is in Andy's hand?
Can you breast feed four babies?
Technically, yes. However, preemies can take a very long time to eat, especially at the beginning. I have spoken with people who say it is not uncommon for each baby to take 30-45 minutes to finish just a few ounces of milk. With four to feed two at a time and a feeding schedule of every three hours, feeding would become a nearly around the clock task. The solution for many seems to be pumping. This allows the babies to still receive breast milk, but all four can be fed at one time, cutting down significantly on the total feeding time. For various reasons, many women aren't able to pump for four very long, but I met one amazing mom who kept it up for ten months!
Are you buying a minivan?
Yes. *hangs head in despair* I never thought this day would come, but here we are. Andy will be selling his beloved Honda Civic and taking my Mazda (the Mazda is five years newer with 100,000 fewer miles), so that I can load the wee ones safely into a van. As Andy and I were coming to terms with the change, I got this great email from his Aunt Cathy. "Yes, a minivan will be necessary. There is no way around it. But you will be the coolest mom in a minivan that I know."
So there you go. Yes, we will buy a van. But I'm going to rock that mom-mobile!
Will you sell your house?
As mentioned in a previous post, we had pretty well set our lives up for an only child. With that child in mind, we instructed our Realtor that we would look at no houses larger than 1,500 square feet. What we fell in love with and ultimately purchased is a 1910 Craftsman with just 1,400 square feet. The house is lovely and cozy and covered in original woodwork which we love, but is not ideal for a family of six (plus four dogs). It has only one full bath, no dishwasher, no air conditioning, and is currently set up as a two bedroom. The good news is, we have very little clutter. Our dining room is nearly empty and will be a great space for Baby Central when they arrive. The spare bedroom is small, but will accommodate four mini-cribs. These cribs are common in areas where space is at a premium, like small apartments, and generally last full-term babies at least two years. We are hoping to be able to stay in this house for around five years before we find ourselves bursting at the seams!
Are they natural?
This is one of the few questions that really gets under my skin. Though the question is almost always well-intentioned, it is also incredibly personal, and undeniably invasive. Most people would never dream of asking a woman what sexual position she used to get pregnant, yet people don't seem to hesitate in asking how one conceived where multiples are involved.
I intensely dislike the word "natural" in this context. Have you ever seen an unnatural child walking around? Are there fake babies in this world? Andy's favorite response to this question is "no, there're not natural, we went with silicone."
Since the beginning of time, I am aware of just one way to get pregnant: sperm meets egg. Whether this was accomplished in the bedroom, in a lab, on top of the clothes dryer or in the back of a station wagon is simply no one's business but the couple involved. *steps off soapbox*
Well, I hope that answers some questions. If you have more, feel free to ask!