Friday, November 5, 2010

International Multiple Birth Awareness Week

This week (Nov 1 – Nov 8) is officially International Multiple Birth Awareness Week. Who would have guessed? In honor of this, I decided to answer a few of the most common (and some slightly ridiculous) questions I get about my multiples! (Note: these are meant to be humorous and/or informative and not offensive in any way. It does not bother me to be asked these questions, but after you get asked the same questions over and over, you start to see the humor in some of them!)

Are they all yours?


Are they natural?

No---some body parts are plastic and I think artificial coloring was used to make Rustin’s hair that fabulous shade of red. Just kidding---I know people don’t realize how silly that question is when they ask it. Of course they are natural, however they were conceived by the help of fertility medication (which I think is what people really mean when they ask that question!)

How many eggs did the doctor implant?

NONE. I did NOT have IVF. I was not ovulating on my own, so the doctor put me on medication to help me ovulate. He monitored me VERY closely and warned me that with the medication, the odds of twins was 20% and triplets was 5%.

So, what are the odds, anyway?

The odds of getting pregnant with quintuplets, if you are using fertility mediation, is 1 in 56,000. I actually had higher odds of getting struck by lightening in my lifetime than of having quintuplets.

Did you know you were having quintuplets?

I love my triplet-mom friend, Robin’s response to this question, “Uh... did you know you were having a singleton? Yeah, the same way you knew you were having one is the way we knew we were having three. This isn't 1922."

Were you trying for multiples?

Seriously?? No one in their right mind TRYS to have multiples and no sane doctor would help you. Multiple births, especially high-order multiple births, have very high risks associated with them for both the babies and the mother.

Are they all identical?

No---other than the obvious fact that they all look completely different, I have three girls and two boys, so biologically it just isn’t possible for them all to be identical.

Are they twins and triplets?

Nope, they are called quintuplets.

But you have some boys and some girls?

Yes, but they were all in the womb together, so regardless of gender they are still called quintuplets.

How much did they weigh when they were born?

They ranged in size from 3 lbs 6 oz to 5 lbs 1 oz. Their combined birthweight was 21 lbs 7.6 oz, which is the current World record.

Are they…okay? I mean, are they healthy?

Yes, we have been very fortunate. All of the kids are happy, healthy, and progressing exactly how they are supposed to be. They are very normal three-year-olds.

How are you going to put them all through college?

Teach them how to work!

Are you going to home school?

Are you crazy? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my children, but the school system here is just fine and I am counting down the days (21 more months to be exact) until they go to kindergarten! Right now I have to put “keep children alive” on my daily “To Do” list, just so I can get one check mark at the end of the day. I am looking forward to having time to clean, organize, decorate, shop, etc.

How do you do it?

How does any parent do it? Let’s face it---parenting is a tough job, but somehow we all take what we are given and do the best we can! My life is busy and challenging, but we have a routine and we just take it one day at a time. Raising children is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but it is also the most rewarding.

Wow, you have your hands full!!

If I only had a nickel for every time someone said that, I wouldn’t have to worry about funding the kid’s college educations! One of my fellow quint-mom friends, Sara Tyre, has a quote on her blog that I have always liked. It says, “If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart!”

I am so grateful for all seven of my children. The fact that five came together certainly makes life interesting, but I can’t imagine life without even one of my precious children. Each came with his/her own personality and each adds a new dimension to our family. I love my life, despite the challenges, and I am grateful every day for the miracle that all of my children are.

Do you have the cutest quintuplets ever born?

YES....ok, no one has ever asked me that one, but here are some recent pictures and you can be the judge!

Rustin, Kyndall, Kassidy, Kaydence, and Ryder




Ryder & Rustin



Anonymous said...

Nice post. I love how you take all of these questions with humour.

And yes you do have the cutest quintuplets in the world... and I think Kassidy looks more and more like Kaiya everyday!


Anonymous said...

I have 11 children and was recently called irresponsible(he repeated it several times) by a doctor that was caring for my mother. He asked me how I was going to put them all through college and I was so caught off guard by his hostility towards me that I could only smile and say that the older ones had to put themselves through but your answer is the best! I wish I had said "Teach them to work!" Blessings on you!

Stephanie said...

Very funny questions and answers. I still can't believe the odds of having quintuplets...pretty crazy.

Anonymous said...

So funny!! I had to laugh as I am a twin -- I'm female, my twin is male and when people find out I have a male twin they say, "are you identical." Ummmm....let me think about that, NO! Physically impossible. :)

Tracey's Life said...

Very funny post! But, yes I do think you have the cutest Quints!

By the must have your hands full (LOL)

Hope we get to see more Texas Quints on TLC!

Jennifer said...

My goodness! For some I asked myself, "Did someone really ask that?!" (like twin/triplet), but as you explained it, I could totally hear someone asking.

Now my question for you is, do you ever ask someone if they did fertility treatments to get pregnant? I did IVF to have my daughter. I ask people with multiples if they were conceived "naturally" because a) it opens the door for me to share my own story. Closet case infertility seems to be the most destructive. And b) the question is so much better received saying "naturally" then the blunt "did you use fertility drugs/treatments?" Because I have a singleton people don't ask how she came to be. However they do ask why my almost four year old is an only child. They don't understand why if it worked once (IVF) it hasn't worked again. I'm not God, I can't answer that.
Oh and the one about did you want to have multiples is great. I get so annoyed by people saying a certain family had multiples so they could get on TV. Whenever it comes up I tell them people don't plan on having multiples so they can get on TV, they get on TV because need to pay for the multiples.
Have a great weekend! If you get bored Lackland AFB in San Antonio is having their air show this Saturday and Sunday. My three year old enjoyed it last year.


Kage said...

I sense something in your tone...not sure if it's frustration--maybe exasperation!

There are a lot of identical twins in the city where I live...maybe I just see them a lot because I am in show biz, and lots of moms try to get their twins in the biz. I try to think of what they don't hear every day...(EVERYDAY: TWINS! you're so CUTE!) so I usually walk up to a pair of OBVIOUSLY identical twins and say: "You're NOT twins" and it's hilarious to see their response....usually confusion and defensiveness...and every once in a while the Mom doesn't get the joke and also speaks up and gets a bit huffy.
I ALWAYS refuse to believe them, I never let them convince me they are twins.
A little game I play.
If I ever run into you and your brood, I'll try it...see what happens.

Charlotte said...

Attitude much?

Gina said...

Rachelle, these are great. To Charlotte - maybe you have to know Rachelle to know that she doesn't have a drop of attitude. She is surely one of the nicest and most patient people I have ever met. I don't think quints could happen to a better family. If read with a sense of humor, or maybe just because I have triplets myself, these are humorous remarks, not meant to be offensive.

Mandz said...

I only have twin boys and I get these questions all the time!!
I actually had someone stop me once and ask the usual:
Are they twins? YES, Are they boys? YES, are they identical? YES (although you can clearly tell) and then she went on to ask me if they were brothers??? ummmm I am not really sure she thought that one through at all!!

I do get the "did you try for multiples" question alot.
I guess it makes you see the humour in having multiples!!

gwtreece said...

Funny questions and I love the answers. I couldn't have children and I'm also LDS. You won't believe how many people ask rude questions about me not having children. So I understand.

My only question to you would have been which side of the famly has the red hair. I love that red hair.

ella said...

Didn't you do and IUI in addition to the fertility medication to help you ovulate? Isn't that where the husbands sperm is injected directly into the uterus, NOT through sexual intercourse? Is that still considered natural?

Pyjammy Pam said...

this is great! i only have triplets but i still get the same questions. i do think i'm going to start requesting a nickle every time i get the "you have your hands full" comment. i could put the boys through college with that!

Rachelle said...

Thanks for backing me up, Gina! Nothing was intended to be offensive!

gwtreece--Rustin gets the red hair from my dad (aka "Papa"). Isn't it great?

Ella--Yes, I did use IUI with the fertility medication, so maybe their conception would not be considered natural, however, the children themselves are very natural :-) People usually ask "Are they natural?" even though what they really mean is "Were they conceived naturally?"

Anonymous said...

I don't think "did you know you were having quintuplets?" is an entirely ridiculous question. Becky Dilley, mother to America's first surviving set of sextuplets (b. 1993), was told she was having quintuplets. She and her husband did not know there were six in there until the doctor felt a sixth pair of feet--after already delivering the first five babies! So, it is entirely possible that there could have been a stowaway during the pregnancy.
The "are they natural" question--though perhaps worded incorrectly--is something that most people probably wonder. As rare as it is to conceive quints through fertility treatments, conceiving quintuplets "naturally" is astronomically rarer!
One more question--I have noticed that many mothers of multiples, either on TV or blogs, are VERY adament about people knowing that they did not use IVF as a fertility treatment. Not just, "oh, actually I used a drug to help me ovulate, not IVF", but as you stated, "NONE. I did NOT have IVF". Is there a reason many women are defensive about not having IVF (i.e. is IVF against some religions, or considered taboo)? I'm asking purely out of curiousity and hope my question does not offend anyoone :)

ella said...

Thanks for the clarification :) Yes, it is an oddly phrased question that you answer with humor...

Another point was, I was reading your implications that you are somehow "against" IVF as well, noting just as 'Anonymous' after me said that you seem to vehemently deny doing THAT to have kids...but you did do IUI. Just to clarify, in the cultures/religions that do not believe IVF to be moral, IUI is not seen as a moral way to have children either, so your emphatic denial of using IVF (if that's what you're implying - a huge assumption) is sort of a moot point since both as considered the same 'wrongness' to those people if you will. Its the separation of the function of intercourse for both spousal bonding and procreation that is seen as the issue.
Anyways, just wanted to clarify that. From those religious perspectives that don't like IVF (I cannot speak for your own because I believe even Mormonism approves of IVF), it is never the children that result that are the problem. Of course children are always blessings, but our actions are sometimes wrong. I say this as someone who has been unable to have children, by the way, lest you think I do not understand the temptation!
Maybe your opposition to IVF is a separate issue but I thought I'd just clarify that from a different perspective.

Rachelle said...


I don't really think the "Are they natural?" question is ridiculous, I know what people's intent is and I don't mind telling people that we used fertility treatments. After you hear the same question over and over, though, you start to find humor in the wording.

As far as IVF goes, the reason why so many of us multiples moms are defensive is that we get a lot of negative, rude comments from people who think that we purposely and irresponsibly TRIED to have high order multiples. I was trying for ONE healthy child, just like any other woman out there who is trying to get pregnant. Because of people like Octomom (who did have way too many eggs implanted), the rest of us get a really bad rap. The truth is that most responsible doctors will not put more than 2-3 fertilized eggs in when doing IVF, so actually the odds of having HOMs is smaller with IVF than it is when using the fertility drugs. IVF is more expensive (about six times more pricey per "round"), so many women choose the fertility drugs. Thousands of women use these same drugs every month and end up pregnant with ONE child.

Megan Of Parker said...

I get asked these questions too, and I don't even have the quints! I'm sure curiosity is an excellent trait, but sometimes people amaze me when they asked if you personally breast fed the kiddos. I just say "Yes. You know that Bee Gees song 'More Than Woman'? --that's my sister-in-law." :P

Rachelle said...

Ella--Just saw your comment after I posted my last reply. I am not against IVF and I am very happy for women who have been able to get pregnant with IVF. I think modern science is amazing. I have no religious or moral problems with either IUI or IVF. I don't like it when people accuse me of implanting five (or more) eggs because implanting five WOULD have been irresponsible. After Octomom, I (along with many other HOM moms) got several negative comments from people who made false assumptions.

ella said...

ah...thanks for the clarification! i can see why you make that comment now.

The Queen Vee said...

Great questions, although I know you get tired of the same ones, great answers given with humor intended. People need to lighten up and not get offended so easily.

Great job Rachelle and I must say your quints are the cutest ones I've ever seen...I'm biased though.

Anonymous said...

Love this post so cute I think I am going to swipe your idea if you do not mind, LOL BTW, love the photos of the kids very cute!! Take care!

Liz H. said...

this is so great. thanks for posting! i bet i could add one more question to that list: "are you done having kids?"

Rachelle said...

Liz H: I can't believe I didn't think of that one....I do get it all the time! Just so we are clear, I am DONE having kids! I have done my part to populate the earth...someone else can take over now :-)

Michele said...

I wonder if the "are they natural" question could also be a "are they adopted" question. Although looking at them they do all look like the rest of you. In my family there are two adopted kids (me being one) and then two natural kids. With adoption being more popular now there does seems to be more families with adopted kids all around the same age. or a mix of adopted and natural. Just a thought. Enjoy your blog.