What These 18 Parenting Terms REALLY Mean for a Mom of Twins


I gave birth to twins via vagisection (see below) over fourteen years ago. I was 22 years old, had my braces removed at the start of my third trimester, and was roughly the size of a manatee. My husband and I had been married for thirteen months and with the shock of that two-for-one special which was actually a two-for-two delivery (see: The Single Delivery Myth below), were thrust into parenting. We didn’t have a clue what we were getting ourselves into. I coveted a solid night’s sleep, I didn’t like babysitting, couldn’t change a diaper, thought breastfeeding was bizarre-bordering-on-disgusting, and was frightened by the unspeakable things that started happening to my body.

Here are some of the vocabulary words and phrases I came to understand during my twin pregnancy and the months following. Some are new words and some are old words newly defined. Perhaps they will be useful for other parents of twins …

Morning Sickness

Violent vomiting that begins within three minutes of eating breakfast, stepping into the kitchen, smelling food of any kind, or riding in elevators. Also, nausea that lasts 24 hours a day.


After the morning sickness passes, this is an insatiable greedy beast taking over the pit of your stomach and demanding 3,500 calories a day. That’s more than runners burn in a marathon.

Weight Gain

The only time in your life you want to gain over thirty pounds.

Sympathy Eating

When your partner thinks he should eat as much as you but you snatch his sandwich before he can bite it because, see: Hunger.

Maternity Clothes

What you can wear the first six months. For the last three, see: Tents.


The event during which you are told, “no, your baby does not have two heads, you have two babies each with their own head” … and that you will never sleep again.

Stretch Marks

What other moms get. Moms of twins get one big, singular, stretch mark.


When you push a bowling ball out through a straw. Twice. Or see: VagiSection.


When one twin is born vaginally and one twin is born via Cesaerean Section.

Diaper Changing

Removing and tossing an average of 7,300 poo and pee-filled sacks in one year, then cleaning the aftermath from the babies’ bottoms and your hands/clothes/walls/car seats/strollers/high chairs as needed.


A juggling fiasco that ends with three people drenched in milk, sweat, and tears.

Nap time

What time?

Double Stroller

A wheeled monstrosity that prevents entrance to any location with a door.

Funny Twin Questions

“Are your boy/girl twins identical?”

“How do you tell your boy/girl twins apart?”

“How old were they when they were born?” (Translation: Were they early or full-term? And yes, I asked this one myself of a mother of twins only a few days ago!)

Invasive Twin Questions

“How did you get twins?”

“Did you do anything special to ‘get’ them?”

“Are they natural?”

“Did you want twins?”

“Which one do you like better?”

The Single Delivery Myth

When people assume giving birth to twins is easier because you get a two-for-one deal.  Except, see: vagisection and Delivery.

The Perfect Family

A sentiment referring to boy/girl twins which strangers will express, with which you may or may not agree.


We did not agree with The Perfect Family and so had a third child five years later, a singleton. This refers to your kids who aren’t twins. I was glad to discover it (they deserve a title, too) and singleton sounds better than “one by itself” or “in utero alone” or simply, “one!”

Image courtesy of ThinkStock


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