Were you shocked to find out you were having twins?

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - August 9, 2021

Were you shocked to find out you were having twins?

Yes. I mean SUPER yes. I don’t think “shocked” fairly describes the beating I took emotionally and physically when we discovered that we were having twins.

I was in total disbelief. I couldn’t sleep. I lost my appetite. I was dazed and confused.

shocked to find out you were having twins

People will ask you if you were shocked in two main situations:

1. When you tell your family and friends that you’re having twins
2. When you’re out of the house with your twins and are approached by random strangers

Either well intentioned family or inquisitive strangers at the store will ask: “were you shocked when you found out you were having twins?”

(RELATED: Check out the Dad's Guide to Twins Youtube channel for additional helpful twin tips and tricks videos.)

I’m baffled by this question as I assume that the person asking the question could imagine their reaction to similar news. Wouldn’t they be shocked too?

Neither my wife or I have twins in our family history – at least that we know of. We had no clue about identical vs. fraternal twins and why you might have either.

Twins weren’t even on our radar of possibilities. Identical twins (like our daughters) are random acts of surprise that God sends to about 1 in 285 pregnancies. Little did we know that Dad’s family history and genetics have little or nothing to do with having twins.

How to Respond to This Question

When people asked if you were shocked, you could respond in these ways:

“Yes.” or “boy howdy were we ever!” – most people assume you were shocked. In this sense, their question is really a rhetorical question. Just give them the answer they were expecting.

“Wouldn’t you be?” – turn the tables back on the questioner. Since they like talking anyway, give them more of a chance to talk.

(RELATED: Check out the Dad's Guide to Twins Youtube channel for additional helpful twin tips and tricks videos.)

“No.” – this is curt and to the point. It isn’t what people are expecting to hear and will likely draw out more personal and invasive questions about fertility treatments or other deeply personal topics.

“I still am” – depending on where you are in the twin journey

Jurassic Park Style Twins Shirt

How have you responded to the “shocked” question about having twins? What was your reaction when you found out you were expecting twins? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by Jim Parker

Further Reading

Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the definitive guide to raising twins. "Dad's Guide to Raising Twins" was written for fathers of twins to help guide you through the first several years with twins. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.

34 thoughts on “Were you shocked to find out you were having twins?”

  1. When my wife found out that twins were on the way she and my 3 year old started crying and panicking. When she told me about the twins I immediately thought double the pleasure and double the pain. Today they are 9 months and I could not be happier!

    • My wife and I were very shocked. The sonogram tech nonchalantly said, “Well…I have something to tell you.” And we were both this king something negative was coming. Then she turned and smiled and dropped the ball. Now there are no twins in either side of our families. So the shock was crazy. My wife says I turned ghostly white and she blurted out, ” How is that even possible?!” Lol. Now we have fraternal twins, a boy and a girl. We both understand just how the process works. And we have adapted our lives to this whole new unexpected adventure. I couldn’t be more happy, and neither could my wife. But the shock persisted through easily half the pregnancy, and still today I look at my 5 month olds and shake my head.

  2. Well firstly when I found out my ex-wife was pregnant, I had a panic attack as I really wasn’t exoecting it!
    Then we were scheduled to go on vacation to a third world country a week later. We went reluctantly, and as it turned out (and I’m glad it was me and not her as she may have lost the twins) I became very ill and was hospitalised from food poisoning. As soon as I could recover, we cancelled the remainder of our trip and packed our bags and came home. On the day of the first ultrasound, my ex-wife was waiting whilst I was awaiting blood test results from my food poisoning experience. The nurse rushed over and grabbed me and said “you can come back to this, I think what you’re about to see is more important”. When I walked into the room, she said “you’re having twins!” and we both looked at each other so shocked! I had another panic attack! Was it girls? Boys? One of each? How did this happen?! What a miracle!
    Our id girls are nearly 2 now and looking back , I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you God for blessing us with two little bundles of joy!!

  3. Not only did my wife and I find out we were having twins at her 9 week ultrasound, but it is also our first… or should i say first 2 children.
    The ultrasound tech was doing the normal routine taking all the measurements, letting us hear the heartbeat and then went on to take all the other internal measurements. At this point I was pretty much not paying attention anymore because she was done looking at the baby, and then all of a sudden she says “And there’s baby number 2!!” My wife and I looked at each other and at the same time asked her “WHAT DID YOU SAY?!?!?!”
    It is a wonderful surprise for us considering that twins do not run on either side of our families that we know of. We can’t wait for them to be born. We just found out yesterday at her 19 week ultrasound that they are both boys. I seriously can’t wait now!!

  4. Not really shocked. Thrilled more like it. Trying for 17 yrs and tried IVF again. Implanted 2 embryos and both took. Ready made family ad this was our last try as both my wife and I are in our early 40’s.

    Now if we have a boy and girl I’ll be shocked. Find out in 6 weeks!

  5. There is no history of twins on either side of our families. We thought we had a typical pregnancy. We were at a check-up one day when the Doctor asked if we’d had an ultrasound yet. We hadn’t. So we booked one. When they did the ultrasound (around 8 weeks) they only took my wife in the room at first. I just sat in the waiting area for them to come and get me when they were ready.

    When they brought me in my wife said “Twins”. I said the following “You’ve got to be $#@%ing me!”. Then the ultrasound technician told me there are two of them. I said “You got her in on this too?”. I thought they were both in on some elaborate prank to give me a heart attack. It wasn’t until about the 3rd time the technician showed me each baby (“here’s Twin A”, “and here’s Twin B”) that it dawned on me that this whole twin thing was real.

    Shock is a good word for how I felt for the first few hours/days after getting this news. My kids are near 1.5 years now and I cherish every minute I get to spend with them.

    • @Mike – our ultrasounds were a bit surreal too. I saw the twins on the screen but it was always a bit hard to believe. But no joke for us either!

  6. My wife and I found out at the first obstetrician visit. She just happened to have an ultrasound machine in the corner of the office and thought it would be fun to take a quick look while we were there (we were only about 14 weeks at this point).

    So we’re watching the screen and the obstetrician says in an off-hand way “oh, so how many heads do you see there?”

    I let out an enormous burst of nervous laughter, thinking that she was kidding.

    She went on “there’s one… There’s two…” at which point my wife shouted “STOP COUNTING!!!”

    we spent the rest of the appointment absolutely dumbfounded, the obstetrician actually asked if I needed to sit down and have a drink of water because I looked like completely shell shocked

  7. My mother in law joked for years that we would have twins… Never ever thought it woold be true! We found out at my 0B’s office, we had a follow appointment to have an ultra sound as i would be 35 at the time if my babies birth. The tech explained to my and my husband what to look for. She glided over my belly and we saw that there wa more than one! Are there two burst out of my mouth before i could even register what we were seeing. ” well it looks like your having twins!” Congratulations! We were laughing and crying at the same time. I think i was in shock for the rest of the day. All i could think this is thday my life was forever changed. I lkep the sonogram on my desk. My fraternal boys are two now and the the joy of our lives.

  8. At four weeks after the egg was implanted for IVF, my wife had significant abdominal pain. On Christmas Eve we presented to the emergency department at the hospital expecting the worst. The ultrasound technician arrived all dressed up for her family Christmas dinner and quickly assured us that the pain was from hyper-stimulated ovaries due to the IVF medication. As she was poking around she showed us the little egg/cluster of cells wobbling away with its little heart beat, and then slyly panned across to the other egg/cluster of cells wobbling away with its little heart beat. Despite the ongoing pain and the discomfort of having an ultrasound probe in her, my wife started laughing, so much so that the picture was jumping around uncontrollably. I didn’t say much but did cry a bit. We had been trying for years before we tried IVF and it was such good fortune to discover that we were having two! Despite some gestational and post-natal issues our two boys are doing great and we look forward to their first birthday this July. Needless to say that we had great fun announcing the twin pregnancy to family that Christmas.

  9. When I found out I was pregnant, my dad (who is the child of a twin) kept saying “wouldn’t that be cool if it were twins” and “I think it’s going to be twins”. Sure enough at my first ultrasound I was told that I was having twins. I felt very overwhelmed. It was unbelievable. Al our family was so excited. Then my dad started saying that he thought it would be a boy and a girl…he was right! I think I’m going to take him to Vegas with me.

  10. Very shocked also double shocked when we found out we were having another set of twins who are due next Month I’m sure it will be fun

  11. Well we went in for the initial test and they used the hand held to get an image and I asked are you sure there is must one in there (my sister had twins so I wanted to ask so I could be prepared) she said yep just one in there. My wife and I somewhat releved let out a sigh. Fast forward a month.. We go in for the 12 week ultrasound and they start. It’s going nicely and I confidently ask “still just one in there right” knowing the initial tech a month early told us we were having a single I was just kind of joking. She looked me dead in the eye and said you’re having twins. No sugar coating it or anything. So I asked if she was joking with me and she responded with “we don’t joke” I think she thought we already knew we were having twins. My wife and I held it together and the tech left the rooms we then looked at each other and both said “well f$&%”! It was a shock that’s for sure especially as we were planning for a singleton. Our lives were changed forever in a second.

  12. It was more shock that both implanted IVF embryos “took” and it actually worked! Being of “advanced maternal age”, we had two implanted to give them a chance at a sibling, just in case I could only sustain one pregnancy. At our first ultrasound, I saw the two little spots and asked the doctor if I was seeing correctly! Absolutely amazing. I’m still totally in awe of what medical science and the human body are capable of. My twins are turning 2 next month and I count my blessings every day that we have them and they are healthy and happy.

    Oh – and we had a choice of finding out the pregnancy blood test results on Christmas Eve or the day after. We opted for after, just in case it was not good news. Best after-Christmas present ever!

  13. The pregnancy was a surprise since we had a 7 month old at the time and I was on the pill. We went for an ultrasound at 8 weeks and as we were walking in my husband says wouldn’t it be funny if there were 2. I told him he was definitely not funny since I was still in shock about the pregnancy. As soon as the ultrasound wand touched my stomach we could see what looked like a yin-yang. The tech looked at us and said “do you see what I see?” I burst out laughing and crying at the same time and said there’s two! Our di/di twin girls are now 3 months and our family is bigger than we expected and happily complete.

  14. Here’s what happened to us: my wife and I went in for am initial visit to a specialist when she was about 3 months along. We hadn’t had any scans or anything yet but there just happened to be a sonogram machine in the corner. The specialist asked if we wanted to have a quick look – and why wouldn’t we? My wife jumped on.

    The specialist did whatever she did and lpoked at the screen with a nonchalant little “hmm” then said “well, that little blob there is one of them… and theres two…” at the mention of the second one my wife blurted out “STOP COUNTING!!”

    Apparently I turned white as a sheet, enough for the specialist to ask if I needed to sit down. I croaked a sheepish “uh-huh” and slumped onto a seat. My wife stared at the monitor with a hand clasped over her mouth. Everything changed in that moment. I’ll never forget it


Leave a Comment