It runs in the family

Jennifer Lopez’s father has confirmed that she is expecting twins and has asserted that twins run in the family “so it’s a hereditary thing”.

There is surely a gene that combines celebrity with twin pregnancies. Has anyone researched this? Julia Roberts, Diana Krall and CNN’s Nancy Grace have all confirmed that they conceived twins naturally (they run in the family) in their late 30s to late 40s, while many more celebs – Geena Davis, Holly Hunter, Patrick Dempsey’s wife – all conceived twins in their 40s seemingly without the need for any intervention. This appears to affect women from their late 30s onwards – we haven’t seen the same trend amongst the younger celebrity mums. They should make a film about it!

But let’s just assume for a minute that my theory doesn’t stand up. What if any or all of the above did actually need an injection here or an egg there? So what?!?!? Why are celebs so reluctant to talk about it? Of course it is their business (but it’s not nice to lie) and nobody is under any obligation to parade their private lives in public, but there doesn’t seem to be the same reluctance to talk about other medical conditions. While celebs don’t like to appear to have any imperfections, many have survived reports of illness and some have even seen their profiles raised because of it. Kylie’s career has flourished after battling breast cancer, Kate Moss is more in demand than ever after her drug “addiction”. Those celebs that have spoken openly about IVF – Marcia Cross, Courtney Cox, Brooke Shields – remain as popular as ever, and even more so amongst those of us in the know.

Maybe I am too immersed in this world to see the wood for the trees. I have never experienced the “stigma” of infertility, never seen it in practice. The annoying comments, yes of course, but nobody has ever tried to make me feel as if my babies or I are inferior because I needed a prescription to conceive them. In fact, I feel like a champion because I have managed to overcome all the odds to get this far. Why can’t everyone see it that way?

Update: I have been informed that, while JLo’s dad may not want to talk about IVF, JLo herself has spoken openly about it. Good for her! My trusty researcher, Dr Google, informs me that she has been doing IVF since 2006 so she has probably been through the mill. Looking forward to reading about her experiences.

34 Replies to “It runs in the family”

  1. I am not saying I believe that none of those women had fertility treatments, but fraternal twinning is more common in oler women than in younger women because women are more likely to release two eggs when they are older and there body starts to produce higher levrls of FSH. So you will see higher rates of twins in people giving birth in their late 30’s than those in their mid-20’s.

    But the women in their mid-to late 40’s? No way!

  2. Just because you wish to tell the whole world about your fertility treatments, I don’t think you have the right to expect everyone else to do the same… only when the rest of your life is open to scrutiny the way these celebs are, may you judge their reasons for keeping a certain amount of their lives private… interesting that you keep your ‘real’ name a secret…Fiona.

  3. Wow, anonymous number two….nothing like a little spit and vinegar to spice things up a bit. Plus I don’t believe Feebee has ever really hidden her name given the number of links she provides about interviews and her involvement within her community…so puh-lease….

    Twins run in my family as well, but my first, second on up to my sixth pregnany has been nothing but singletons. Maybe twins run in her family…maybe they don’t.

    And I can’t believe Nancy Grace said she conceived those twins naturally at what? 48? Bwahahahaha!

    No we shouldn’t expect them to bare their souls any more than they already have to under the limelights; but we don’t expect them to lie about it either. I can also appreciate that they have a right to protect the privacy of their own children, but don’t pee on my hand and tell me its raining.

  4. DD – I love that – don’t pee on my hand and tell me it’s raining!

    I’m not saying so much that they should be open about fertility treatment, more wondering what is considered so shameful or damaging that many choose to lie about it.

  5. Yeah, isn’t it amazing how twins coincidentally run in the families of all these celebrities who get knocked up at late ages? It’s like an epidemic!

  6. Its absolutely NONE of your business how they conceived… the only concern you should have is about your own fertility issues… They don’t wish to make that part of their lives public… I’m aware that Fiona now posts links (she would as she has a book coming out…) but the fact is that when she started out blogging she didn’t say Hi my name is Fiona Mc… and I live here, do this for a living, am marrid to so and so and am not able to conceive… SHE HID it… so it is very hyprocrital to now come out and say the cheek of Julia Roberts, or Jennifer Lopez of lying (and who the hell says they are anyway…)… Stop pontificating about everyone else’s private life… its none of your concern… they don’t have to tell us anything and if they don’t wish to be spokespeople for infertile couples they don’t have to be…

  7. Oh and I wouldn’t say they see it as being damaging if they come clean, they probably just want to keep a certain part of their lives private… I certainly wouldn’t want my sex life splashed all over the newspapers… Maybe, just maybe, they are also looking out for their children’s privacy… maybe just maybe, they have other things in their lives to be concerned about than you… obviously they do, if all you can focus on, now pregnant, is to focus on the cheek of Jennifer Lopez keeping her private life private… get a life Fiona….

  8. Deno – nice to meet you officially, what a gorgeous picture!

    anonymous, if that is indeed your real name – you do realise that I can see your IP address, where you came from and your username on the link you clicked through on?

  9. Feebee, I didn’t hide it… its not an issue… I’m not being rude, just posting a comment.. I don’t see the issue… I read your posts with interest, and nod and agree with a huge amount of what you say… but this I do not agree on… and personally, I do kinda understand, because I have been told (as you know) that I can’t have anymore children myself… so in a way, I am now infertile… but I don’t think it is right or fair to expect everyone to come out of the closet and disclose information they are not happy with… do you honestly not see that?

  10. Actually anonymous, I don’t know who you are. Sorry, I made that bit up. I can see where you came from but not who you are.

    I do agree that nobody is under any obligation to talk about their personal lives, to their friends and family or to the press. I just wish that more people spoke about infertility so that the general public would realise how difficult it it. Some of these celebs, not all but definitely some, have been through what so many of us have been through so I bet they wish it was easier for people to talk about too. Maybe for some, lying is the only way of protecting their privacy and so maybe that’s what they have to do. I just wish that infertility wasn’t such a hidden illness and I wish that there wasn’t so much misinformation in the public sphere.

    As for hiding my name, I never have done. I’ve never hidden what we’ve been going through from anyone who was interested. It’s just that until recently, nobody asked me to talk about it in public.

  11. Well, just so that you don’t think I’m being a bitch or anything… I’ll contact you later in private… I’m not disagreeing with you and it shouldn’t be such an issue, but for some people it is and that should be respected in my view…

    Anyway, talk later.. take care.


  12. I think its fine to have a disagreement, but there was a little venom in your posts anonymous.. why so much misdirected anger?

    I think having to admit to failure in any aspect of our lives is hard for some. I know I didn’t tell anyone we were ttc when we were. But I do think if we had ended up on the assisted conception rd, I wouldn’t have felt ashamed, just angry.
    Hope you’re doing ok F.

  13. Ooh the poor celebrities. Bollox. J-Lo is a meedja whore. She laps it up. Her type do whatever they can to get into the tabloids. I’ve a lot of respect for *talented* celebrites who keep their children / marriages etc out of Hello! but the rest of them put themselves up for criticism. And when they lie about stuff that can have a negative effect on others, they deserve everything they get. Shoot em down in flames.

    Also, the analogy of not telling the world every personal detail on a blog isn’t accurate. A more accurate comparison would be telling the world a pack of lies about yourself on your blog.


  14. When I saw stuff about angelina jolie having ivf it made me kind of sad. I mean, if it gets to that point with my Dh and me, we won’t have the finances to do ivf. Celebs like angie, they don’t ever need to “ttc”. They want to get pregnant? Want multiples bc it’s more fun and you don’t have to worry about having your hands full since you can hire 6 nannies per baby if you wish? sure, just make an appt for ivf…tomorrow…and make it happen. Soory, I know it’s a bit off topic :\

  15. Anonymous are you a celeb? just wondering, seems to be a very sensitive subject….give me a bleedin’ break. I am with John, screw the celebs! they put themselves out there all the time.
    As big as Oprah is over here and around the world I always wondered why there has never been a show on Miscarriage/Infertility when every other topic has been shared. Then someone told me Martha Stewart’s daughter was on there talking about her failed IVF’s and numerous losses, fair play to her.

  16. Oh and by the way Anonymous, not sure if you are Irish but Feebee is short for Fiona so she never hid her name. I think her current status may be upsetting you, not what she is writing.

  17. Interesting post – I agree entirely. I can’t see the problem with being transparent about these things. I suppose it’s the same as those celebrities who acknowledge they’ve had cosmetic enhancement and others who claim instead to have ‘good genes’. The anonymous poster was certainly very defensive – strangely so, perhaps a great fan of J-Lo! If she thought your post was irreverent she should watch the South Park episode that featured her – not a flattering parody! Anyway we’re not asking for every gory detail but perhaps a simple reference that some assistance was required would make us lesser mortals relate more.

  18. Angelina Jolie already has about 15 kids under 3!!! What bothers me most about her is the fact that she seems to be able to adopt on a whim. We have been on the Irish adoption waiting list for almost 2 years now and still face a further 3 years of training, assessment and waiting periods (there is virtually no domestic adoption here, no babies available, so everyone is waiting for intercountry adoption). I’ve heard all the arguments that say, how can you slate someone for giving a child a loving home, what harm is she doing to you etc. But by jumping the queue, she is making someone, who has done what is considered the necessary preparation and training for adopting a child, wait even longer whilst she brings home a child that she is probably not adequately prepared to care for.

    Deno – I read about Oprah’s infertility show, I think it was on Sounds like they did an ok job of it.

    Karridale – I also think a good analogy is gay celebs. Sure it’s nobody else’s business but it must be very irritating to watch people swear they are straight when the whole community knows otherwise.

    Btw, wasn’t JLo photographed coming out of an IVF clinic a year or two ago?!??!?

  19. J-Lo has openly admitted her twins are the result of IVF. Look at the latest edition of Cosmo (I think, I read a few mags in the hairdressers! LOL)

  20. There could be more than one thing at play here: perhaps they don’t want to be perceived as “old.” If they are of an age where their infertility is likely linked to their age, they may not want to advertise this fact.

    On the other hand, everyone has their opinion about fertility treatments. It’s possible they want to avoid being put through the ringer for even making the choice to do ART.

    Also, perhaps that is something that they think their child should own – and discuss if THEY want to – when they are older.

  21. not everyone that has twins has had fertility treatments. For me I have to go back at least 4 generations to find the last twins born in my family, and I am not from a small family either.

    Feebee I love your blog, and they way you are so open about the whole thing. I wish too it was easier for couples to talk about it and be made feel like they are ‘losers’ for having to go through other channels. I will never ask someone when will we hear the patter of little feet or when is the second one coming because we just don’t know what they are going through.

    sorry i don’t think i’m coming over too well, hope I am not offending anyone. look forward to the book coming out, wishing you the best

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