The phenomenon of twins, triplets, quadruplets, and other higher order multiples has fascinated humans for centuries and has even captured the attention of mathematicians who have sought to model the probabilities of multiple births. However, there has not been extensive research into the phenomenon of polyovulation, which is one of the biological mechanisms that produces multiple births. In this paper, I describe how my own experience becoming a mother to twins led me on a quest to better understand the scientific processes going on inside my own body and motivated me to conduct research on polyovulation frequencies. An overview of the previous mathematical research on multiple births, as well as my own contributions involving polyovulation, is presented. Furthermore, I discuss more generally how motherhood can influence and enrich the research agendas of mathematicians.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/tkolba/12/