Sunday, March 21, 2010

Your questions-answered!

Ok, I know what you're thinking. If these don't cover the first few questions that come to mind, you aren't like the other 90% of inquisitive people who stop my (double) stroller.

Are they identical or fraternal?
Our first girls are identical, which we know because we had them DNA tested (which just involves running a cotton swab along their cheek). We assumed they were probably fraternal when they were born, because the vast majority of twins are fraternal (dizygotic). They looked a little different at birth, which quickly changed. By the time they were four months old, my mom and I were arguing over which was which in photographs! When they were a year, we did a DNA zygosity test to see for sure, and indeed they were identical. With our second set, we don’t really know.But judging by their appearance, teething patterns and personality, we would put our life savings on a bet that they are in fact identical. I'll let you know when we cough up the cash to do a DNA Zygosity test to verify, for now it just seems useless to throw $150 at something we already reasonably know.

Do Twins run in your family?

No. I didn’t know of any twins in my family until I got pregnant with twins. Then I found out that my Great-Grandmother, had a sister, who had a granddaughter, who had 2 sets of twins. I guess is the above theory is true, then it is not so far off that perhaps many women in my family produce eggs that have a tendency to divide easily. And that she fell in love with and married a man who had that special enzyme. Viola. And maybe the same thing happened to me. Or maybe, this very rare occurrence just so happened to happen to 2 people who are merely 2nd cousins once removed.

Did you just die when they told you? (a.k.a.-How did you find out?)
Well, the first time we couldn't believe it for about 5 seconds until she showed us the little beating hearts. The second time, actually, they didn’t have to tell me. Being that we had twins once, we were technically more likely to have twins again. (Though in a former life, I believed this only to be true of fraternal twin moms.) So our doctor sent us in for an ultrasound already at 6 weeks. It was the last thing I expected to see. But, as the ultrasound tech squirted the warm liquid on my belly and moved the monitor around, she settled on a spot and the screen came into focus. I immediately saw 2 big black jelly beans. For a moment, I thought, “No, she’s just looking around – that must be my gall bladder or something.” But she stayed focused there for a moment, in total silence.
It was then, that the potential realization hit me. I said to my husband, “Honey, does that look familiar to you?”. He lowered the issue of ‘US Weekly’ below his nose, wide-eyed. The ultrasound technician broke her silence, “Two sacs, two heartbeats.”
O.M.G. I wanted to say she was kidding but I knew she wasn’t. “And I promised you this wouldn’t happen!” I apologized to Mike. “ “That was a silly promise to make,” replied the technician. My reply “Well, realistically, what were my chances of being wrong?”. I guess that’s the Million dollar question.

What are the chances?
I still haven’t found reliable statistics on that. But according a website I once read, having two sets of fraternal twins is 1/10,000. Having 2 sets of identical twins is about 1/70,000, which is a lot better odds than I thought! Sorry, I can’t find the reference for those stats, but I’ll post if I find it!

Were you on fertility treatments?
No. Fertility treatments increase your chances of having identical twins as much as going outside barefoot increases your chances of getting a paper cut.

1 comment:

  1. I was under the impression that IVF -- technically a fertility treatment -- DOES increase the chances of monozygotic twinning.


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