1.18.2015

Twins, Twins, Twins

I have twins.

I have dichorionic/diamniotic 
(separate sacks & placentas) 
identical 
(split from one egg with exactly the same DNA)
mirror twins
(one is left handed, the other right handed)
Boy twins.
The rarest form of twins there is.

Randomly, my twins are also colorblind.  
Both of them.  But not their younger, singleton brother.

Somehow having twins has made me into a twin expert.  I devour all the information I can get my hands on and hate when I hear or read misinformation regarding twins.  And there's a lot of misinformation out there.

Here's the truth:
Separate sacks & placentas does not automatically mean the pregnancy is fraternal.  If the egg splits soon enough, even identical twins can have their own. (Like mine did.)

Identical twins have identical DNA.  Exactly.the.same.  Their hair, blood & semen are identical. Only their fingerprints differ.

Children born of identical twins are genetically the child of the other twin as well.
And cousins, one born to each twin, are genetic half-siblings.

Mind boggling, right?!?

***

Twin Book:


My all time favorite Twin Book, for anyone (it's a fascinating read) is One and the Same by Abigail Pogrebin.  The book cites that identical twins are closer than fraternal twins, which I have witnessed myself-- my twins are close emotionally, but they also have no physical boundaries.  They truly act as if they are of one body.  I can see it sometimes when they play with other kids, it's strange for them to acknowledge & respect personal space.  They had their own cribs & beds their whole lives, until last summer when they shared a full size bed.  They adjusted with no issues, and Logan has even expressed that he wishes they still shared.  That way, he says, when he woke up from a bad dream, he'd know Jack was right there. Despite their close physical bond, we did, however, stop bathing the two together when they turned five. Even though personal boundaries don't come naturally to them, I believe it's my job as a mom to instill them.  For the sake of everyone else!

Pogrebin's book also talks about the Twin Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio, which is somewhere I'd love to go someday.  I'm pretty sure my mom wouldn't let me go alone, insisting to come along and see the sights!

Something else I have noticed, beyond their "one body" is the use of the singular "life".  People will ask them, individually, "How old are you?" And whoever they're talking to will answer, "We are six."  Or one of them will be talking about an adventure they had and they will say, "We rode that once," instead of, "I rode that once."  I find myself doing it as well.  

***

Random Twin Facts:


In 1955 they found that a search dog can find one identical twin if he has smelled the other.

When a panda gives birth to twins, the smaller of the twins is rejected.  The mother is incapable of nursing both, so she leaves the one least likely to survive behind.

In June 2008 (the same month and year my twins were born) 
10 sets of twins were born in Salt lake City.

***


What I've learned from having twins:

-One on one time is important.  
The twins need to be known for who they are as an individual.

-Knowing your birth order is important!!!!!

-Playing favorites is normal: 
72% of twin parents had favorite & 84% preferred the heavier baby.

-Having a singleton after twins is an amazing blessing.
Wyatt allowed me the luxury of a singleton experience, and I'm so grateful.

***

Identical Twin Heebie Jeebies:

-Once when Logan hurt his elbow on the door, Jack walked down the stairs, asked what had happened, then rubbed his own elbow and said, "Ow, that hurt."

-When my sister-in-law took the twins individually out for a donut date, each twin ordered the exact same donut & drink, and chose to sit in the exact same spot in the restaurant unknowingly.

-When they lost their first teeth, they lost the same exact tooth within 24 hours.

***

The last and perhaps most important thing that identical twins have offered the world, is proof of nature versus nurture.  The fact is, nature rules.

Identical twins raised separately are just as alike as those raised together.  

There's no escaping it, 
we live out our DNA.

4 comments:

Krista said...

Fascinating! We've yet to have our twins tested, but based on some simple questions from the WA twin database (yes, we get to participate in studies maybe!) they are likely identical.
We didn't know we were having twins until 19 weeks so there's no way to know if we had a merged placenta or a single, although when they were born the umbilical cords were so close together it's likely they had one, making them identical. They did have separate sacs though.
My husband has sometimes verbalized that he wonders if they aren't mirror twins just because of a few things they do. They are very rarely apart and when they are they miss each other tremendously.
Can you tell yours apart easily? Some days I can, some days I can't, but the one that was on the bottom, her sister sat on her head so her head is narrower and that's a giveaway. ;) To the parents at least!
Twins are so fun and I would love to go to that Twin Festival!

Definitely completely different than having a singleton as I had 2 of those first. ;) and no, I really don't think having kids less than a year apart is "just like having twins" although I do have a friend (poor lady!) who had her twins 11 months after a single!

Marilynn Raatz said...

I love all that you have learned and that I now know this stuff! Just fascinating! How old do you want them to be when we go to the Twin Festival? I feel so blessed to be a part of their lives!

Bad Rebecca said...

So fascinating! I love your twins posts. I would love to hear more about psychic/ telepathic connection they might have.

Annery said...

That's so interesting about the mirror twins! I'm a lefty and read one time about how lefties are theorized by some scientists to have an "invisible" twin who wasn't viable and not identified during pregnancy.