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Did this drive anyone else crazy (the world not understanding MZ/DZ twinning)?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
So I read this story in our local paper today about a family who just had triplets.

"Little Patrick weighed five pounds 11 ounces, Martin weighed five pound 12 ounces and Steve tipped the scales at five pounds, 13 ounces. They are naturally occurring triplets and one of the babies is fraternal. The other two shared a placenta but they don’t yet know if they’re identical."

Yay for such good weights. But BOOOOOO for completely getting it all wrong on being fraternal/identical (and BOOOOOO for the use of "naturally occuring triplets"... as opposed to what? Unnaturally occurring? Do they mean spontaneous?).

How could twins share a placenta and NOT be MZ? And even if the other boy had his own placenta, couldn't he be MZ as well? Why do they even write this if they don't know (and a disclaimer -- I used to be a newspaper reporter, so I am probably even more sympathetic than I should be).

People just get it wrong ALL THE TIME and I don't know how to educate them.

OK. Stepping off the little soapbox for the day. Just want to rant a bit to people who would understand...
post #2 of 35
I still sometimes get confused
post #3 of 35
I think most people who don't have twins haven't a CLUE.

Otherwise, why would those who have boy/girl twins get asked all the time, "Are they identical?"

post #4 of 35
Off topic, but I think by "naturally occurring," they're trying to convey that there were no fertility treatments involved in the conception.
post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoomaYula View Post

Otherwise, why would those who have boy/girl twins get asked all the time, "Are they identical?"
For real, people ask that??
post #6 of 35
The thing is, it was probably the parents who told them that. So I wouldn't blame reporters in a local newspaper for not checking out facts like that, because why would the parents be wrong? It's possible their doctors even told them that. Identical triplets are rare but not *that* rare; if I were that mother I would for sure get testing to find out for sure!

On another note, those are good weights for triplets!
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quindin View Post
For real, people ask that??
All. The. Stinkin. Time.
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Intertwined View Post
All. The. Stinkin. Time.
I tell people I'm having a boy and a girl and I get the "identical" question as well.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoisLane View Post
So I read this story in our local paper today about a family who just had triplets.

"Little Patrick weighed five pounds 11 ounces, Martin weighed five pound 12 ounces and Steve tipped the scales at five pounds, 13 ounces. They are naturally occurring triplets and one of the babies is fraternal. The other two shared a placenta but they don’t yet know if they’re identical."

Yay for such good weights. But BOOOOOO for completely getting it all wrong on being fraternal/identical (and BOOOOOO for the use of "naturally occuring triplets"... as opposed to what? Unnaturally occurring? Do they mean spontaneous?).

How could twins share a placenta and NOT be MZ? And even if the other boy had his own placenta, couldn't he be MZ as well? Why do they even write this if they don't know (and a disclaimer -- I used to be a newspaper reporter, so I am probably even more sympathetic than I should be).

People just get it wrong ALL THE TIME and I don't know how to educate them.

OK. Stepping off the little soapbox for the day. Just want to rant a bit to people who would understand...
Yes, sometimes this stuff drives me batty. And then I calm myself down and think, "Why WOULD they know?"

The one that grinds on me even if someone has no "twins experience" is the identical boy/girl twins. Yeesh! :

It continues to annoy me when the mis-informed person is advising me in an authoritative manner (usually when I'm there with the babies in-tow, so it's evident I might not be completely green on the topic). That feels a lot different than a simple unknowledgable comment about twins in that person's extended family, or what-have-you.

This particular situation would bother me because I would expect that the reporter fact-check. It's extremely easy information to verify. Even the most junior of journalists gets lectured repeatedly about the importance of double-checking spellings and even the most mundane statements.

Did you write a letter?
post #10 of 35
It is rare, and probably not the case here (especially since they were concieved naturally), but fraternal twins can share a placenta. See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3077080/.
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post
Off topic, but I think by "naturally occurring," they're trying to convey that there were no fertility treatments involved in the conception.
Well, yes, but a lot of people who have gone through ART find that phrase off-putting. I prefer to say my twins were "spontaneously" conceived, rather than "naturally" - it's more accurate anyway, I think.
post #12 of 35
Oh, and to the OP - yes, it would bug me in that situation, because the reporter should've done some fact-checking. It doesn't generally bug me when people are ignorant of twin zygosity stuff. OK, the b/g "are they identical" thing bugs me, because that's just stupid. But I cannot tell you how many people I've met who don't have twins but think that identical twins have to be in the same sac and if they weren't, they are fraternal. If I were offended by that, I'd be offended all day long. And if I think back to life before twins, I wouldn't have known anything about di-di MZ twins either, so I give people a pass on that one.
post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yeah, the big part that bugged me is the fact that the reporter should have checked the facts. When "facts" like this are printed, then readers will believe it MUST be true, since it was in the paper, which leads to ongoing misunderstanding about twins/multiples.

"Regular" people not understanding twinning -- I can handle that better (although I don't like the phrase "naturally occurring"). I might roll my eyes after the fact (esp. if someone mentions identical boy/girl twins), but yeah, before twins, I didn't have a clue either. But ... back in the day, if I was writing a story about twins (or triplets), I would have checked it out.

Haven't written a letter yet -- I am not sure if that's a soapbox I want/need to get on, or if just venting to mamas who understand does the trick

Thanks for listening.
post #14 of 35
I know this is extreme, but I found it interesting.

Quote:
Everyone knows boys and girls have different parts and are therefore clearly not identical, right? Not quite. Girls have XX chromosomes and boys have XY chromosomes. The egg cell is always an X, and the sperm cell is either an X or a Y. If the Y chromosome is lost during the early stages of development, the child is born as a female with something called Turner Syndrome. Girls with Turner Syndrome are generally short, can't have children, and may have weak spatial skills. Although they are XO and not XX, they're still girls, and those with brothers who arose from the same egg do have the identical genetic material.
The Strange Truth About Twins
post #15 of 35
Okay, the defender of the ignorant is here to stand up for all of us ignorant identical twin comments we make
18 months before my twins arrived, my friend had boy/girl twins who looked a lot alike (especially all swaddled and bald). I asked her if she was sure they weren't identical, and she would say something sarcastically like, "Norman does have a penis". But I never "got" it. I blame it all on the fact that I went to a lot of Catholic school, and maybe things have changed, but back in the day, talking about "one egg" or otherwise wouldn't have flown far. We got rid of science class in about 6th grade after someone broke a beaker, so....... then I was catapulted into high school in my sophomore year, and was so just trying to keep my head above water on a lot of levels, that I missed the twin lesson. And quite frankly, I never thought to think of it. I seriously had a hard time with the fact that I had a friend who was a twin, and his twin brother looked nothing like him, but he had another brother who looked identical to him. I also had a hard time with the fact that the "tiny" twin of my big friend was the older of the two. Just the stuff that I don't take the time to think about. So, there it is..... I'm outing myself here!!!!
post #16 of 35
My husband and I watched "In the Womb - Multiples" a doc by National Geographic when we were pregnant with our boys and they mentioned the, albeit rare but, possibility of MZ by/girl twins. It had something to do with them starting out as the same sex but having extra chromosomes and them canceling out differently in each.

Not sure of anything more than that....operating on few brain cells, but I KNOW we heard it, because we both heard it!

Anybody see that and hear that?
post #17 of 35
It is very rare for b/g twins to be ID but it can happen. The girl is born with birth defects such as Turner's Syndrome.

I believe by the "natural occuring" was to state they were not using any fertility treatments. My twins were "naturally occuring" or "conceived naturally". I refuse to use the word spontanous when referring to my twins.
post #18 of 35
It bothers me more when people who actually have twins think that DZ twins coming from "the mother's side" means that somehow all the male ancestry does not count in the twinning genetics. It's like they read that somewhere and never thought about the logic... that the fraternal twinning "gene" is for hyperovulation -- therefore the actual father of any given set of twins can't take genetic credit for multiples -- "coming from the mother's side" means the genetics(including all male ancestry!) of the actual mother of that particular set of twins in question!! argh... don't know why this has become my pet peeve.
post #19 of 35
Angie: just curious: why don't you like the word "spontaneous" in this context? It doesn't have a negative connotation, I don't think?
post #20 of 35
General misunderstanding of twinning doesn't bother me as much as people who are both ignorant on the subject and persistent--such as repeatedly assuring me (with my MZ twins and no family history of twinning), "you know twins skip a generation, right? So prepare your grandkids for them!"
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