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Question about identical twins - Page 2

post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogafeet View Post
when we were in the nicu the head nurse was telling me how many twin parents that came through and thought that identical twins are the only true twins- which of course is bs. so maybe she has that ridiculous idea in her head!
I've heard this same thing reportedly said by moms at twin clubs. And it might be a possible reason why the OP's SIL *needs* the kids to be ID... to separate herself from those of us whose twins are a result of fertility treatments.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CuckooMamma View Post

I've also heard your words of wisdom regarding interacting with the two girls. Interestingly, they both refer to themselves as one of their names, ex. Sarah. If you ask where Sarah is, they both point to themselves, as if the other name doesn't exist.
The name thing may not be that off base .... I have a good friend with ID twin girls, and they are just now (at 2) able to tell you who their sister is.
post #23 of 33
My boys are MZ but they have definite differences. T is much bigger than R, even an inch taller. Weighs nearly 10lbs more. (R simply doesn't eat, and T eats everything.) They also have cowlicks in different places. I tell people to look at the back of their hair, T has a "tail" and R doesn't. T has also lost 5 more teeth than R.

However, aside from those small differences, they have the exact same hair color, eye color, skin color, etc. I know they are MZ because they had TTTS and they were swabbed as babies.

However, I probably wouldn't step on your sil's toes. She obvs has some reason to feel so strongly about wanting MZ twins. Let her live in her delusion as long as it isn't hurting anyone.
post #24 of 33
I don't know. They could be MZ.

It's not that unusual for parents of MZ twins to feel the need to have genetic testing "to know for sure." I think if they have been hearing from birth onward that "they look so different" or "they aren't identical, are they?" or "they can't be identical -- they look so different!", then that could lead to them being hung up on the issue. I have doubts about my boys sometimes (although the moms here have said I am in denial, that they are DEFINITELY mz ) but I know that I do get defensive about it (internally) if someone questions it in a certain way. For instance, I remarked with surprise that they weren't getting their teeth right after each other (they have had the same pattern but it's a week or more apart), and their doctor shot me a look and said, "What, you don't think they're identical, do you?" I felt so defensive, and said something like "Well, I know they don't look 'identical' but they are supposed to be monozygotic since they shared a placenta, so they are identical in that sense."

And I felt that way when she (same doc) scrutinized them on our first newborn visit and said she didn't think they were identical. I shrugged and said "They're supposed to be, but we didn't have the placenta examined so I don't know absolutely for sure, but the early ultrasound was fairly conclusive that it wasn't fused." Then at their 6 week or 2 month visit or something, she was looking at them and said, "These twins are not identical. I really can tell them apart and would not expect to do so this easily."

I didn't mention that I've heard how sometimes the babies are most different from each other at birth and then grow to look more and more alike, harder to tell apart.

(To be fair, she was looking back and forth between them when she saw them at 7 months, and she said, "Maybe they are identical after all. They are hard to tell apart." )

My doctor is a fine person and isn't/wasn't being mean or obnoxious. She was just talking, each time. It's probably just my own uncertainty (I've become more certain lately, for some reason) that made my feelings in response amplified and uncomfortable/defensive.

But constant questioning (from the world at large, not specifically from family), in the face of whatever "authoritative" or certain medical feedback they received during the pregnancy, could put a chip on their shoulders about the zygosity. And that could result in them bringing it up, feeling/seeming defensive, managing to say something about the genetic testing results even if nobody asked, etc.

Do you think they are just lying about the genetic testing? (Did they put it in the baby book or something? You could ask if they saved the results, I guess.) You mentioned the possibility of the lab not being reputable....of course it's possible but that seems kind of a long shot to me. I guess you could ask what lab they used and how they found it/chose it. Chances are, if they found out about testing online (as I did), then they heard about it through some twin forum and got feedback about where to go and what the options are. (This seems to be a topic on every twin forum I've visited.) I hear some labs frequently mentioned, and they are the ones that people (here, for instance) have vouched for as reputable.

I think if I wanted to engage the topic, I'd just ask how they knew that the twins were identical during the pregnancy. Maybe not that question directly, but questions that would draw out relevant information. Like asking how far along she was when they found out she was carrying twins. (How early was the first ultrasound?) I had our first u/s at 14 weeks and it was early enough to be nearly certain about the placenta, but two weeks earlier and they could have literally counted the layers of the membrane between them. (Four layers would have meant di/di and a fused placenta, but two layers would just be the individual amnions touching, without the additional chorionic membranes for each baby, which would confirm the single placenta.) As it was, they knew the membrane was very thin (points to being two layers rather than one) and it came to a clean "T" where it met the placenta/chorion....there wasn't a "buildup" of membrane layers at that juncture.

So.....you could ask if there was any risk of TTTS or if the babies were safe because they had their own placentas. And if you learn that they had two placentas, then there is no way a doctor could have confirmed identical during pregnancy. If there was a single placenta, and if you learned that she had a fairly early ultrasound, then there's a good chance that a doctor telling them that the twins were identical because they shared a placenta was an accurate assessment.

If, instead, they are hung up on the girls being identical for the reasons suggested (think that id. twins are "cooler," think that fraternal twins aren't "real" twins, or are sensitive about the suggestion/assumption that they used assisted reproductive technology of some kind if the girls are fraternal), perhaps the term they are looking for is "spontaneous." They were spontaneous twins.

Unless you think they would outright lie about lab results, I'd be inclined to think that they are identical twins and they just don't look much alike, and it bugs the parents that everyone seems to question it, or that people just assume that they aren't MZ. As to why twin type matters......I don't know why it should. There are good reasons to know one way or another, but a lot of it just has to do with curiosity, and probably other feelings.
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiannaK View Post
The name thing may not be that off base .... I have a good friend with ID twin girls, and they are just now (at 2) able to tell you who their sister is.
Really? That's so weird to me. Mine have always known each others' names and used them. But they do tend to default to plural pronouns over singular!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalaRei View Post
I've heard this same thing reportedly said by moms at twin clubs. And it might be a possible reason why the OP's SIL *needs* the kids to be ID... to separate herself from those of us whose twins are a result of fertility treatments.
What about all the fraternal twins out there that happened just because the Mom ovulated twice all on her own? (I'm not asking you - I know you aren't the one in question here!) Not to mention that fertility treatments can produce identical twins, too, and not to mention that the general public rarely knows any of the above.
post #26 of 33
Not a mom of multiples but I have 18 year old twin brothers. Does that count?

Anyhow, they are very much identical (known due to some issues that went along with my mom's pregnancy) and they don't look alike. I mean they do but they are old enough and settled into their bodies enough that it's easy to see the differences. That could be just me...DH swears he can't see it.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by OGirlieMama View Post
Really? That's so weird to me. Mine have always known each others' names and used them. But they do tend to default to plural pronouns over singular!



What about all the fraternal twins out there that happened just because the Mom ovulated twice all on her own? (I'm not asking you - I know you aren't the one in question here!) Not to mention that fertility treatments can produce identical twins, too, and not to mention that the general public rarely knows any of the above.
That's exactly what I was thinking. My dh still berates me for dropping two eggs!
post #28 of 33
I've been lurking and trying to decide whether I have anything useful to contribute. I haven't run across this at all IRL. What I do see all the time is mothers of twins who look to the rest of the world as though they are MZ who think their kids are DZ because they doctor said so when they didn't share a placenta, which I think is healthier in some ways as it keeps the focus on their differences.

Although I appreciate the serious cuteness factor of MZ kids, and I admit that there is a certain ease to the extreme similarity of behaviours and body clocks of my nieces, I am thrilled that my set are clearly TZ so I don't spend any energy worrying about who is who. My boys are so different (hair colour, skin tone, build, size, personality) it is hard to imagine gettting them confused, but, even so, a lot of people that have seen us a couple of times a week for a year still have trouble remembering which is which. I think it's just because they come as a group most of the time.

I do think that it is a disservice to deny differences between ones children and I think it can be harmful, so I think I would feel compelled to speak up or do something.

Just in case the mom is right and the girls are MZ, rather than being oppositional, I might take the opposite tack and ask, "Is there some way that we can distinguish the girls while I am here so I don't have to work to remember which is which." That way, you aren't addressing the zygosity issue but the "twinness" and the group treatment. You haven't actually said that you don't have any difficulty telling them apart, but it does suggest that other people might. I might also see if I could take them out on one-on-one special trips - even a walk down the street one at a time. I would be trying to make sure that even if mom sees them as the same, there is at least one grown-up who realizes that they are different people.
post #29 of 33
I have never understood the obsession. I will say, I highly doubt they are identical, but I wouldn't say anything. I wouldn't even comment on them being twins because her frequent mention of it seems odd to me. I would let her keep her delusion and just focus on treating the girls like individuals.
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hergrace View Post
I've been lurking and trying to decide whether I have anything useful to contribute. I haven't run across this at all IRL. What I do see all the time is mothers of twins who look to the rest of the world as though they are MZ who think their kids are DZ because they doctor said so when they didn't share a placenta, which I think is healthier in some ways as it keeps the focus on their differences.
I find this interesting too. There are so many "MZ doubters" out there :

The parents say, "But they are so DIFFERENT!" when no one else in the world can tell them apart! Something like 90% of all genetic testing shows the twins to be MZ ("identical"). But the parents can't wrap their head around it
post #31 of 33
A friend of mine has identical twins, but due to extreme stress while in utero the genes of one expressed differently. (Basically her sister got all the nutrients and she got none.) My friend makes a big deal about them being twins even though they hardly even look like siblings. One is normal sized and the other looks like she's 2 (she's actually 4), one is dark-haired, dark-eyed, and olive toned, and the other one is blonde, light-eyed and fairer-skinned.

In addition to needing to share that they are twins, the mom also makes a big deal about them being identical. She is constantly pointing out to me how their features are the same (I don't really see it, but I'm not good at that kind of stuff). In this case I guess it really *is* kind of interesting that they are genetically identical but look so different, so maybe it's fun for her to point it out. I have no insight into her psyche, I just wanted to share since I actually know a real life pair of genetically identical twins whose genes expressed differently.
post #32 of 33
I knew a pair of *identical* twins when I was growing up. They NEVER looked alike, in the least, but their parents insisted they were identical because they shared a placenta. They also said they had done genetic testing (yet no one in the family had ever seen the results and this was a close family, so it seemed odd).

The twins are now 19 and got testing done themselves last year. They are fraternal. (Ironically they seemed rather relived at finding out for sure that they arnt identical, lol)

I'm not saying its entirely impossible, but I dont see how its possible to have different hair color, eye color (esp eye color), totally different features, etc, and be identical. It just doesnt make sense to me.
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocsNemesis View Post
I'm not saying its entirely impossible, but I dont see how its possible to have different hair color, eye color (esp eye color), totally different features, etc, and be identical. It just doesnt make sense to me.
I watched a program on discovery channel or similar that said genes can express differently if put under extreme stress in utero (e.g. one twin gets very little nutrients). That would apply to very few cases. I do believe my friend when she says hers are identical even though they have such different coloring, because the lighter-featured one just looks funny -- albino-ish. OK not *that* extreme but she does look a bit odd. They were taken from the womb early (29 or 30 weeks) because the doctors thought they would both die if they didn't take them. The one that was subjected to the in utero stress was only 1 lb. Her sister was 3 lbs.
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