Identical or Fraternal? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 43 Old 01-26-2010, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I had two sacs and two placentas (which had fused together). They said we still would not know if they were identical or not b/c if they were and the egg split within the first two or three days then they would form their own things. So, they are 3 months now and I don't really care what they are...but I kinda wish I knew. Should I just do the cheek swab dna test? I dunno. Also...I heard that there are also "semi-identical" twins and they have a (more expensive) test for that too. What do you guys think? Some days they look a lot alike to me and some days they look very different. I just don't know.

http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos..._2363558_n.jpg
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#2 of 43 Old 01-26-2010, 10:02 PM
 
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They totally look identical to me. They can have two placentas, two sacks and still have one outter sack which would make them indentical.

I cant make the call for you on finding out via test.. BUT I can say.. if it were me.. id find out..LOL

BTW.. total cuties you have there!

Mother to 3 wonderful boys. Doula, MW apprentice, Photographer, Foster/adoptive mom, twin mom and advocate for much.
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#3 of 43 Old 01-26-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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They look more different than my monozygotic nieces did at the same age.

But, FWIW, every time a friend of mine has had any question about whether their kids were identical or fraternal and then done the DNA test, they have come back monozygotic (identical).

Kate
mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#4 of 43 Old 01-26-2010, 10:56 PM
 
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I'm not a mom of multiples. I'm a twin, and we don't know whether we're identical or not. It's a subject of fairly intense family debate, which could probably be settled if we'd just do the darn cheek swab, but I frankly have no desire to. If either of us ever needs a kidney, we'll get the testing.

My objection to the testing (as an adult) is that the result doesn't matter. I'm not closer to or farther from my sister because we are or are not identical twins. The connection we have with each other is the result of many years of communication and shared experience, not the result of the DNA we do or do not share entirely. When we were younger, we (quite reasonably, IMO) feared that if we were thought to be identical we would face (more) pressure to either behave exactly the same way all the time or to stake out opposite territories ("the pretty one"/"the smart one", "the good one"/"the bad one"). Whereas if we were known to be fraternal, we would simply be regarded as not at all special or interesting.
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#5 of 43 Old 01-27-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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Oh Meepy, I hear you. I even get that sense among twin Moms sometimes. Like MZ twins are "more special". Although, I do think MZ twins are COOL! The idea that you were once one person who is now two. The geek in me just swoons over the ideas but I've always been fairly obsessed with science and especially genetics.

They look MZ to me! My lovely gf has twins who were di/di and I do their photography. I swear to you those girls are MZ. NO ONE can tell them apart. I have a heck of a time editing and remembering who is who and once I convert to black and white and can't see the nail polish she keeps on them I have to mark them with names so as to not mix them up. I have permission to share and I know how ya'll love to swoon over twins so here ya go:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/venusri...7622777806895/
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#6 of 43 Old 01-27-2010, 10:09 AM
 
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Although, I do think MZ twins are COOL! The idea that you were once one person who is now two.
Oh dear. See, that's exactly one of the ideas we prefer not to engage with. If we were one person and are now two, that means (according to some people) that we're each only half a person. Sound crazy? Sure, but the idea was floated to us by one of our fourth grade teachers. Who actually carried it a bit further and assumed that if one of us was reasonably intelligent, since we had only the one stock of smarts to split up, the other must be mentally subnormal. If we're each only half a person, then it's fine to just lump us together all the time, right? To pick one of our names and use it on both of us. Or to ask us which is the original and which is the clone. And insist that we pick. Or not to worry about hurting our feelings because, hey, we're only half-people.

Being a twin isn't necessarily easy for kids. The whole MZ/DZ obsession doesn't make it better.
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#7 of 43 Old 01-27-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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Ugh, that's obnoxious. One of the reasons I find it SO cool is because you ARE two completely separate, individual people. I think it's fascinating that one fertilized egg can become two unique individuals with their own personas. I personally just geek out on that stuff. I'm convinced that I should have been a genetics researcher. But I'm sorry that you were subjected to such an obnoxious person at such a young age. I can already see that my babies are going to fend off ignorant comments for a lifetime.
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#8 of 43 Old 01-27-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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When we were younger, we (quite reasonably, IMO) feared that if we were thought to be identical we would face (more) pressure to either behave exactly the same way all the time or to stake out opposite territories ("the pretty one"/"the smart one", "the good one"/"the bad one"). Whereas if we were known to be fraternal, we would simply be regarded as not at all special or interesting.
I completely understand. The other side of the coin is that clearly DZ twins often get told they can't be twins because they don't look alike. It's annoying either way.

Kate
mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#9 of 43 Old 01-27-2010, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh great...is there hope for my boys no matter what they are? LOL...I think the fact that they grew in the womb together is cool. Does that mean my singleton is not special? Heck no...she's awesome and she knows it, and I'm pretty sure my boys will know they are too...not because they are twins. And I don't think it would matter which they are. I guess it just annoys me NOT knowing. I just wish I had an answer.
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#10 of 43 Old 01-27-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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Oh great...is there hope for my boys no matter what they are? LOL...I think the fact that they grew in the womb together is cool. Does that mean my singleton is not special? Heck no...she's awesome and she knows it, and I'm pretty sure my boys will know they are too...not because they are twins. And I don't think it would matter which they are.
This attitude is a great basis for giving your kids the tools to deal with whatever the outside world gives them. Anybody out of the norm has to deal with the fact that other people respond in weird ways sometimes. Your boys will get odd things from time to time and your daughter will probably get fed up with being ignored because twins are special, but knowing they are each special in your eyes will get them through a lot.

If I wanted to know, and found the not knowing unsettling, I would get the testing done. It was a non-issue for me as my boys have different blood types. It was always a discussion between my brother and his wife until their daughters both turned out to have a very rare anomaly in their eyes that confirmed everybody's suspicion that they were MZ.

Kate
mother of Patrick (7/31/03), and Michael, William, and Jocelyn (4/27/07)
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#11 of 43 Old 01-27-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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My vote is that yours are MZ. I usually look at mouth shape, nose shape, eye shape and spacing (though that is not always the best indicator, since one of my MZ boys has eyes that are a bit further up than his brother). We had the same scenario...they suspected mono-di in utero, but it was a bit too late to tell via u/s (I found out at 14 wks and the best 'window' to see the lambda sign, or not, between fused placentas is 11-12 weeks) and it appeared that they had fused placentas at birth. They were 1 lb different at birth and looked quite different then, too. One had longer hair, the other a rounder face and head. But, as they got older, they grew more and more similar (and continue to). I did opt to get the test, even though many people thought I was nuts--they were clearly 'identical.' It was just nice to have a definitive answer to the question, "are they identical?" We have tried to focus on their individuality as much as we can--different clothes, different interests, toys, etc. But, I think with any variety of twin, there's always going to be a compulsion to compare them once in awhile to one another. But, I don't know how different that is than the normal compulsion to compare siblings to one another....

Cindi, mama to Hannah (7/04) :, Eli & Sam (6/06) :
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#12 of 43 Old 01-27-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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Since I didn't find out until my 20 week u/s I'm in the same predicament. The u/s tech told me a couple weeks ago that she'd guess MZ because of the fused placenta. But, I probably won't get testing if they are the same sex.

I'm fascinated by twins but at the same time I think every twin that I know and that I've talked to (amazing how many pop out of the woodwork when you're this huge) has talked about how terrible it was to stake out their individuality. I imagine it'd be harder if you knew for sure MZ. But who knows.

Kids are cruel. I cannot even believe a teacher was that rude.

Valerie, wife to Kevin, mother to Elena (4), Jonathan (2), and twins, Andrew and Benjamin (2/2010)
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#13 of 43 Old 01-27-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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Interesting perspective, Meepy. Thanks for sharing it. What a terrible teacher. Hearing it help solidify my decision to go out of my way to get my girls into the best school I can find. Which, by coincidence has lots of twins, always in separate classes.

Mom of Steele, our twins were just like yours. Di-di with a fused placenta. The girls were a pound apart at birth, 39 weeks. Similar coloring, and necessarily same blood type (0 positive for both parents = all babes too). But they looked different to me and have always had radically different personalities. At almost 2 years old, they're different enough that I can recognize who's who over the phone. But they hit all their milestones together, got all their teeth together, and strangers were always asking if they're identical. I remember the time when a stranger asked and I just went ahead and said yes. My husband was scandalized since we assumed they were fraternal. I was just tired of saying: "No, we don't think so, but we aren't sure. Yes they look alike. No, the hospital couldn't tell us when they were born because they were born at home . . ."

At 15 months we finally paid for the cheek swab. I was SHOCKED by the results, and think we have the least identical looking and acting MZ twins I've ever met. But MZ all the same.

That's a long way of saying, if you want / need to know, get the test. But I could save you the money and tell you yours are MZ. And so cute!!!

Intertwined, thanks for the photo, what sweeties!

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#14 of 43 Old 01-27-2010, 09:53 PM
 
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So Identical. totally totally identical! Coming from a Mum who was told the same thing about hers! LMBO I totally doubt it at times, but have been assured there is no WAY mine aren't!

I have no desire to test as it really makes no difference to me - they are two different little persons and shall remain that way. I just answer the question to ID or Frat as = we were told identical as they shared a placenta. and leave it at that.

Tamika
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#15 of 43 Old 01-28-2010, 12:05 AM
 
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Funny when anyone asks that question around here it's clearly that they are MZ We also were di-di (not fused)...and couldn't tell them apart AT ALL (they were only 1.5 oz different in weight at birth)...and sadly, I seem to be one of those people who can't tell twins apart, because to this day, a 1 year old, I still struggle to tell them apart I feel horrible about it, but for some reason my brain doesn't seem to register any subtle differences. Pretty much no one can tell ours apart if they don't have clothes on.

We did the test when they were only a month old...it was driving me crazy...not for any real reason, just wanting to know...and maybe confirm that I wasn't nuts for not being able to tell them apart

Tammy, Canadian Mama to 4 girls May-02...March-05 and...identical twin girls Jan-09
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#16 of 43 Old 01-28-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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I'll vote MZ. My girls were di-di and we debated for months about MZ/DZ. I always knew inside that they were MZ (had a weird "feeling" at 9 weeks pregnant, which I actually shared with friends online) but still had trouble believing that such a crazy thing (one egg, two people) had happened inside my body.

To me, twins of any sort are an amazing miracle, and I just wanted to know which kind. The kind where one egg and one sperm make two people, or the kind where two eggs both manage to beat the odds and get fertilized on the same cycle?

And wow, Meepy. Your teacher was a big fat jerk. Thank you for sharing, though, because it does help inform my own conversations with my girls. Right now, though, they are 4 and we've told them a little about it, but they clearly don't get it. They always talk about "When we were inside our egg before we were born..." and it's verrrry clear that they're picturing a hard shell with two little babies floating inside and eventually hatching. Hilarious.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#17 of 43 Old 01-28-2010, 02:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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See...I only wonder every now and then if they are identical because quite frankly I can tell them apart really easily and a lot of people can...so I don't know. It's so funny hearing about everyone else with the same dilemma of annoying questions from other people when you don't know the answer!
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#18 of 43 Old 01-28-2010, 02:31 AM
 
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I LUUUURVE this conversation:

Are they TWINS!?

Yes!

Are they IDENTICAL?

(scratches head in confusion and looks at her boy/girl twins)
Hmmm, no.

(with sad look of disappointment)
Oh.

And then they often walk away acting like I've just deflated their balloon. Weirdos.
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#19 of 43 Old 01-28-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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I LUUUURVE this conversation:

Are they TWINS!?

Yes!

Are they IDENTICAL?

(scratches head in confusion and looks at her boy/girl twins)
Hmmm, no.

(with sad look of disappointment)
Oh.

And then they often walk away acting like I've just deflated their balloon. Weirdos.
I can't tell you how many times we've had the same conversation. I always have to laugh though because almost everytime I say no at the end and remind them that one is a girl and one is a boy they feel the need to say "Oh....but they look so much alike, you can tell they're twins" . For the record, my boy/girl twins look so completely different we wonder sometimes if dd is even from the same family!! I have to cut them some slack though because before I became pregnant with twins I really had no idea whatsoever about the differences in twins, etc... It never really occurred to me to even wonder about it.

Back to the OP, mom_of_steele, your babes definitely look identical to me. So cute too .

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#20 of 43 Old 01-28-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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Karen, same thing here. I hear all about how much they look alike. They look NOTHING alike:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...00000172637746

I usually take pity on them and just smile and nod.
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#21 of 43 Old 01-28-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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Karen, same thing here. I hear all about how much they look alike. They look NOTHING alike:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...00000172637746

I usually take pity on them and just smile and nod.
Love the hats. They definitely look different to me. Here's my two:

http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/s...iaSamLarge.jpg

My eldest dd is in the picture too and her and Sam are very, very similar (we have trouble telling their baby pictures apart). My eldest ds has the same family resemblance. Claire is just so different than the rest of them.

Sorry, OP, I'll let this thread get back to your question .

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#22 of 43 Old 01-28-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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we always say our twins are fraternal, but there is just a touch of uncertainty. strangers tend to think they are identical, probably because they are same height, build, coloring. they did have all their baby milestones together- teeth erupted on the same day, they walked on the same day, all that. but i have always, since they were 2 days old, been able to instantly tell them apart. i think if you sometimes can't tell them apart, especially if they are asleep or if they are in the tub, say, with wet hair, there is a very good chance they are identical.

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#23 of 43 Old 01-28-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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oh, d'oh! i just now looked at your babies pic. adorable. i vote identical! that was the other thing i meant to say - if you sometimes can't tell who's who in pictures, they are probably identical.

here are mine- the two handsome 21 year olds! their hair is cut differently now, so that helps them look less alike. this is at my recent wedding, which is why im back on a mothering forum..

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...8&id=677615850

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#24 of 43 Old 01-29-2010, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Love the hats. They definitely look different to me. Here's my two:

http://i575.photobucket.com/albums/s...iaSamLarge.jpg

My eldest dd is in the picture too and her and Sam are very, very similar (we have trouble telling their baby pictures apart). My eldest ds has the same family resemblance. Claire is just so different than the rest of them.

Sorry, OP, I'll let this thread get back to your question .
Oh you guys are fine...this is fun!
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#25 of 43 Old 01-29-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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Wow Karmab! Look at those handsome boys. Different haircuts or not they for sure look MZ! What a handsome family. I love the choice of colors for the dress/ties. NICE!

Oh Karen, I am cracking up. Now I could see people confusing your oldest and SAM for twins when he's older....
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#26 of 43 Old 01-29-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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thank ya very much, intertwined!

mom o steele- have to ask- what do you know (or anyone else here, too) about this possible third type of twin? when my twins were babies, there was a research team at duke university studying 'polar body twinning,' where one egg divides and is then fertilized by two sperm, giving an average of 75% of the same dna to this type of twins. i spoke to the lead guy at the time, he was doing a study and was recruiting subjects- i saw it advertised in twin magazine (not sure if that publication is still around.) anyway, my boys were too young to take part in the study, which required bloodwork. the guy said that they knew this happened in other mammals, like cows, but had not seen it in humans. i am a nurse, my specialty is high risk ob although i now work in radiology, but i never heard anything about polar body twinning after that even while in ob, so i thought they must not have found evidence. now, ive been out of the twin loop for a while- when my sons were little i did the moms of twins club and all that, but havent done anything like that for 15 years. what have you heard about this third type of twinning? do they still think it can happen?

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#27 of 43 Old 01-29-2010, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Karmab...Okay, here is what I found: "Polar Body Twinning is distinguished from semi-identical twinning in that the egg splits before fertilization. Although a case of semi-identical twinning has been confirmed, polar body twinning remains a theory." (http://multiples.about.com/cs/glossa...arbody_def.htm). And yes, twins magazine is still around "Semi-identical" twins (reported in 2007 I believe) where they are identical on the mothers side but share only half their fathers genes or something. "...the rare twins developed when two sperm fertilized a single egg, forming a triploid, which then split." (http://multiples.about.com/od/glossa...iidentical.htm) I don't know...I'm not really very good at all this DNA stuff. But I saw a place that offered a "semi-identical" twin zygosity test that would tell you which of the three it is. This test requires dna samples from both parents as well I believe. I just decided to order a regular identical/fraternal twin zygosity test today since the third type seems to be very very rare and the price difference for the test is several hundred dollars. I just decided I had to do the test cause even though the results of the test will make no difference to me or the boys...the unknown just bothers me too much. It will make for easier conversation to just be able to give people an answer...so many people just don't know how it works anyway so it's just easier to give them one of the answers they are looking for rather than explain the whole reason why you don't know LOL.
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#28 of 43 Old 01-29-2010, 09:07 PM
 
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huh. that's very interesting!

now you will have to let us all know what the test says!

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#29 of 43 Old 01-30-2010, 02:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For sure I kinda have an inkling that they are MZ. They don't look and act TOTALLY identical...but since DZ would be no more alike than any other sibling...they are way more alike than that. I just always thought you couldn't tell identical twins apart LOL...again...shows how much the rest of the world who doesn't have twins know about it huh?
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#30 of 43 Old 01-31-2010, 12:28 PM
 
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...and sadly, I seem to be one of those people who can't tell twins apart, because to this day, a 1 year old, I still struggle to tell them apart I feel horrible about it, but for some reason my brain doesn't seem to register any subtle differences. Pretty much no one can tell ours apart if they don't have clothes on.
That is how I feel! I feel like the worst mother because I can't tell my babies apart!

Tamika
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