If you're 'told' they are identical, but reallly wonder....*updated July* - Mothering Forums
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Parenting Multiples > If you're 'told' they are identical, but reallly wonder....*updated July*
ChaoticMum's Avatar ChaoticMum 08:30 PM 05-14-2011

.....I refuse to test - its not worth the money when the answer really doesn't matter - but it doesn't stop me from being curious.

 

We were told they were mono/di. That the membrane between them was approximately 1mm thick. It was extremely hard to find at all of my u/s but was glimpsed at each and every one. I never did see the placenta(s) since I was under general anaesthetic for their delivery. I never heard about any pathology report on the placenta(s), and we did not have bloodwork done on the babes.


Their whole life they have always been no greater than 4-5oz different in weight and no more than 1/4" difference in height, all my children are light haired, but none of the older ones have the same shade to each other or to the Duo - these guys have the exact same shade.  I have mixed them up once - at 6mths of age, and they each have a birthmark between their eyes that we swear is the same but mirrored.

 

Help me out - what's the Mothering.com diagnosis....identical or not?

http://out-of-the-mouths-of-babes.blogspot.com/2011/05/dynamic-duoidentical-or-not.html



Shuli's Avatar Shuli 06:09 AM 05-15-2011

From the pictures that you posted they look different to me, but that could just be the camera angles.


Super~Single~Mama 06:15 AM 05-15-2011

I came in from new posts and am totally crashing....but I love pictures of babies!

 

I say ID.  Regardless, they are beautiful!!!


LSUtwinMama's Avatar LSUtwinMama 11:56 AM 05-15-2011

Your boys are adorable! I say ID.

 

 

My twin girls, di/di, are ID and there is still a 1/4" difference in height and a few ounce difference in weight. They have mirrored birthmarks on the back of their neck and  reached milestones at the same time (they started walking within hours of each other at 12 mo, had the same first word, etc)

 

 

050.JPG

 

 


luv my 2 sweeties's Avatar luv my 2 sweeties 12:29 PM 05-15-2011

I'm not a mom of multiples, but as a "lay" observer, I'd vote for identical.  In high school I knew twin girls who looked exactly the same for the most part -- wore their hair alike, had similar taste in clothing, etc.  When I first met them I thought there was no way to tell them apart, but as I got to know them better, I started being able to tell.  I couldn't always tell if I only saw one of them, but side-by-side, I started to see subtle differences.  Maybe as the person the closest to your sons, they are looking less and less identical to you as time goes on?  And most fraternal twins I've known look no more alike than regular siblings, which can be pretty similar, but still with apparent differences.

 


Tigerchild's Avatar Tigerchild 01:59 PM 05-15-2011

My MZ boys are about 2 inches different in height, and probably about 15 lbs different in weight.  (They are TTTS survivors, so they have *always* been 20-30 percent different in height and weight from birth)  Height and weight is simply unreliable for determining zygosity.  There are too many other factors at play.  Even if there was no TTTS, cord placement or placenta sharing can cause a size difference.  Supposedly there is another chance at puberty for them to reset and reach the same height/weight (which would make sense).  THere is no question that they are MZ though.

 

My MZ boys have different dominant hands (they are not "mirror image" twins though), different birthmarks.  Strangers and people who only see them every once in awhile can have a hard time telling them apart, but people who know them well don't have any trouble.  I find that now as a mom of twins I can tell MZ twins apart fairly quickly and easily as I get to know them.  My boys do not look alike to me at all in person--they have hugely different facial expressions too.  It's in photographs that I have a harder time, esp. if they're not doing their different weird "picture taking" smile.

 

I have known fraternal twins and siblings that are not twins that look more alike than some of the MZ twins I know!  Siblings in general sometimes can look very VERY much alike.


ChaoticMum's Avatar ChaoticMum 07:16 PM 05-15-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shuli View Post

From the pictures that you posted they look different to me, but that could just be the camera angles.

They are IMPOSSIBLE to get to look at the camera at the same time! LOL
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

My MZ boys are about 2 inches different in height, and probably about 15 lbs different in weight.  (They are TTTS survivors, so they have *always* been 20-30 percent different in height and weight from birth)  Height and weight is simply unreliable for determining zygosity.  There are too many other factors at play.  Even if there was no TTTS, cord placement or placenta sharing can cause a size difference.  Supposedly there is another chance at puberty for them to reset and reach the same height/weight (which would make sense).  THere is no question that they are MZ though.

 

My MZ boys have different dominant hands (they are not "mirror image" twins though), different birthmarks.  Strangers and people who only see them every once in awhile can have a hard time telling them apart, but people who know them well don't have any trouble.  I find that now as a mom of twins I can tell MZ twins apart fairly quickly and easily as I get to know them.  My boys do not look alike to me at all in person--they have hugely different facial expressions too.  It's in photographs that I have a harder time, esp. if they're not doing their different weird "picture taking" smile.

 

I have known fraternal twins and siblings that are not twins that look more alike than some of the MZ twins I know!  Siblings in general sometimes can look very VERY much alike.


All of my kids look so much alike - my older boys are 16mths apart and the same size - MANY people get them mixed up regularly, but once they actually LOOK at them there is no doubt.

 

Its amazing how many people do believe they should be the EXACT same size etc - that's why I posted those stats  - not so much that *I* thought they pertained to being MZ, but as those 'throw it out there' details.

 

I wish I could walk around with a pamphlet for the fact that ID isn't necessarily IDENTICALLY identical! LOL

 


Gena 22's Avatar Gena 22 09:55 AM 05-16-2011

Don't waste the money on the test, unless you really need to know for sure.  As a mom that went 15 months thinking her twins were fraternal, until I broke down and did the test, you twins look more identical than most MZ twins.  And it's unlikely that the docs would be wrong about mono-di twins.  It's of course possible that the placentas fused, making it look mono-di, but that seems unlikely, especially with a thin membrane.  If they shared a placenta, they must be MZ.

 

So cute and definitely MZ!


Smurfette2's Avatar Smurfette2 10:31 AM 05-16-2011

Well, my twins are the result of two eggs, two sperms, two fertilizations. They were born looking alike but now at 9 weeks, Sophia is our California surfer girl with olive skin and brownish/black hair. Grace is the raven beauty with black hair and very fair skin. Both still have those deep blue eyes - which TeenBaby had until 26 months. Then her eyes went green. My babies are less twins and more sisters but they do everything the same. I mean EVERYTHING. It's sometimes scary how they mirror each other's mannerisms.

 

LOL. 9 weeks old and I'm already talking about mannerisms.  


Tjej's Avatar Tjej 11:18 AM 05-16-2011

I'm a non-twin mom too, but if you really wonder couldn't you get a look at your medical records from the birth and see what they wrote about the placenta et. al.?  I know I have a copy of my DD's birth report thing, and I think I have my DS's too.  It's kind of fun to read what the doctor's perspective was anyway - very different from the other end of things. ;)

 

Tjej


Snowflake777's Avatar Snowflake777 12:34 PM 05-16-2011

They definitely look MZ to me, but the light is hitting them differently in every pic so it's a little hard to judge.

 

I was a full-time nanny for MZ twins for a year. In the beginning, I couldn't tell them apart, but after a couple of months I knew who was who at a glance. Sometimes I could even tell them apart from behind, or just hearing their voices.

 

Now I see them only occasionally, and I have no idea who is who! 

 

Point is, when you're around them all the time you notice the tiny differences that most other people won't.


babygrey's Avatar babygrey 11:42 PM 05-17-2011


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjej View Post

I'm a non-twin mom too, but if you really wonder couldn't you get a look at your medical records from the birth and see what they wrote about the placenta et. al.?  I know I have a copy of my DD's birth report thing, and I think I have my DS's too.  It's kind of fun to read what the doctor's perspective was anyway - very different from the other end of things. ;)

 

Tjej


Yeah this, plus you should be able to get a copy of the actual pathology report for the placenta. I know I have a copy of the path report from my twins' placentas. 

FWIW, they look identical to me. and super cute :)

 


Marissamom's Avatar Marissamom 12:06 AM 05-18-2011

I'm not a twin mama, but I wanted to say that it's impossible to tell just by looks. I have twin uncles, they shared a placenta, and looked identical until post-puberty. now there's s six-inch height difference, and they don't look any more alike than the rest of the brothers, so we're pretty sure they're fraternal, but you wouldn't know that by looking at them until adulthood. 


mauri456's Avatar mauri456 07:48 AM 05-18-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissamom View Post

I'm not a twin mama, but I wanted to say that it's impossible to tell just by looks. I have twin uncles, they shared a placenta, and looked identical until post-puberty. now there's s six-inch height difference, and they don't look any more alike than the rest of the brothers, so we're pretty sure they're fraternal, but you wouldn't know that by looking at them until adulthood. 


If they shared a placenta, they are ID.  

 


2lilsweetfoxes's Avatar 2lilsweetfoxes 09:54 AM 05-18-2011

I babysat a set of twins--looked exactly alike.  I could not tell them apart for the most part.  Their mother insisted they were fraternal, so...  I also knew another set that mom said fraternal, but, for them also, to this day, I often wonder if they are really identical.


gmvh's Avatar gmvh 08:24 PM 05-18-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post

I babysat a set of twins--looked exactly alike.  I could not tell them apart for the most part.  Their mother insisted they were fraternal, so...  I also knew another set that mom said fraternal, but, for them also, to this day, I often wonder if they are really identical.



We know two sets of twins (coincidentally the two sets share the same two names) and both moms insist their boys are fraternal because that's what their medical provider (an OB) told them.  In both cases the boys look so SO much alike and move the same way and and and - I just cannot believe they are fraternal.  I've talked through with both moms about how twinning happens (because they were told their boys had separate placentas so they must be fraternal) and at least have each understanding how, indeed, their boys could be identical.  I don't think either has tested. 

 

My twins, on the other hand, are definitely fraternal (b/g) but I love the "are they identical" questions. 


Marissamom's Avatar Marissamom 12:24 AM 05-19-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by mauri456 View Post




If they shared a placenta, they are ID.  

 

not necessarily. we have no idea if it was actually one placenta or if it was a fussed placenta (this was 60 years ago, in a small town, they didn't do a detailed study of the placenta), which we all think is way more likely now. they no longer just have the subtle differences that are common with MZ twins, after puberty they have much bigger differences, and are actually harder to confuse than the other three brothers, major height and build difference, one now has wavy hair, face shape differences, different chins. they looked very, very similar, and had the same height and build until puberty, and there was no medical or environmental reason for one to grow so much more than the other, or any of the other physical characteristics that are different. no one believes they're MZ anymore. 
 

 


Chula13's Avatar Chula13 12:05 PM 05-21-2011

I am confused about my twins as well I went through my whole pregnany being told that my twins were identical by the peritonoligist but when they were born the ob said they were not identical . I can always tell them apart but others can't and always assume they are identical.


Lisa1970's Avatar Lisa1970 01:07 PM 05-21-2011

I would have the dna testing done. My children have always been right at each other in sizes and development, and they are all singletons. They were all within 3 ounces at birth too. Their 18 month pictures, they look alike and it is hard to tell which picture is to which child, except that most pictures are labeled or there are differences in outfits or backgrounds. Unless they shared a sac, and it sounds like they did not, then there really is no way to know prior to birth. Ok...I conceived twins when we were doing IF treatments and only had 1 going in (not a good response that cycle) so when they said twins, we knew it had to be identical due to the fact that there was only 1 to start. Or if there was testing done via an amnio to see if they are identical, but it sounds like none of these apply. Plus, your two boys look just like your daughter, so I think you have children who look a lot alike. I would just get the testing. Good luck! Hope that helps!


Lisa1970's Avatar Lisa1970 01:09 PM 05-21-2011

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are even fraternal, but looked enough alike to be switched out for Full House. 


OGirlieMama's Avatar OGirlieMama 06:59 PM 05-21-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are even fraternal, but looked enough alike to be switched out for Full House. 



A lot of people believe that their parents were told they're fraternal because they were di-di, and back then, that was the conventional wisdom. Obviously, it's sheer speculation, but I buy it. 


ChaoticMum's Avatar ChaoticMum 08:15 PM 05-29-2011

THanks everyone!! I think that's my question - was it really one, or two fused. I could look into getting the paperwork - I never heard anything about pathology on the placenta....

 

I guess its just that innate curiosity. I'm awful for this - wavering back and forth. Drives my husband nuts! LOL


~adorkable~'s Avatar ~adorkable~ 03:17 PM 05-31-2011
And for the lady that has B/G twins, did you know that there is apparently a version of twins that are "half identical"??! And that they can be B/G. Apparently happens when the egg splits BEFORE it's fertilized and then goes on to get fertilized by two different sperm. A DNA test would show the identical info from the moms side but normal sibling relation on the dads side.

Strange huh?
hergrace's Avatar hergrace 05:08 AM 06-01-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Adorkable~ View Post

And for the lady that has B/G twins, did you know that there is apparently a version of twins that are "half identical"??! And that they can be B/G. Apparently happens when the egg splits BEFORE it's fertilized and then goes on to get fertilized by two different sperm. A DNA test would show the identical info from the moms side but normal sibling relation on the dads side.

Strange huh?


I believe that this what you are describing is a purely theoretical model of twinning and hasn't been documented as actually occurring. There is one known case of a egg being fertilized by two sperm and then splitting, yielding "semi-identical" twins,

 


ChaoticMum's Avatar ChaoticMum 09:02 AM 07-03-2011

http://i644.photobucket.com/albums/uu161/BaronMum/layers.jpg  at 1yr of age

 

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/IF9LcwpkKmgOKhxh7SXi-pebJBkCfyjw4eM_ytpHgng?feat=directlink  at 21mths   *Edited to put in the CORRECT picture...*

 

 

I layered their photos - I had to flip the top one to mirror it and when I did - well....I guess this could be my DNA test! LOL


Gena 22's Avatar Gena 22 09:17 AM 07-05-2011

That is amazing!  You did it, no testing necessary!  I think you also win a prize for most identical MZ twins.


ChaoticMum's Avatar ChaoticMum 11:29 AM 07-05-2011

Isn't it? I edited it to put the correct lined up properly picture in there for 21mths - its amazing how once I flipped it - it just flowed together! I was quite shocked actually!


~adorkable~'s Avatar ~adorkable~ 09:59 PM 09-02-2011

that is soo amazing how the birthmark and everything lined up so perfectly!! and mirror image that is cool! i still think the 21 month picture is the wrong one btw

 

i wanted to ad about folks that always ponder the one placenta or two, my B/G twins had what really looked like one placenta but clearly was just a fused pair of them.  strangely the whole pregnancy they always mentioned that my placentas where wonderful and in part because they were far apart from each other, even near the end. so i was pretty shocked when i took them home and took a look at them and there was one, at first i though they threw one out, but then i knew otherwise as the one had two cords!


Jane93's Avatar Jane93 09:56 AM 09-06-2011

I've been wondering about my girls too.  The perinatologist and hospital were 100% sure they are ID but I was noting many differences in looks as infants.  Now that they are 17 months, I think they are looking more identical but I am still not sure.

 

I've been thinking about doing the DNA test.  I'm a little worried that if they think that they are identical and they are really fraternal, they will be unduly pressurized (by themselves/society -- I'm trying really hard NOT to do it) to conform to one another -- to be "identical".


SympatheticDad's Avatar SympatheticDad 10:28 PM 09-06-2011

The phrase "identical twins" is in and of itself misleading.  As you've noticed, "identical" twins can look quite different.  We don't look the way we look just because of our genes, but also because of environmental factors -- to take just one example, the way the fetuses move around in the uterus can have significant effect on the shape of the child's head.   And any parent of "identical" twins can tell you that there are a hundred little visual differences that become obvious once you get to know them.

 

The more accurate term for "identical twins" is "monozygotic" - they came from one egg, they share the same genes, but apart from purely genetic aspects (e.g., eye color) there's no guarantee that they can or should look the same.


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