Since the day we found out I was carrying twins, I have researched and wondered and tried to come to terms with the idea that we had made two kids at the same time.
While the number of twin and higher multiple births have increased in the past 30 years, one pair born out of every 53 live births in 1980 to one out of every 31 births in 2008, many people are still confused about how twins happen. I certainly was until I made them.
A couple of quick, fun facts.
|Develop from||Two different eggs fertilized by two different sperm cells||The splitting of the same fertilized egg into two|
|Genetic code||Like any other sibling; not identical.||Nearly identical (My boys are 99.7% an identical DNA match.)|
|Gender||Usually different||Always the same|
|Likelihood||Varies by country. Two-thirds of all twins in the world are fraternal.||Uniform around the world; about 3 in 1,000. Only one-third of all twins in the world are identical.|
|Blood type||May be different||Always the same|
|Causes||Hereditary predisposition, certain fertility drugs, IVF||Not known – there is no known reason for the fertilized egg to split.|
|Appearance||As similar as any other sibling||Extremely similar, although may not be exactly identical due to environmental factors|
|In utero||Develop separate sacs in utero.||May be contained in one sac in utero.|
|From the Diffen web site.|
As for my identical boys, their personalities are very similar. At times Dylan can be more reserved and shy, but Jack definitely has his awkward, shy moments as well. Currently, they have the same interests and love doing the same things. They like to eat the same things and like the same music.
They also freak me out on a regular basis. Like when they both sit down to put on their shoes. It’s as if they are participating in a synchronized tying event. They pick up the same foot, place it across the other knee and go through the tying process in the same way. It’s creepy and totally twinny.
My boys have stayed within halves of each other for their nearly eight years. At their annual check up, one is always a half inch taller and the other is always a half pound heavier. They trade off from year to year, but hey’ve never strayed from a half pound or inch. Creepy and twinny
Here’s another identical twin fact that creeps me out if I dwell on it too much. The offspring of identical twins aren’t genetically cousins, they are more like half brothers and sisters. So, if my boys happen to find a set of adorable identical twins to marry, their children would all be brothers and sisters. I’ll just let that sink in for a minute…Creepy twin thing!
All this came up again thanks to a book I just read by Curtis Sittenfield called “Sisterland.” The book is about a fictional set of identical twin sisters and the impact their twinness had on their lives.
One quote from the book really got me thinking, “We were one person. At the start. We’re identical.”
Sometimes it’s hard to think of the boys as individuals not a unit. No matter how they started or how alike they seem, they are separate people. But they started from the same egg and the same desire to add one more child to our family. Good thing we had plenty of love to spread!