Robbin Carollo | moms@nrtoday.com

Answers to "Are they twins?" | Moms

As most of y’all know, I gave birth to identical twin boys almost four months ago.

In that amount of time, I have received a lot of attention on our family’s newest additions.

What I hear most is some variation of, “Wow! You must be so busy!” or “Four under three? I don’t know how you do it!”

And while those are the utterances I hear the most from strangers, the next most popular is, “Awe! Are they twins?” Followed by the inevitable follow-ups: “Are they identical?” and “Do twins run in your family?”

Allow me to address all of these questions.

First: Are they twins?

Are.They.Twins?

Now maybe it’s not super obvious to the casual observer that the boys are identical in every way possibleso I typically give folks the benefit of the doubt and answer, “Yep! Twins!” with a smile on my face.

After all, it’s nice that complete strangers are congratulating me on my kids.

But, in the event you catch me on an off day, you might hear one these:

“No. Would you believe they were just handing babies out on aisle 15? I’ve always wanted a matching set!”

“Excuse me, you mean the two babies that are identical in looks, shape, and size? No. No, the hospital had a few extra babies laying around the day I gave birth to one so they just sent me home with another thinking I looked like I could use the extra work.”

“Nope. I had that one cloned. The miracle of modern medicine!”

“No. I didn’t want to get more buff in one arm over the other so I rented this little guy and his car seat so I’m able to balance things out.”

Again, I won’t be doling out these responses all of the time—probably never since like I said, generally I think it’s really nice that people are so excited for me and my kids.

But sometimes ya just got to wonder about some people.

And then there is the more legitimate, not so obvious question, are they identical.

Yes, my boys are identical. This means that they shared a placenta their whole tenure in the womb. They’re going to look alike and they have the same DNA.

Identical and fraternal twins are two completely different animals.

Fraternal twins are no more alike than any other siblings minus the fact that they have the same birthday.

Which brings me to question number three: Do twins run in my family?

Now, I’m not going to get too much into the biology of the thing.

I’m no doctor and my knowledge on the subject is only slightly more in-depth than what you could find out for yourself if you Googled identical versus fraternal twins.

But, without sounding too much like a science class, suffice it to say fraternal twins run in families because there is a gene that can be passed through families that forces women to ovulate more than one egg a month.

More than one egg being fertilized results in fraternal twins.

Identical twins happen by sheer, random chance. One fertilized egg splits after it’s been fertilized and thus, identical twins.

So again, thank you for caring enough to ask about my babies.

Yes, they are twins. They are identical, but because of the nature of the beast, it is irrelevant if twins run in my family.

We were blessed with just the luck of the draw!

I’ve always wanted a matching set!


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The News-Review Updated May 21, 2014 09:21AM Published May 21, 2014 09:20AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.