Should you test your twins?
By Jessica Rachel O on November 15, 2011
When I was pregnant with the twins our Doctor guessed that they were identical, because he only saw one placenta. After they were born, via c-section, we were told the same. Identical twins are one egg, fertilized by sperm, that splits in two. They are not hereditary and there is no scientific explanation for why the egg splits. They almost always share a sac, but there have been cases when they don't, depending on when the egg splits. I think it's fascinating that they have identical DNA. Fraternal twins are two separate eggs, fertilized by two sperm. They are the most common type of twin and occur because of a hereditary condition or stimulation of the ovaries, usually caused by fertility treatments. Whenever I see an older twin Mom - late thirties is an "older" Mother in my book - I secretly wonder if she had them because of fertility treatments. I wish it wasn't rude to ask; I find the entire process pretty interesting.
So, what brought this on? My twins, who used to look so identical, now look so different. Since a very young age Bella has been 1 inch taller and weighed 1 lb. more. Yesterday I went to buy them indoor soccer shoes, both the same size of course, but what fit Bella was too big for Gwen for the first time. Their feet are 1 1/2 sizes different! I realize there can be slight differences in ID twins appearance due to environment or habit, but this caught me off guard. So, I'm considering having a twin zygosity test done. It's a simple mouth swab that you mail in to a clinic and costs about $200. It doesn't matter to me whether or not they are ID or Frat, although I'd wonder where Frat twins came from since they don't run in our family and I certainly wasn't in fertility treatment, newly married, at the ripe old age of 20. I assume they will want to know though. "Are you identical or fraternal?" tends to be the follow-up questions to "are you twins?". As they get older I imagine they'll want to know the whole story and be able to answer those questions with confidence. It just feels like something they have the right to know, and it's starting to feel like something I need to know.
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