Listen, we don’t have twins in either of our families and were not using fertility drugs. So how did we end up with two little love bugs? Read on, but first let me begin with my obsession over identical vs. fraternal.
With twins, my hubby and I are OFTEN asked, “Are they identical?” And don’t laugh, but our honest answer for the longest time was: “We don’t know.”
Granted when I was pregnant, the hubby hung his hat on the fact that there were two placentas. Then one day he was talking to a Breezy Mama Go-to favorite expert Dr. Vi and found out that she and her twin, another favorite Go-to, Dr. Gillin, each had their own placenta and assumed they were fraternal. Well, both attended medical school so they took “the test” and found out they were identical!
When I asked my doctor, “How will we know?” She said when we see what they look like. Well, they looked exactly the same, the only difference being that one weighed less. Then they had the same blood type. There was nothing official to determine if they were fraternal or identical.
Now that they are five months old (can you believe it?!?), I feel they are blatantly fraternal. But I’m their mother. That being said, I often correct friends, family, the kids and even the hubby (!!!) as to who is who because they can’t tell them apart at times!
As you can imagine, I wanted to investigate further and turned to OB/GYN Dr. Bivins to answer my questions on how to know. Plus! Since we did not use fertility drugs and twins don’t run in our family, some possibilities to explain how we had a set (psst… it could happen to you)!
How can twins be identical if they have two placentas?
There are two different placental types, monochorionic (MZ) or one placenta and dichorionic (DZ) or two placentas. DZ (fraternal) twins always have dichorionic placentation. Some MZ (identical) twins may be endowed with [two] placentas (i.e., twins that separated in the first 2 days after fertilization). Although 20% to 30% of identical twins have a dichorionic placentation, most often the placentas of monozygotic twins are monochorionic. Therefore, the minority of identical twins have two separate placentas.
Just for clarification (and, well, to prove a point to my husband), you are saying that there is a 20-30% chance that my [Read more…] about How Twins Can Randomly Happen to You