With today being the last day of April, and April being “Multiples Awareness Month,” I thought I’d share a little about the twins and their twinness (is that a word?) today. I know I’m cutting it really close, but April was a busy month. I’m not going to share a bunch of facts, but just my own experiences from having and living with twins.
There are a whole bunch of different types of twins. OK. I know I said wasn’t going to share facts, but let me just give you a few basics. Most people know there are identical and fraternal twins. Fraternal twins can be of the same sex or be of different sexes, and they are hereditary. In the womb, they have their own sacs (place to live) and their own placenta (food source.) Identical twins are the result of a “fluke” of nature. What that means is that no one is really sure why they occur or why the egg splits. The timing of the egg splitting can result in the babies either having their own space to live and their own food source (Di/Di,) their own space to live, but sharing a food source (Mo/Di,) or sharing everything (Mo/Mo.) As they share more things, IE. sacs and/or placenta, the pregnancies become more complicated. We weren’t the most complicated, but my twins did share a placenta, so we know they are identical.
When most people think of identical twins, they think of two people with the same features that you might have trouble telling apart. I never have trouble telling my two apart. Ever. There is still a couple pounds different between the two, an inch or so in height, and my bigger guy just has a big head. What can I say? He takes after his mom. Big head, big brain. Ha!
So even though my twins came from the same egg, they have personalities all of their own. Sure, they fight over the same toys (ie. Gordon and Molly,) and both only like to be carried by Momma to bed. “Momma carry you,” is their phrase of choice. A little backward, but too cute to resist. No wonder my back always hurts. Seriously, though, sometimes they are like night and day.
Here’s a huge example of my twins differences: Their playground behavior. My little guy flings himself down the slide, giggles uncontrollably on the swings, and wants to climb on everything. (He’s also the one who climbed out of his crib!) My bigger guy tends to be afraid of climbing, did not like the swing right away, and when he finally gets to the top of the slide, he will not go down without a fight. Or loud screaming. Or mommy sliding with him.
Another example. There was a moth flying around our living room. My big guy was screaming and covering his head, while trying to find shelter from it. My little guy, along with his older brother, were on the hunt to swat it down and smoosh it.
So, while my big guy is a little more timid about play and bugs, he definitely is not as shy around new people. He is quite a bit of a flirt with the ladies. If someone stops us at the store or on a walk, he will tilt his head and smile, using his big dimples to reel them in. My little guy just looks everyone over, and seems to be taking it all in. I guess he’s a little more reserved when it comes to people. Although, if you have a book in your hand, he will definitely crawl into your lap.
I guess the biggest thing I’ve learned from having twins is that each is definitely their own person, even at 2 years old. I can’t wait to see how their personalities continue to grow and change as they get older.
Before I leave you today, I do need to share one more super important thing with you. If you, or anyone you know, is pregnant with twins, please have them find out what type of twins they are having as soon as possible. I found out at 8 weeks that mine were sharing a placenta with just one of those tiny, portable ultrasound machines at my OB’s office. It’s so important to get the right kind of monitoring specific to the type of twins you are having. More sharing = More complications = More monitoring
Any questions? Just ask! I’d love to answer anything I can about twins, and if I don’t know, I can point you in the right direction.