When we first found out we were expecting twins, Danny and I had soooo many questions. We were able to ask our genetic doctor many of them, and discovered a few things that were quite surprising. All our family and friends had a ton of questions for us as well, as do most people we meet day-to-day, so thought I’d answer some of the more frequently asked.
*I’m not a doctor and don’t know everything about twins, especially the science of it, but these are my best guesses*
- Are there twins in your family or Danny’s? Nope! No twins on either side of our family!
- Did you go through IVF? No, I did not go through any type of fertility treatment. Twin mom tip: Although I’m fine with this question, some moms aren’t as comfortable if they’ve struggled with fertility, so best to not ask 🙂
- So if they don’t run in your family, and you didn’t go through IVF, how did you have twins? We’re just lucky I guess! There are some factors that can increase your chances of having twins, such as being over 35 (I’m not), having twins in your family (we don’t), and/or you’ve been pregnant before (which I had been). Or these factors don’t matter at all, and it’s pure luck.
- Are your twins identical or fraternal? Noa and Talia are fraternal twins. This means that I ovulated two eggs and they were both fertilized. Identical twins are the result of one egg, which split.
- I know someone that has fraternal twins, but they look identical. It is possible that one egg splits very early, and therefore each embryo develops they’re own sack and placenta so it appears on ultrasound that they’re fraternal. If this happens, some families decide to test their babies DNA to find out if they’re identical or not.
- Don’t twins skip a generation? This is always the most confusing answer for people. Fraternal twins can be genetic, but it must be on the mothers side since fraternal twins means there were two eggs that were ovulated then fertilized. Because the woman ovulates, the gene must be in the womans DNA. So, Noa & Talia have the possibility of having twins since they will one day ovulate, but since Zach will never ovulate, he does not have the possibility of having fraternal twins, unless his spouse has the gene. BUT if Zach has a daughter one day, she may have the twin gene and possibly go on to have fraternal twins of her own. This is why they say it skips a generation, because if you have a son it will skip them. I hope this made sense!
- Then what are the chances that Noa and Talia have twins? I’m not a geneticist (shocking, I know), so am not sure how it works when someone has fraternal twins by fluke, and if going forward, that gene is now passed onto their children, but fraternal twins are 2.5 times more likely to have fraternal twins themselves.
- But my friend is an identical twin and her son had identical twins, so they must have passed it on! Identical twins are NOT genetic. Your friend who is an identical twin had identical twins by fluke.
- But Noa and Talia are fraternal, so it must be in your family then. I suppose it’s possible there are fraternal twins somewhere in our family going back more than four generations, however I’ve done quite a bit of family history research and haven’t discovered any yet. Also, you can still have fraternal twins even though they’re not in your family – see question 3.
- Did you know you were having twins? Yes – we had several ultrasounds, and found out during our dating ultrasound. Read about it here!
- When did you find out they were fraternal twins? During out first dating ultrasound they were able to tell. There were two placentas and two sacks, so it was a very good chance they were fraternal.
- Were you surprised? We were SHOCKED!!!
I hope that covers most of your questions, but if I missed something, please feel free to ask!