Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions.... TWIN TALK

When we go out to Walmart or anywhere that is in the public eye, we usually get hounded with attention and questions. It usually starts out with "Are these ALL your kids?", then comments about all of the red hair, and then once they figure out we have two sets of twins, the questions really come POURING out! Quite honestly, I can't believe how rude some people are... saying things like "Did you use fertility drugs?" or "Glad it's you and not me!" right in front of my children. BUT most people are very nice and friendly, and usually will compliment us on how well-behaved or cute the children are. Most questions that people ask, I believe, is just out of curiosity and not to be rude. We generally don't mind answering the questions that most people have. Dave and I have joked around about typing up a FAQ Sheet that we can hand out when people start asking questions! We wouldn't really do that... but since many questions are arising now that we are expecting again, I figured I would type up a few questions that usually get asked....

Question 1. Are these really ALL "your" kids?
YES! They are! Neither of us have been married before, neither of us have children with anybody else!

Question #2. What are their ages?
At the present time, 10,8,8,4,2,2....

Question #3. "Do twins run in your family?"
This question can be the most confusing.

~Dave's side has no PREVIOUS twins that we can find when we searched back several generations.
~My side has ONE set of fraternal twins. They are actually my first cousins, that are my age, and I grew up very close with them! Very sweet boys!

THAT being said...Here are some basic twin facts....
~Identical twins are NOT genetic. Identical twins are made up of ONE egg and ONE sperm. Once fertilized the egg splits. There is technically no rhyme or reason for the egg splitting. It just "happens".

~Fraternal twins ARE genetic. It runs on the woman's side. Usually a woman only releases ONE egg per cycle, but a set of fraternal twins takes 2 eggs and 2 sperm.

Our first set of twins was our identical girls. We were told that since they were in separate sacs when in utero, that they could be identical or fraternal. When the placenta was tested at birth, it came back that they were 100% no doubt identical. Since they were identical, we were told that we had NO chance of ever having twins again. At least, not any more of a chance than anyone else... which is about a 3% chance.

Fast forward, about 5 years later, we found out when I was 17 weeks pregnant, that we were carrying another set of twins. These twin boys were "set up" the same way as the girls were, so once again we did not know if they would be identical or fraternal. When they were born and looked SO much alike, we really thought they were identical. When we sent the placenta away for testing, it came back "inconclusive". We COULD have done DNA testing, but we really didn't care if they were identical or fraternal... we love them like crazy no matter what their "label" was. Once they turned about a year old or so, they really started getting their "own look" and we unofficially deemed them fraternal. They don't have the same hair color, which makes it easy to know that they don't have the same exact DNA!

Question #3 1/2. "Do twins run in your family?" PART TWO.....

Twins did not PREVIOUSLY run in our family. (the fraternal set of twins that were on my side of the family, genetically would have ran on the female side. I am NOT blood related to my Aunt, she was married to my dad's brother, therefore, I would not have any of her genes passed down to me.)

BUT.... since we have had our twin girls 8 1/2 years ago, my husband's sister had a set of fraternal twins and my brother and his wife had a set of identical twin boys!!! It's crazy, I KNOW!!??!?

Question #4. "Did you use any type of fertility drugs?"
NO. We do just fine on our own!

Question #5. "What are the chances of you having twins again?"
The statistics go like this:
~Once you have ONE set of fraternal twins, you are 70% MORE likely to conceive twins again.
~Oddly enough though, the chances of having 3 sets of any type of twins is VERY rare... only 1 in 500,000.

Question #6. "Were your twins born healthy?"
YES! Praise God! I had wonderful pregnancies and deliveries! I was actually out playing in the snow the day before I had my girls! With my girls, I was induced 2 weeks early, mainly because of my doctor going out of town and because the girls were getting "too big" to wait too much longer. They were both born naturally, weighing 5lbs 9 oz, and 5 lbs 14oz.
I went into labor exactly 4 weeks early with my boys. My doctor decided to proceed with labor (instead of stopping labor) since their lungs seemed to be developed already and they were "big" as well. They were both born naturally, weighing 5 lbs 13 oz, and 6 lbs 11 oz. None of my twins had to go to NICU. I have been truly blessed to have wonderful pregnancies and deliveries with all of my children!

I have some doctor appointments this week. I don't know when we will have our first sonogram. Technically, it's not suppose to be until I am 17 weeks. I am going to try to pull some strings and see if I can get an early sonogram. I just want a healthy baby. Period. If God wants to give me two...I will praise him twofold! Please pray for smooth appointments! I love the peace that comes with seeing/hearing a little perfect heartbeat!


The Carpenters said...

Kacy...AMEN! I SO know what you go through. Brian and I cracked up at the FAQ sheet. Maybe we could make one up together. ;)

Devin said...

Oh Kac, I loved reading this post. Even with the three (but now being obviously pregnant) I get those kinds of questions. The comment that is the absolute worst is something to the effect of 'better you than me.' I always go away thinking, 'yes, it is better me than you, I suppose....'

Praying that all went well today and tomorrow. Praying for a healthy happy baby--no matter how many happen to be in there! :-)

Sandy said...

absolutely great post! You did a great job summing up the "truth" about twinning. It drives me bananas when people ask about twins in the family, and then ask so dilligently about the father's side. Or they will tell me about twins in their family and link it to the fathers side. My neonatologist told me when my girls were born that they weren't totally sure about identical versus fraternal based on the way the placental "looked." However, blood typing made it crystal clear, they have different types!

Congratulations on this baby, I am sure that your older kids are thrilled!

Twincerely,Olga said...

wonderful post! I loved all the answers to the questions!! Your children are beautiful!I hope your new prgnancy goes smooth!Please stop by and visit!I am new

Leanne said...

Hi....I'm Leanne from Washington State and I found you through Devin's blog....

Your post on twins was fascinating and really great. I really like your attitude! My husband and I would absolutely love to have twins or even more, and most parents of twins, upon learning that we are actually praying that God would bless us with twins, always say we're crazy, right in front of their kids, which I find to be so sad and so frustrating!

Anyway, your blog is wonderful and I plan on being a regular visitor! If you'd like to visit me, I always like to make new friends!

Take care!