Our girls are about to turn eight, and after 8 years of parenting twins I’ve been asked many an odd question about twins and have learnt a lot about these strange creatures. Here are some answers to some of the common questions we are asked…
Identical twins are conceived when ONE egg is fertilised by ONE sperm and then later splits creating two babies. It is not known why this occurs, but it is not thought to be genetic. So that means it could happen to anyone, with any pregnancy, even you.
Our girls were born 11 weeks early due to Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. This is a complication that only affects identical twins who share a placenta. It sucks, but detection and treatment has improved a lot in the past eight years.
It is ok if you don’t know who is who, just ask, they’ll tell you.
You may think you are clever, or funny, or just making conversation, but we’ve heard all those comments eleventyhundred times before so how about next time you simply say “Aren’t you lucky to have such beautiful children.”
However, they are the same sex, the same age, the same size and spend a heck of a lot of time together. It makes sense that they’d like the same things and have the same taste in clothes.
They are (almost) 8 year old girls, what did you expect??
However, they were born (via c-section) almost simultaneously (they had to be because of the TTTS), Izzy is marked as older because she was ‘twin 1’ (the twin closest to the exit) and you must legally record a different time of birth for twins.
I love my girls more than life itself, we are so very lucky to have them and I wouldn’t change who they are for the world… BUT…. not everyone dreams of having twins, some of us were hoping for just one baby, and the news was a complete surprise and somewhat of a shock! And some days having twins in a world that is set u for just one baby at a time is hard , so don’t be surprised if your “Oh I wish I had twins’ gets a less than enthusiastic reaction.
I know there there are a LOT of fabulous ‘Mother’s of Multiples’ who blog, so I’m hoping that they will pop in and leave a comment adding to the things people should know about twins!
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
I’m so hearing you! My identical twin girls are 9. I have pretty much had every one of those questions asked. Some people are so rude. My girlfriend has identical twin girls with red hair. One lady stuck her head in the pram and said Mmm their fat aren’t they!! They weren’t even remotely fat and they were about 9 months old. Ahh bloody hell some people need an uppercut! Then others can be so lovely and understanding. And yes I do remember getting the your so lucky thing when they were little. At the time it was pretty tough going and not really the thing you want to hear.
Lisa jay says
Great post! The only way I can relate is that my eldest daughter has curly hair and everywhere we go and just about everyday someone will stop and make a comment about her hair. As a one off comment it would be fine, but people don’t realise that everyday my 4 year old hears “what gorgeous hair”…. “I love her hair” etc I feel like it kind of disregards her as a person beyond her pretty hair. I imagine twins experience this on a much larger scale, being seen as ‘twins’ rather than people. Labels such as ‘double trouble’ are not very sensitive. Thanks for sharing this. Happy birthday to your girls.
Oh Lisa you are spot on and I so know where you are coming from!
My middle boy had white blonde curls as a toddler and the strange comments I got were incredible! One woman actually told me he must have cancer because only ‘sick children’ have hair like his!
I feel your pain!
WTF? People really need to think before they speak. I certainly hope I’m never that insensitive.
My girls are two years apart, are quite different in appearance, yet I get the twin question a lot. Go figure.
Your girls are gorgeous!
I think you have it pretty much covered! We get dumb qns all the time and it definatley wears a little thin! My id girls are now 20 months and at 11 months got glasses and i agree they do look ridiculously cute, but the amount of attention that also recieves drives me mad!
Love this! Our twins are 7 months and it amazes me the questions people ask and comments people make. We have BG twins and the best question is they are identical? Maybe these people need to go back to anatomy class!
I am always so surprised at the rude comments that people actually say to other people. I don’t know what makes them think it’s okay! I certainly don’t have twins, but I have received my fair share of rude comments regarding other things. If people like that would only please think before they speak! That helps a lot.
Your girls are beautiful. I hope they have a wonderful birthday!
I have boy-boy fraternal twins of almost 4 years old and I recognize all those stupid comments from people even when I live in the other side of the world. At the beginning they really irritated me but now I just smile and walk away. Well…actualy not always….if somebody asks me with that mean face “you needed IVF because you could not get pregnat, didn,t you?”, I smile and say “no it was just such fantastic sex that we made 2 instead one one the same night”. They never ask again ;)
Happy birthday to the girls :) :)
Me too… I got a number of really weird comments when my middle boy was little because of his white blonde hair. I would never approach a stranger and say things like this… heck I would never say them to a friend!
Happy birthday to your lovely girls! We’re so blessed to have you all in our lives xoxo
I absolutely love this!!! I hate being stopped in the grocery store every five minutes to have the same conversations over and over. I need a shirt that says “Yes they are twins, No they are not identical, yes I am sure and please do not stop me, we are on a tight schedule and do not have time to converse with strangers today!” Yes it gets irritating and my girls are only 16mo:-(
Love the list! I’m new to the multiple Mum thing with 6 wk triplets, but have already come across many of these points!
A belated Happy Birthday to Izzy and Zoe.
I’m not a mum to twins, but here’s what I know about twins;
* 2 sisters (not twins, and no long history of twins) can possibly naturally conceive identical twins (all girls too!) on both their 3rd pregnancies, 3 months apart – wowzers, didn’t that one throw us a loop, lol
* People will stop you to ask if your 5 month old babies who look the same are twins. yes, they are. “so, they were born at the same time?” yes, they were, they are twins. “but, were they born at the same time?” – how do you argue with that?
* 2 sets of twins together at a public family gathering get lots of ooohhhs and ahhhs from passers-by
* when you have a 6yr old, a 5yr old and 5 month old twins, people will be silly enough to suggest you should get pregnant again (now) and try for another set of twins!
* someone will always have an opinion on how you dress your twins – whether you dress them identical or similar
* all mums of twins handle having twins differently. some love it and want more twins, others feel overwhelmed with the extra workload and some are just lucky enough to have twins who make it easy :)
LOVE this post! It should be printed out and given to twin mums at the hospital. I never realised how intrusive people can be until we had ours. Some people are lovely and genuinely interested, others are just sticky beaks. Are they ‘natural’, did I breast feed, must of been a c section, are they identical -oh a boy and girl, how lovely! For the record, my identical twin girls were born vaginally at 35 weeks due to TTS, they were fed every way imaginable :) and I won’t bore you with details of my sex life. They are the hardest and the best thing that has ever happened to us!
(And we randomly stopped for photos too. People get very offended because we always say no. I can’t imagine taking photos of a strangers baby and thinking that’s ok!)