In January 2011, I blogged about how remarkably similar my twin girls look and how they have met their developmental milestones always within a day or so of each other. Strangers have frequently asked if they are identical but I've told them that they are fraternal since that was what I was told. I generally don't put a lot of stock in what strangers say anyway because it isn't uncommon for random people to ask my friend with boy/girl twins if her children are identical.
The thing is I confused them a lot. I did two years ago and I still do today.
When we discovered our twins at 26 weeks, I was told they are fraternal. This made sense. (As much as anything can make sense when discovering a bonus baby so late in the game.) My mom is a twin. My dad has twin sisters. The girls had separate sacs and separate placentas and they were a totally spontaneous conception.
But this summer, I was at my wit's end over their zygosity. I noticed they had moles in exactly the same places. I was tired of arguing with strangers. And I was feeling like a crappy parent for not being able to tell my kids apart. My husband and I discussed it and decided that there were all sorts of important reasons to know if they came from the same egg.
So for $109, a bunch of cheek swabs, and two weeks of waiting, we were able to find out that our girls are, in fact, identical.
I felt both relieved and anxious about the results. It was a great to know that I had a reason for confusing them but, in a way, it also felt like being struck by lightening. The odds of conceiving identical twins naturally is about 3 in 1000. The odds of those twins having their own sac and placenta are even lower. If this freak thing can happen to me, what else can?
Maybe I have met the quota for strange life happenings. I hope so because my biggest fear in life is that something will happen to my children. My second biggest fear is that I will have more of them.