Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Great DNA Debate

Just over a year ago we found out we were pregnant...October 4th to be exact.  On November 1st (7 weeks preggo) we got a sneak peak of what we thought was our baby..singular. As in ONE baby.  Un Bebe. This is what we saw:

Not just one, but two little blobs with two little flickers for heart beats.  We were shocked yet surprisingly thrilled to have TWO little babies in my belly.  We had actually had the conversation of "what if there are two babies in there" on the way to the ultrasound.  Just a "what if even though it's not gonna happen" conversation. 

Looking at the ultrasound we immediately wondered...are they identical? They were both in one black circle and we weren't sure if we could see a dividing membrane.  Are they fraternal?   The most important question for me week to week was "will they stick?" "Will both babies be there the following Friday at our 1

st official ultrasound with my Dr?"  I like to google...bad idea, as all the horror stories of twin pregnancies showed up and the possibilities of a vanishing twin which is so very common.  Well, as you know by now, they stuck.

Dr. Heffron, my OB-GYN who we LOVE, confirmed the twin pregnancy via ultrasound and told us that they were indeed identical.  This was a Mono/Di twin pregnancy.  Monochorionic (one placenta)/Diamniotic (separate fluid sacs).  The fertilized egg split sometime between day 4-8 after conception. As you can see in the ultrasound below one week later...they still look like they are in the same sac.

But a month later, you can barely see the whispery membrane that separated the babies.

Here is a pic of the top of their heads...one of the last few they could get of the babies together since they were starting to get so big and the membrane was still difficult to see.

Not trying to bore you with the small stuff.  But we have been trying to piece this puzzle together since we found out there were two.  Mono/Di twins are the second highest risk twin pregnancy...fraternals being the safest.  Since they shared a placenta there was a higher chance for TTTS - Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.  Luckily they had their own fluid sacs so we didn't have to worry about them getting tangled in each others cords. The boys grew and grew and we were lucky that my body took the brunt of the pregnancy while they thrived.

Ever since they were born the big question has still been "identical or not?" They look the same, but they look different?!?  Physically you can tell them apart some days, others is super hard.  They have some differences...Archer has a big strawberry between his eyes, Stocktons is small.  Archer has a double cowlick on the back of his head...Stockton, well I don't know because his hair isn't growing as fast or as fuzzy. Archers head is taller/wider on top, Stockton has fuller cheeks.  But, put a hat on these kids and they look just alike.  

They both had pyloric stenosis and surgery within days of each other.  They both have silent reflux.  They both got their two bottom teeth within days of each other.  Archer was 7 ounces bigger than Stockton at birth and he is still 6-7 ounces heavier.   

Now, what completely amazes me is that they have been in the same physical environment since birth, only spending a few nights apart between pylo surgeries and their personalities are as different as night and day.  From day 1 Arch has been more demanding and quick to anger but definitely a lover.  Stockton has been more of a cuddler and not really a complainer.  

Two weeks ago I found out they had the same blood type and yesterday my OB confirmed it.  They tested the placenta at birth to make sure it was one and not two fused together...

dun dun dun...

They are in fact Mono/Di Identical twin boys.  The science proves it people. 

I always knew that was the answer but with small physical differences I just NEEDED to know for sure.  Especially when the enevitable "no they're not...I can tell them apart" by a complete stranger always seems to come up. 

I plan on doing more research as some of what I have read states that even though they are identical that there can be physical differences. 

But at least we know the answer to the million dollar question that has plagued us since their birth...

So alike...yet so very different.  Just the way I like it!


  1. i'm so glad your mind can rest assured your motherly instincts were indeed correct. love those sweet boys!

  2. Mine were the same way, my first ultasound when we found out there were two, the u/s tech told u they were fraternal because they each had their own sacs (guess she didn't know that they can each have there own sacs and even their own placenta and still me "identical" turns out mine also shared their placenta, I still have doubts to this day, I see others that look so much more alike then mine do. Strangers are no help when they say things like "this ones hairs curlier, or his eyes are bluer" (which they aren't).