Twins Run in Our Family

When I found out that I was having twins, it never occurred to me that my chances, my odds if you will, of having twins was higher than average.  I was rarely asked if I used any “special methods” to conceive my twins, but, when I was, I simply responded that we had them the “old fashioned way.”  I talked about things parents of twins hate to hear here.

I was working on the family tree on my mother’s side of the family this weekend.  I called my mother, who lives in California, to flesh out some details on her siblings.  She was the 9th child out of 10.  She did not know many of her siblings very well.  Several of the older kids left home at young ages never to return.  These are stories for another day.  She gave me what information she knew or remembered.

There were five girls and five boys.  Babies #7 and #8 were twins named Bernard and Bernardine.  That would make them fraternal twins since one was a boy and one was a girl.  The girl twin died shortly after she was born.

Two of my mother’s sisters also had boy / girl twins.  One of these twins, my cousin, also had a set of boy / girl twins.  These are the twins that we know about since the family was not close, and we knew very few of our aunts, uncles, and cousins.

For the record, this proves that twinning does not skip a generation.  This is an old wive’s tale, and those of us with twins know these facts all too well.  Fraternal twinning is hereditary, and identical twinning is random with some anecdotal evidence for a hereditary link.  Asians have a very low rate of fraternal twinning, but the rate of identical twinning is consistent around the world.

So my mother’s side of the family is filled with twins.  Interestingly enough, they are all boy / girl twins.  As far as I know, my twins are the first same gender twins.  But they are fraternal.

The day my twins were born.  (Notice my hair color.  I got a lot of strange looks when I was pregnant.)

Their first day of preschool.  (Notice my hair color.  I finally decided to color my hair.  I let it grow out about a year and a half ago.)

Their 18th birthdays.

They did not look alike from Day One.  People don’t even ask if they are twins when they are together.  Many parents of twins are annoyed at being asked this question, but since I don’t get asked it, I volunteer it.  They have actually had teachers who didn’t realize that they were related.

My oldest daughter is married to a fraternal twin.  Twins run in his family.  If they decide to have children, the odds are higher than average that they will have twins.

I think it might be best to have your twins first.  When you don’t know any better.  The day I found out I was having twins, I cried.  They weren’t tears of joy.  They were tears of fear.  And that’s not to say that our twins aren’t a joy to us.  Because they are.  Most of the time.

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