To test or not to test?

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Categories Development, Fraternal, Infants, Multiple Types

I’m a planner by nature, so when we found out at 18 weeks there were two boys in my huge belly, I needed to know the answer to one question – are they fraternal or identical? My boys were in separate sacs with separate placentas, so an ultrasound was inconclusive. In addition to my twin pregnancy reading, I also read articles about the pros and cons of knowing zygosity. I came to the conclusion I wanted to definitely know their zygosity.

When the boys were born, they didn’t look anything alike. At all. We painted Nate’s toenail in the NICU as a precaution but we never re-painted it because no one ever got them confused. By the time the placenta test came back inconclusive, we knew in our hearts they were not identical but I needed scientific proof.  We ordered DNA tests and got to play CSI at home. As expected, the results came back and the boys are fraternal.

Shortly after the boys turned one, a crazy thing happened. Nate’s baby hair fell out and in came blond hair. Alex’s eyes turned from blue to brown. I now have one blond hair blue-eyed boy and one brown hair brown-eyed boy. There is no question on their zygosity. However, I’m still glad we did the DNA test. It just would have been nice to save the $175 in an already expensive year!

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10 thoughts on “To test or not to test?”

  1. Alex’s eyes turned brown that late?! Crazy! I think Danny’s turned at 6 weeks or so. We’ll have to watch Abigail’s now…hers stayed that baby blue, almost gray. Wonder if they could still change?

  2. I second the eye-color thing… My Daniel’s turned dark brown at about two weeks old, but Rebecca’s are still holding out kind of blue/green/gray. It depends on the light. I’m fascinated to see what their coloring ends up being when their hair really comes in.

    Of course, I had the standard “are they identical?” in the grocery store yesterday. I just smiled and said no. The woman stood back and looked, and said “pretty close, though!” Um… not only are they boy/girl, but Daniel is bigger by an inch and nearly 4.5 pounds (big difference between 16 and 20!), and they have completely different coloring and faces… Not sure what kind of crack she was smoking. 😉

    But yeah, if I had same-sex twins, I would have totally gotten the test to be sure.

  3. We elected not to test via DNA but my OB was crafty and had their blood typed. Nate is O- and Josh is B+. Turns out that identical twins can’t have different blood types. Case closed!

    Of course they look completely different – not that stops people from telling me how much they look identical. Uh, whatever.

  4. I would totally have tested if I didn’t have B/G kids.

    I’m curious… what are the cons? It’s hard for me to generate what is negative about knowing for sure. I’m not saying they don’t exist, I’m just saying it’s not obvious to me!

  5. There was no doubt my girls are identical. We knew during ultrasound due and then when they were born there was no denying it. They looked exactly alike. Some days I look at them and think…”Well, wait…maybe they’re not.” But most people think I’m nuts to think that they don’t look alike.

  6. My sister and I look VERY much alike (we are part of triplets) and people ask us all the time if we are identical (my other sister who doesn’t look like us loves that). I have always wanted to be “different” so I don’t want to know and I’m glad we weren’t tested. I think if we were tested and found out to be identical it would make me feel less special and unique. My not yet arrived twins are B/G so clearly they are fraternal (although people still ask even after hearing B/G).

    Just wanted to mention the grown up multiple perspective!

  7. Yeah, I get the are they identical or fraternal all of the time. Not only are they boy/girl but one has auburn hair and blue eyes while the other is brown hair brown eyes, a pound heavier and an inch or 2 taller. Another twin mom said she was once asked if hers were Paternal, she answered “why yes they do have a father!” My friend has fraternal boy/girl twins and she responds to the the question with this answer ” no they are not identical one is a girl and one is a boy, but we are looking into the optional equiptment for her”

  8. I ended up testing my boys without the knowledge of my husband. I was CSI’ing it too, while my husband was home. I went downstairs to get the boys ready for daycare and had my husband upstairs busy packing their daycare bag. We truly thought they were fraternal (even the perinatologist said they were) because they were di/di…but there was still a possibility since twins and triplets do run on my side of the family, but they were all conceived via IVF or Clomid and are fraternal.

    Anyway…we still question the results, because sometimes they just don’t look like eachother to me. But then other times, they are certainly identical. I wish I would have waited to do the test until the 1 year mark…because $175 could have bought quite a few pairs of shoes!

  9. Today my Mother of Multiples group had its annual picnic. My two-year-old girls were one of the two pairs of identicals there. The other identicals were 6-year-old boys, who insisted that my girls couldn’t be identical because they could tell them apart. It made me realize that twins don’t necessarily know anything more about the range of variety in twinhood (in this instance, how different monozygotic twins can look and how similar dizygotic twins can look) than anyone else.

  10. They say that children’s eyes are 50% as dark as they’re going to be by 1st birthday.

    And by the 3rd birthday, they’re ‘set’.

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