So, are you guys “twinned out” yet?

Because you know I’m not!

I’m still waking up in the morning, looking down at my belly, and thinking, “There are TWO baby girls in there. Holy Snikers!”

So…given my pleas to God to spare me from the horrors of multiples (calm down, mamas of multiples; I’m just making a point), it’s fair to say that I haven’t exactly done a whole lot of twin research.

After all, if it’s good enough for the ostrich to stick her head in the sand every time she’s scared of something, it’s good enough for me!

But now, I’m all about it!

So, I thought I might share 5 fun tidbits about twins that you might or might not already know:

1. Only 3 in every 1,000 births are identical twins, and, while fraternal twins run in the family, identical twins are the result of NOT two fertilized eggs (as in the case of fraternals) but one that splits after fertilization, thus making the occurrence of identical twins completely random (if you believe in random, that is).



{I totally want this pic of my girls}

2. Although twins are usually broken down into two categories—fraternal and identical—there are apparently five other varieties, including

  • a) those conceived as a result of heteropaternal superfecundation (a fancy way of saying that two sperm from two different instances of whoopee fertilized two separate eggs at separate times…we hope. Could be the same father or could be different—YIKES! Now that’s complicated),
  • b) “half-identical” twins (who inherit identical genes from their mother but non-identical from the father…don’t ask me how),
  • c) mirror image twins (which means that when they face each other, any markings such as moles, hair swirls, or birthmarks will be in mirror image to each other—one on the right, one of the left—COOL!),
  • d) mixed chromosome twins (which occurs when fertilized fraternal twin eggs fuse, resulting in the babies having either more than one red blood type or more than one chromosome type, such as XXY),
  • e) twins conceived by superfetation (which, most simply put, means there was already a baby in Mama’s belly when an egg from another cycle came along, got fertilized, and then implanted in the uterus as well, resulting in two babies in the tummy who have widely different gestational developments—Good grief! I didn’t even want to know some of this was possible).

smiling twins


{Because, really, how could I pass this up? They’re smiling!}

3. 22% of twins are left-handed (as opposed to 10% of the general population), and while they do share the same DNA, identical twins have unique fingerprints (okay, so I guess that was two fun facts, but they were kind of related, right?).

lefthanded twins


4. Twin pregnancies are considered full term at 36 weeks and 3 days…which could conceivably (ha!) mean that I have less than 4 months left. Holy Snikers (again)!!

surprised twins


5. Twins do not have to be born on the same day, and the longest recorded gap between births is 85 days. (I think this falls into the the “things I didn’t want to know were possible” category as well).

unhappy twins


{Apparently, this kiddo is ticked that her bro/sis beat her to the punch!}

P.S. Oh! And an absolutely fascinating little bonus tidbit that I’m sure you’re just dying to know: supposedly Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are actually fraternal rather than identical twins.


(Yeah, I’m not seeing it, even if their hair is dyed different colors}

P.P.S. I gleaned my super-informative “twins facts” from here, here, and here.

So, c’mon moms of multiples…what other awe-inspiring facts can you share with us to expand our range of twin trivia?



  1. my boys are mirror image! Hair swirls, teething, kicking, throwing – One is the lefty and one the righty. Except when writing, as the righty seems to be a mite ambidextrous. They are JUST now able to identify themselves correctly in pictures (since the image is reversed). It is SO EXCITING!!! I had so much fun researching, and am glad you are enjoying the ride as well. BTW mine went 35 weeks 5 days and each were 5 lbs 15 oz, (had them vag – no drugs, even though twin B was breach) and didnt spend any time in the NICU. Thank you or sharing you story to help me remember the joy that mine was 😀

  2. I’m not sure what fact I find more amazing. Really, I am in no danger of having twins (although one fact I do know is the incidence increases with age – just not MY age) but I have to go read further about some of those things. I just gotta know. How does some of that happen?????? The identical but different fingerprints. How??? Intriguing. Half identical? Amazing. Olson’s fraternal? Really? I want to see the tests. And are those babies in the hats them?


    1. Fingerprints change according to the environment in the womb. Every time a baby touches it, their fingerprint becomes different. So while they probably started with the same fingerprints, they became different. At least that’s what I’ve heard.I don’t know if it’s true.

  3. YAY! Congrats! I’m an identical mirror twin. I’m right handed-left brained, sister is left left hand-right brained. Yada-Yada. Twins ROCK 🙂

  4. Congrats, Abby! Awesome but overwhelming news. WOW. I mean, WOW. One of my favorite bloggers, Emily A. Clark, is pregnant with twins (#4 & #5 too) only she is expecting a boy & a girl. And I have a friend expecting them. And one that just had twins. I’m starting to think it might be contagious. Just kidding!

    Awesome news – can’t wait to follow along on your journey. 🙂 🙂

  5. Congratulations!! I’m a mother of twin boys (who are 2 and a half now) and although it seems like things are completely overwhelming, it is SUCH a blessing! Hope your pregnancy is a happy and healthy one!! Oh also, although I read MANY books on twins. I did not know that twins could be born at different times. That is crazy!

  6. For 10 years now, a close family friend has insisted that my girls “can’t” be identical because they have different personalities. AHEM.

    Best advice I ever got from another mom-of-twins: Enjoy the twinship thing as your girls grow (because it IS fun!), but as soon as you can, work hard to treat your daughters as the individuals they are (going to be). Hard advice to follow when they look/act/ARE so much alike, but oh-so-worth it as they begin to wish that other people would not mistake them for their sister! “Can’t they TELL who I am?” 🙂

  7. My boy/girl twins were born 5 hours apart (my daughter refused to come out!) resulting in them having two different birthdays…’s quite the conversation piece. Some people really have believed that “they must not be twins” because of them being born on two different days!

  8. Lovin’ all the twin love! haha! What an interesting post 🙂 I never knew all those things. One thing I was curious, having no twin experience, is how they knew they were identical from the sono? just measurements & such? hmmmmm…..just pondering! Love the photos, BTW! I can’t even imagine thinking of having 2 babies in my tummy…..that would be so exciting & crazy at the same time!

  9. I’m so excited for you! I teach high school and have had plenty of twins in class over the years. It’s fun to watch the interaction between them.

  10. There was a really interesting article in National Geographic a couple of months ago about twin research– see if your library still has it! Twins are incredibly useful to science, because we can unravel the whole nature vs nurture thing by seeing how identical and fraternal twins (especially those raised apart!) act. It’s so fascinating 🙂

  11. My husband had twin sisters ( unfortunatly one has passed awy ) , they were identical. When they were in high school , one had a skin issue the doctors actually did a skin graft test to make sure they were indentical. They took a small square of skin from each of their backs and grafted it to the other. They were so indentical that after it healed you could not even see where it was. The doctors were always baffled the the other didn’t have the same skin issue ( which she later out grew ) While they were indentical in looks , they couldn’t have been more different in personality.
    I also have tdentiacl twin cousins ( boys ) . I still can not tell them apart. When they were in elemntary school the switched places for a day ( they were a force to be reconded with , so were always in seperate class rooms ) the teachers never discovered it till the end of the day and only then because they were so proud of themselves for pulling it off they couldn’t keep it to themselves !

  12. One thing our pediatrician told us that is totally true in my experience – don’t worry if one seems “dominant” over the other when they are interacting because over time it will shift and the other twin will then become the more dominant.

    They will learn things faster because they are not only learning from their own actions they are learning from the actions of their twin. Mine escaped out the playroom window the winter (no screens in) just after they turned ONE because foolish Mommy left a small kid-size table too near the window. One of them climbed on the table and opened the latch, and the other one pushed up on the glass to get the window open. We caught them on the front lawn about 3 feet from the street (not busy, thankfully).

    And don’t forget twin language! LOL! Mine didn’t do too much of that but they did often make up (together) words for things they didn’t know, which was a riot when they talked to each other.

    Oh the delightful, infuriating things you have to look forward to..the stories you’ll have to tell! 🙂

  13. Thanks for sharing! I myself am fascinated by twins & other multiples so I enjoyed this post very much. Also, Mary Kate and Ashley have different colored eyes (one has blue and the other has green) so that’s just one way they aren’t identical!

  14. Congratulations! I’m a twin (we’re 45 minutes apart). I have twins (they’re 10 minutes apart). We found out about them 9 days before they were born.

  15. With our identical twins we paint one of the girls toenails so we have a foolproof way to tell the difference. Color coding paci’s worked until they realized they could take them from each other! Even though most twin pregnancies deliver early I had to be induced at 38 weeks (the most amount of time that docs will let you be pregnant with twins according to my doc). It was a crazy experience because even though I had them naturally I had to deliver in a operating room with a surgical team scrubbed in ready to go! Thankfully they were not needed!! Being a twin mama (parent) is so much fun! You truly are blessed!

  16. I’m enjoying your twin posts – it reminds me of how I felt when I found out I was carrying twins!

    I get asked CONSTANTLY…”How neat!! Do twins run in your family?” Ummm, yes…and no… but my girls are identical so heredity has nothing to do with it…even though there are several sets of identical twins on both sides of our family…

    Basically, I’ve now quit trying to explain…ignorance is bliss for most people! So now I just say, “No! We just got lucky!”

    But I do remember reading that sometimes fraternal twins look more alike than identical twins. And even though my girls’ DNA came back identical, I think that one of them looks more like her older brother than her sister. 🙂 AND… regardless of what everyone else says, I don’t think they look a thing alike!
    K…done now… 🙂

  17. OK, this isn’t a fact, but something I think is really fun….when one twin looks just like Mom, and the other is the spitting image of the Dad. I grew up knowing twins like that. They don’t even look like BROTHERS, much less twins.

    The heart-shape-in-the-blanket photo is the sweetest thing ever….can you imagine two little Della-licious looking babies in there? Heavenly!

  18. How interesting! My boys are fraternal, and were about two weeks apart in measurement my entire pregnancy, so we wonder if they were conceived at different times. (definitely the same father though…ha! 🙂 I had no idea that MK and Ashley Olson were fraternal…they look SO much alike! And 85 days…holy moly!

  19. I’m so excited for you!!! I have twin grandsons, and while they are supposedly fraternal, they sure do look a lot alike to me! Maybe they fall into one of your alternate twin realms! Can’t wait to see pictures of your little butter beans. Best of luck to you

I love hearing from you guys!