I recently made a new friend she has identical twin boys. She had them 30 minutes apart, one vaginal and one emergency C-section. The C-section twin stayed in ICU for days.
Forward to now, 13 years later, I am over there and on that particular day it was the school dance – we had taken the boys to eat dinner. These twins are very hard to tell apart. Last year the youngest twin (I will call Luke) decided to change his hair so people could tell them apart. It worked until the day of the dance and then the other twin (I will call Lark) got his haircut the same way as his brother.
It was hard for everyone again! After the dance we are all at their home talking and playing pool. I am talking with the twin that has always had the shorter hair and he says he is mad at his brother because he went and got his hair like his. Being an identical twin I completely understood. I remember being in middle school striving for my own identity. I don’t think it bothered my sister as much or that was my perception. Luke and I just sent some time discussing this situation. I felt like I could really understand his frustration.
The next morning early, his mom called me and she said I need your help. After everyone left the night before Luke and Lark get in an argument about the hair. Luke said that is my style and you shouldn’t have gotten the same haircut. The mom chimes in and proceeds to tell him he is lucky to be here he almost didn’t live and he should be grateful – his hair is no big deal. Luke says “you don’t understand, you aren’t a twin” and he stormed to his room.
When she called me she said, “I guess I don’t understand can you help me?”
I explained how important identity is especially at that age and thereafter. By the time I was a teenager I was sick to death of everyone assuming we were the same person. If boys liked one of us they just assumed they would like both of us and try one for a date first and then the other.
I tried to stress this importance especially more for Luke and just listen to him and help him.
To all parents that have identical, they need to have their own identity and it starts at HOME.
Identical (Monozygotic) vs. Fraternal (Dizygotic)
It has always amazed us how many twins have no idea whether they are identical or fraternal. We knew we were identical from the time we could talk. We also had one feature that helped our parents tell us apart, a birth mark. Here are some interesting facts about twins and being identical vs. fraternal.
The term TWIN refers to two individuals who have shared the same uterus (womb). The biological mechanisms that prompt the single fertilized egg to split in two still remain a mystery.
Identical twins come from a single fertilized egg that splits in two; they share virtually the same genetic code. Any differences between them—one twin having younger looking skin, for example—must be due to environmental factors such as less time spent in the sun. The only difference between identical twins is their fingerprints. Identical twins develop their own individual personalities to enable themselves to be identified as individual persons. Most people often assume that identical twins are the same person however, that is not the case.
Fraternal twins come from separate eggs and share on average half their DNA. Fraternal twins usually have separate amniotic sacs, placentas, and supporting structures. Some fraternal twins look identical and some just look like siblings. Boy/Girl twins are fraternal. DNA testing will also tell if your twins are identical or fraternal.
Mirror twins also called Mirror Image Twins are a subset of identical twins and are identical twins with opposite features, one is right handed and the other is left handed. One quarter of all identical twins may be mirror twins.
We are Mirror Image Twins and we are both very left and right handed even though we are more dominate by one.
If you aren’t sure if you are identical or fraternal, ask your parents, if they aren’t sure they DNA testing is the only way. However, if you are different sex twins – you are fraternal.