Saturday, March 31, 2012

365 Days of Twinipedia - Day 104 | Your twins and the college admissions effect




Day One-Hundred & Four of Twinipedia


Fact #104


Did you know that many colleges will work hard to admit both twins in a pair to the same school during admissions decisions.  They are conscious of the special bond that twins have and do not want to cause a rift, animosity or separation if is is avoidable.
Although they are also more likely to decline a pair or wait-list a pair if one of the twins looks like s/he will succeed at that school while the other does not in order to avoid the above issues noted.

Friday, March 30, 2012

365 Days of Twinipedia - Day 103 |


Day One Hundred & Three of Twinipedia Facts



Fact #103
Here is a fun little fact.  Scientists have been able to show that dogs who are trained in scent identification can always tell apart twins.  So even if mom and dad get confused, Rover will not!  


Thursday, March 29, 2012

365 Days of Twinipedia - Day 102 | The College Choice Dilemma with Twins




Day One Hundred & Two of Twinipedia Facts
Fact #102

Ah the never ending dilemmas that parents of twins have to tackle throughout their multiple's lives...
  • Dress them the same or different?
  • Have the same pediatrician or choose separate ones (especially when the twin set is boy/girl)?
  • Allow them to have the same friends or encourage their own friendships?
  • Send them to kindergarten together or separate them?
  • And the ever looming decision as to whether twins should go to the same college or not?... If and when they decide to take that next educational step in life.  
Some experts say separation is totally a necessity to be sure that twins learn to be independent and self-reliant.  But some experts say that is not so, and twins can carve their own lives and niches at college while still sharing their daily lives in the same place.
  
Again, this decision seems to fall into the same category as kindergarten decision making.  It seems to come down to what is best for each individual set of twins.  Plus at this older developmental age, twins can be a bigger part in making the decision about going off to college together or separately.  No decision would be perfect and remembering that most decisions are not permanent can ease the minds of many twin parents out there.
Clemson University Orange Full Zip Hoodie - Rugby Style
My sister and I ended up at different colleges, me in NY and Becca in Rhode Island.  Surprisingly, I know that I did not really even think too much about our inevitable separation ahead of time.  It was actually the morning of my departure when it really hit me that we were going to be apart, in fact hours away from one another, and would not see each other every single day as we had for our whole lives thus far.  And when the final goodbye came, it was like someone punched us both in the gut .  We cried like babies.  But we both agree now that it was a good choice for us to go to different schools.  I was less confident then Becca then and needed some independence to gain more self-esteem.  We were also definitely interested in different academic subjects and prioritized education differently so different schools fulfilled our individual needs at the time.  We had to do our own thing for awhile.  If for no other reasons than to find our "own" selves as well as to come to a point were we appreciated each other as completely as we do now.

Good luck if you are a parent of twins.  No one decision will be the perfect decision but all we can do is our best to make good, educated choices!
Here is an interesting article on this decision making dilemma - Enjoy!
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College choice is twin dilemma
By Rebecca Kaplan, USA TODAY


When Ariella Korn of Buffalo starts college at Hobart and William Smith this fall, it will be like leaving part of herself behind.


That's because her twin, Elana, will be three hours away at Union College. The 18-year-old fraternal twins have never been separated.

College choices can be "vexing" for twins, says professor Nancy Segal, head of the Twin Studies Center at California State University-Fullerton...


The "going wisdom" is to go to different schools, but "society has to stop putting pressure on twins to separate," Segal says...


To read the entire article, go to http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-07-20-college-twins_N.htm

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

365 Days of Twinipedia - Day 101





Day One Hundred & One of Twinipedia Facts

Fact #101
Never in a million years would we have thought that as far back as 1689, doctors were already Successfully separating conjoined twins.  Now at the time these types of twins were referred to as Siamese twins.

The first twins to be separated were Elizabeth and Catherine Mayer. They were joined "in the region between the Xiphoid process and the umbilicus". Since the Xiphoid process is the tip of your sternal bone that helps keep your rib cage from flopping open, and your umbilicus is basically your belly button region, the girls were joined just below their rib cages and just above their belly buttons.  
The location these twins are joined is one were the twins are less likely to be connected together by any vital organs other than perhaps their liver/s.  

Their doctor, Johannes Fotio performed the surgery in Brazilea. He was able to "separate the umbilical vessels" of the twins and then transected," (cut and connect) "the bridging tissues that were between the girls."


They girls survived the surgery and were the beginning of a long medical history of conjoined twins being separated throughout the world.


To read the entire article that shared these facts along with other interesting conjoined twin's stories, go to
http://www.bmj.sk/2004/10502-01.pdf



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

TWINS: 365 days of Twinipedia - Day 100




Day ONE HUNDRED of Twinipedia Facts
Fact #100
What do parents of twins that look soooooo alike at birth do to make sure they are able to distinguish between the two babes.
Some ideas we have heard that seem like smart ways to keep their individual identities clear and safe are:


  • Place nail polish on their hand or toe nails so that you know baby A is one color and baby B is the other color (don't mix that info. up though either - LOL)
  • Place some sort of of mark on the hospital bracelet with indelible marker. IE. the first initial of the babies names, a star and a heart, two different colored marker markings...
  • Place different colored or designed socks on each baby so that their cute feeties will let you know who is who.

It may seem strange to some parents of twins that any new moms and dad could ever confuse their babes since it comes so easy to them.  Know though that some twins are just so so alike physically, and also some parents are just so tired and not themselves after the laboring process that this distinguishing between the babies doesn't always come as easy to everyone.

Hopefully these ideas help those moms and dads who have trouble telling their twinnies apart feel a little more confident that who they ARE cuddling with the little in they think they are.

Monday, March 26, 2012

TWINS: 365 days of Twinipedia - Day 99 | Cute Fictional Books about Twins





Day Ninety-nine of Twinipedia Facts

Fact #99
Here are a few Cute Fictional-Reads about Twins we wanted to share today - 


_____________________________________________________________________
Take Two!: A Celebration of Twins [Hardcover]
J. Patrick Lewis (Author), Jane Yolen (Author), Sophie Blackall (Illustrator) 



Amazon book description - 

Know some twins, or expecting to? This twinspired collection pairs poems and pictures in a lighthearted salute to the many twins among us.
Old twins, new twins, famous twins, not-at-all-alike twins, side-byside twins, let's play twins, not-yet twins, mirror twins - all kinds of twins! - come together in a collection of original poems by two of our most celebrated authors for young people: J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen. From a wave and a wink to a twin switcheroo, from a rocket to the moon to the old woman who lived in a shoe, these poems and mini facts, whimsically illustrated by Sophie Blackall, will leave even singletons with a twinkle in their eyes. Here is the perfect book to share with the twins in your life - and everyone who loves them.
Price: $11.61
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Twin Brothers [Paperback]
Stephanie Heider (Author)  


Amazon book description -  

Follow Twin Brothers on an exciting journey as they discover all the antics they can accomplish together and the security of the comraderie they share. Mothers cabinet door locks and things far out of reach are no match for this dynamic duo! Author Stephanie Heider reminds readers of all ages that life is better with a friend by your side and proves that twins arent multiplied mischief but a precious, treasured pair.
Price - $7.99
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The Land of Long Ago [Hardcover]
Elsa Beskow (Author)




Amazon book description -   


Kelly and Kai love to play on the gnarled old tree trunk outside their cottage in the woods: sometimes it becomes a horse, sometimes a crocodile and sometimes even a dragon. One day a mischievous gnome makes the tree trunk come to life, and the children are whisked off to the Land of Long Ago on the back of the old tree dragon. On their incredible journey Kelly and Kai meet a princess, rescue a knight and trick the king of the trolls. But will the old tree dragon stay alive long enough to bring them home again? A delightful fairy tale from Elsa Beskow, with beautiful illustrations in her unique, classic style.
Price: $12.21
_________________________________________________________________________  

Twin to Twin [Hardcover]
Margaret O'Hair (Author), Thierry Courtin (Illustrator)

Amazon book description -    

Double born.  Twice the blessing.  Double kids.  Twice the messing.
Twins mean double the kisses and double the fun. It's double the joy for everyone!
Price: $11.55

_________________________________________________________________________   
Two is for Twins [Board Book]
Wendy Cheyette Lewison (Author), Hiroe Nakata (Illustrator)


Amazon book description -


What makes two? All sorts of things. A bicycle's wheels. A bluebird's wings. And twins, as you can plainly see, Are just as two as two can be.This brightly illustrated board book is a buoyant, bouncy ode to the joys of twindom. Perfect for children who are twins, and just as perfect for children who aren't!  
Price - $6.99
_________________________________________________________________________    
Hello Twins [Paperback]
Charlotte Voake (author)


Amazon book description -


"Voake’s sibling homage reminds us that family harmony can happen even when the children sing separate songs." — THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

Charlotte and Simon are twins, but they couldn’t be more different. Charlotte likes to build things, and Simon likes to knock things down. Simon likes to draw shapes over and over, and Charlotte likes to copy the numbers on the clock. And they don’t even look much alike! But whether upside down or right side up, these two like each other just the way they are. Here is an acclaimed tale about twins that doubles as an ode to individuality — and a celebration of sibling bonds. 


Price - $6.99
_________________________________________________________________________  

Just Like Me (Revised Edition) [Paperback]

Barbara J. Neasi (author)





Amazon book description -


I always wanted to be a twin like Julie and Jennifer. It teaches that children can be alike and different because that's what makes them unique. Although it is a little bit repetitive, with every page ending, "Just like me," or "Not like me," it emphasizes the point that no two people are exactly alike, but everyone has some things in common. 

Price - $4.95
_________________________________________________________________________   


Little Miss Twins (Mr. Men and Little Miss) [Paperback]

Roger Hargreaves (Author, Illustrator) 



Amazon book description -


Travel to Twoland where two friends can be double the fun fun!! 










Sunday, March 25, 2012

365 Days of Twinipedia - Day 98





Day Ninety-eight of Twinipedia Facts

Fact #98
We were sad to read that the belief that parents of twins are more likely to divorce than non-twin parents is actually partially true.  The Week.com's article on strange facts about twins stated that "It seems that twins can help unravel a marriage".  Doctors at Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital have studied couples who have had twins and stated that "When a couple's only children are twins, parents are only about 1% more likely to get divorced than parents of singletons. But add in more kids (or less income), and the risk of divorce shoots up. The reason is probably the added stress, both financial and emotional."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

TWINS: 365 days of Twinipedia - Day 97




Day Ninety-seven of Twinipedia Facts


Fact #97
Myths about twins...
  • They are always competitive
  • They will always be best friends
  • They always have an ESP connection
  • They will wish they were singletons
  • They must be in the same classroom together to feel secure.
  • They must always be in different classrooms to feel like individuals and like their own person
  • They should always be dressed the same
  • They should always be dressed differently
  • They are genetically exactly the same if they are identical twins
  • ...
Seems to us, no one myth has it right.  
We say, Raise your twins the best way you can and fulfill their needs and hopes.  Don't worry about the expectations and stereotypes of others out there.  
Let them become who they were meant to be, and everything else will fall into place.!!






Friday, March 23, 2012

TWINS: 365 Days of Twinipedia - Day 96



Day Ninety-six of Twinipedia Facts


Fact #96
Multiples are often Preterm Births which means they are born prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy.  

In 2007, it was estimated that preterm births in twins rose to 60.4%. This compares to 11.1% for single birth babies that same year.
These twins are more likely to be born small and have preterm birth complications like underdeveloped lungs, infection susceptibility, feeding issues, anemia, immature digestive systems, inability to maintain body heat, developmental delays and more.  Luckily the medical world has been able to deal with many of these preterm issues through medicinal interventions and technological devices and systems that help these babies to survive.
Other types of multiples are also more likely to be born preterm...Here are some interesting statistics found at multiples.about.com
  • Less than 40% of twins were born at 37 weeks or later.
  • More than 12% were born prior to 32 weeks gestation.
  • 36.33% of triplets were born prior to 32 weeks.
  • About 80% of quads and higher were born befoer 32 weeks.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

TWINS: 365 Days of Twinipedia - Day 95



Day Ninety-five of Twinipedia Facts


Fact 95
There are amazing informational sites out there for parents of twins and multiples.  We stumbled upon one with a great post that shared a list of things parents of twins wished they had known before they had their little ones, and while raising them in the early years.
They share 17 different tidbits of advice in the post.  Things like wishing they had known they did not need to own two of EVERYTHING or that placing your twins on a shared schedule with feedings and sleep can make those first months as new parents easier for some multiples parents.
They elaborate more in the post about the facts and opinions behind the tips that are shared.
To read more about what exactly most parents of multiples would like expecting parents of twins to know, head over to iVillage.com and get some great tips and advice from the parents who know since they've been there.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

TWINS: 365 Days of Twinipedia - Day 94




Day Ninety-four of Twinipedia Facts


Fact 94
Twins are defined by the Encyclopedia as "...two young who are simultaneously born from one mother." The father is not mentioned in the definition at all.  Why are they not part of this definition?    I guess at the time, science did not see the need for the father to be part of the term's clarification but as time goes on, the definition may need to be updated to make it more detailed.  
One reason this definition may need updating is because "it has become more evident that twins can have two different fathers. (fraternal (dizygotic) twins that is, not identical (monozygotic) twins)" 
In Multiples.about.com, one of my FAVORITE sites to find information about multiples, they noted that this occurrence, referred to aSuperfecundation, "occurs when two or more of a woman's eggs are fertilized by different men within the same ovulation period."
It is crazy, but sperm can live inside a woman's fallopian tubes for 3-5 days.  So the eggs released in her cycle can be fertilized by the two different men's sperm from the different encounters which then can produce babies from those two different fathers that are born at the same time. 
The chances of this happening are very, very, VERY rare but it has occurred.  There are between seven and ten documented cases in medical journals about these kinds of twins.


The first case ever noted in a science journal was in 1810. In this case, a white woman had a relationships with a black man and a white man. These relations were separated by only a few days. Fraternal twins, one white and the other, a combination of the two races, were the result. The latest edition of the same journal features a case from 1982, shown in the photograph on the left.  
Non, multi-race twins make it harder to detect Superfecundation since the different skin colors don't happen but there have been some same sex, same race cases documented, including the one of the couple below from Texas. 

We are family: The couple and their one-in-a-million twins boys - who are soon to be joined by another sibling
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1184028/Meet-million-
twin-baby-boys--8211-different-fathers.html
   

Superfecundation can also occur when twins are conceived through fertility treatments.  This is beyond rare but has also been documented.   In the Dailymail.com, the story of "Koen and Tuen Stuart, Dutch boys who were the result of IVF (in vitro fertilization)", was shared. "In a mix up at the lab, equipment had been used twice, causing another man’s sperm to be mixed with the father's", resulting in the two eggs being fertilized by two men. 


Cuties Koen and Tuen Stuart  

(To read Koen and Tuen Stuart's story told in the words 
of their mother, of how their in vitro 
conception took a unique turn, go to- 
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Since the mid-1980s, documented cases of heteropaternal twins have been on the rise because technology has become more effective at assessing the twin's genetic backgrounds.  Testing is easier to conduct as well. Plus more woman are having babies later in life or having fertility help and as women age or get in vitro, it becomes more likely for them to have multiple ova present.
But even with all this new-fangled technology, testing options and social changes, most instances continue to go undetected.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TWINS: 365 Days of Twinipedia - Day 93












Day Ninety-three of Twinipedia Facts


Fact 93 -
Who knew?
Twins can have different gestational ages.
Fraternal twins that is.  
What can happen is that the two eggs that are fertilized can actually be released at different times during ovulation.  They can be released days or even weeks apart and when this happens, the eggs can be fertilized at different parts of that cycle.  And therefore the Fraternal twins can actually be conceived at different times, creating different gestational ages at birth.
So I guess a twin born first may actually be younger gestationally-speaking then the twin born second.  So now twins can be the oldest by birth and the youngest by conception date.
I am the younger of me and my twin by birth by one minute but this has got me thinking.  I could be older gestation age-wise.  My youngest-in-the-family status might be up for grabs  Too bad there is no test to prove this but it sure would be interesting to know.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

TWINS: 365 Days of Twinipedia - Day 92






Day Ninety-two of Twinipedia:

Fact #92
Some scientists previously believed that there is a twin gene. But what has been shown through much research, is that there really isn't a twin gene (but then they go on to say that there sort of, kinda is one too...) 
Huh, is right!
About.com shares that "It may be hard to believe, but there is, in fact, no actual gene for monozygotic, a.k.a., identical‚ twins." They then go on to say that the main factors for twins are random chance and in-vitro fertilization. 
But they then go on to share that even though there is no scientific evidence of any genetic predisposition for having identical twins... if you thought twins ran in the family, then you'd also be right. Twins do run in families... fraternal twins, that is.

Also, check out the fun video at About.com that answers some additional information about twins, the "twin-gene" theory and chances of having twins -