One of the most common questions we get asked, particularly when I was pregnant, is "Were you shocked to find out you were having twins?" Often, it's followed by, "Do twins run in your family?"
Our answer to these questions is a little complicated.
Both Jeremy and I have LOTS of twins in our families. My mom has always said she felt like either my sister or I would have twins (or even a "litter" of children, as she sometimes puts it!). I think the possibility of having twins has always been a factor in my life. A childhood friend tells me that for as long as she can remember, I said I wanted twins. When discussing how many children I wanted, I used to often say that I wanted to experience the pregnancy/birth process twice, so if I had twins, that would probably mean three children (!). (We'll see about that part...)
I have seriously always known that twins would somehow be a part of my life somehow. So was I shocked to hear in our first ultrasound that I was carrying twins? No, not really. It felt more like a dream fulfilled. (I really do mean that, too. As hard as it is at times, I still think having twins is the coolest, most fun thing I'll ever do in my life.) I don't think I really expected the identical part, but that just makes the whole thing even more interesting. Similarly, I also knew in my heart that we would have girls. In picturing my family and the kind of mother I would be, I have never, ever been able to picture myself with a little boy. That's partly due to the lack of boys in my family (I have two sisters and no close boy cousins, etc.), but in the way I knew twins would be in my future, I also think I have prepared for girls. Funny, I think I would have been more shocked to hear that our babies were boys than I was to learn we were having twins!
Now, do twins "run in our family"? Well, our girls are identical, which as many parents of multiples know, is not hereditary. Fraternal twins can be hereditary, but only through the mother's side. So the technical answer would be no, our twins did not happen because it runs in the family.
However, on a practical, non-scientific side...yes, twins most definitely run in our families! Here are just a few of the many, many examples of twins in our close family:
- My dad is a twin--fraternal
- My dad's twin sister has a set of fraternal twins
- TWO of Jeremy's aunts (mom's side) have twin boys--both sets are identical
- Jeremy also has identical great-aunts (dad's side)--they are in their 70s and are so cute!