Having announced our twin pregnancy to the world recently, the most common response I get to our news is “So, do twins run in the family?” Despite this being such a common belief, scientists can’t find evidence that identical twins are genetic; no one is actually certain what causes an egg to split. Fraternal twins can be the result of genetics when a woman inherits the tendency to hyperovulate. Even so, the chances of having twins is just not that high.
While I know that science says that my twins are not the product of genetics, in families like mine, it’s hard not to wonder if scientists just haven’t found the right link. From the time I was a little bitty thing, people told me I was destined to have twins. So why did everyone think I was a genetic goldmine for twins?
Meet my paternal grandmother and her twin brother:
I’m an overachiever, though, so one grandma being a twin just wasn’t enough for me. Meet my maternal grandmother and her identical twin sister.
Yep, both of my grandmothers are twins! My paternal grandmother passed away when I was nine, so while I know she and my great-uncle were super close, most of my “twin memories” come from my maternal grandma, Inalue, and her identical twin, Inysue. We just called them Grandma and Other Grandma. They absolutely, unquestionably ADORED being twins. They played tricks on boys that would come to pick one of them up for a date. They went to beauty school together and opened their own salon. The stories they told made being a twin sound so fun that my mom and I both always wished we had been born with a twin. That’s why I prayed to have twins for most of my life. If I couldn’t be a twin, at least I could have them!
My grandpa was a Captain in World War II. When he returned after a visit home, the young private who picked him up at the airport asked how his furlough was. He responded by saying, “One of these days, I’m going to marry one of those pretty McDaniel twins.” And as soon as the war ended, both twins married their respective military heroes!
My sweet grandma had a whole basketful of heartbreak when it came to having children. Her first pregnancy was fraternal twins, disproving that whole “twins skip a generation” thing. She went into labor at about 7 months, and gave birth to a little boy and a little girl. The little girl only lived a few hours, but my uncle was a fighter and pulled through. Sadly, her next pregnancy was a single boy, who left this world a day after his arrival. My mom was born last, and their family was finally complete.
My grandma and her twin shared their 90th birthday a year and a half ago and both of them were able to attend our wedding that year. My aunt passed away weeks before their 91st birthday, and naturally, it has been a huge loss for my grandmother. I have never so looked forward to making a call as I did the day I got to tell my grandma that we were expecting twins. She was ecstatic and continues to talk about it all the time. It’s kind of lovely that a little more than a year after my grandma lost her twin, she’ll become the great-grandma to our twins. While our twins may not be a genetic hand-me down, I will always believe they were a special gift from God at just the right time for our family.
Do you have any twins in your family?