Twins – Celebrating One of Life’s Great Miracles

There can be no more joyous time than the moment of birth for an eager set of parents. The long awaited event has changed this couple during the short 9 months of conception, of which some of the changes are immediately reversible and some will endure. It has brought out the best (and sometimes the worst ) in people who naively thought that this was an easy accomplishment.

Imagine, if you will, the double enjoyment (or shock) of seeing two babies delivered at the same time and in the same place, and they are both yours. Yes folks, TWINS! Sometimes this blessed occurrence can be foreseen but many times it is a total surprise. Even without a family history of twins we all have heard of many couples delivering them without warning. Of course in this day and age the use of prenatal sonograms is very popular and therefore a true surprise at the time of delivery seldom happens.

A family history of twinning or using aids to conception (IVF, etc) raises the possibility of multiple births which is then incorporated into the pregnant psyche after a day or two of mild shock.

Such a blessed event happened to my daughter and her husband; all her babies were conceived through IVF. She already had a 2 year old boy when she found out about the twins. The delivery was smooth (easy for me to say!) and she had a beautiful boy and girl to add to the lineage.

Whether twins are fraternal, occurring from the fertilization of two separate eggs by two separate sperm, or identical, occurring from the fertilization of a single egg by a single sperm that then splits into two during very early conception, they will always maintain a bond that at times can border on the metaphysical. These identical twins really do share the same genetic structure, but even then there are significant differences easily seen by their parents. They develop their own language and means of communication, they easily comfort one and other, and at times can “feel” a similar sensation originating from the other twin who may be miles away. Don’t ask me how!

While there is such a close bond there is an immediate need to separate them in the parent’s minds… to think of each as individuals. They are not “they”; they are not “the twins”, they are very individual and unique persons with distinct and separate needs and feelings and should be seen as such and addressed as such. At times each one can act as a “control” in an observed occurrence as parents struggle to define what is normal and what is not, while direct and specific comparisons are not a good idea. In fact, scientific studies are done in twins because of similar genetic matter (more in identical), in which the age old question of nature versus nurture is approached.

Either way, these are very special children, born with an immediate friend to spend the early part of their life with and share experiences. When else does that happen except in marriage?

About the Author

Dr. Joseph Skoloff received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from The Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He is a past Vice Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, a past Chairman of the Infection Control Committee at the Loudoun Hospital Center and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In his 41 years as a practicing pediatrician he has kept hundreds of kids and families healthy and safe and plans to continue to do so for years to come. Dr. Joe believes strongly in the combined power of parent and physician working together for the health of their children. He is an advocate for children everywhere and and adheres strongly to the principles of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr Joe is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


One Response to “Twins – Celebrating One of Life’s Great Miracles”

  1. I admire people with multiples. I have two kids 3 years apart and I have a hard enough time with them, having more than one at the same age has to be a challenge!

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