Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our 100th Blog Posting (or Identical Vs. Fraternal)

Last year, Jill started this blog to keep friends and family informed of events happening in our lives. The first posting, dated April 27, 2008, consisted of 3 things: Jill and I becoming godparents to our nephew, Shaefer Cade Garrison; hardscaping and landscaping the front of our house; and our chihuahua, Penelope. Ninety-nine posts later, so much has changed. Most notably, we have two beautiful daughters, Olive Rose and Poppy Jane, who were born on June 28, 2009, the birthday of their great-grandmother. They have brought such joy to our lives over the past 11 weeks. There is just no way life will ever be the same. These girls have stolen our hearts and we are more in love with them and each other than we even knew was possible.

This post was intentionally delayed for a few days because we were waiting for the results of the twins' DNA test. We wanted to make our 100th post a very special tribute to our girls. It is with this post that we can confirm whether Poppy and Olive are identical or fraternal twins.

As you may know, Jill's pregnancy was the result of IVF, or In Vitro Fertilization. We had two embryos transferred into Jill's uterus on October 20. If memory serves me correctly, the chance of a singleton baby was 60%, the chance of twins was about 20%, triplets was 5%, and quads, quints, sextuplets, septuplets, octuplets, etc., was practically 0%. We fell into the 20% that got twins!

But that's not the end of it. The chances of fraternal twins was 20%, but the chance of any egg splitting in any pregnancy and creating identical twins is 0.4% (that's less than half of one percent for those of you who aren't good with decimals). We found out yesterday that we do not belong to the 20% group, but to the very exclusive 0.4% group. That means that Poppy and Olive are indeed identical twins! Then, it hit us... what if both embryos implanted successfully and one split? We could have just as easily ended up with triplets or no babies at all! I can't imagine either of these alternatives, although we were closer to it than we first let ourselves imagine.

We will more likely than not spend the rest of their lives celebrating their similarities and their differences, but for this small moment, we are focusing on their similarities. We feel like these little girls are our little miracles. They will experience things that only a very select few will ever be able to understand. They have a life ahead of them filled with experiences that they will be able to share with another human being with a very similar perspective, with whom they love and respect. Hopefully this will allow them to avoid so many of the insecurities young people face these days because they will go through life together -- not together in childhood like most siblings; and not like married couples who go through their older years together -- but life -- from beginning to end and everything in between. It is an amazing experience that so few people will ever know. Although we will not be able to feel what our beautiful, wonderful little girls are feeling and experiencing, we will be able to watch and learn and look on with amazement as nature reveals itself through OUR babies. We feel happiness, awe, gratitude and excitement all at once. We feel the feelings that all parents feel for their children two fold. It is, for lack of a better word, awesome!

Here are some pictures of our beautiful identical twins which may fool the eye...

(That was Poppy.)

(That was Olive.)

(That was Olive.)

(That was Olive.)