December 2009



People keep asking us if the girls are identical twins, and we keep telling them that we just don’t know for sure. If you missed a previous explanation, the reason is that the hospital didn’t do DNA testing because it’s not essential, and all of the things that might have indicated one way or the other turned out to be inconclusive in our case. For example, if the twins are different genders or different blood types, then they are definitely not identical twins — but our girls are the same in those respects. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are identical, but they might be. Similarly, if they had shared a single amniotic sac, then they would definitely not be fraternal twins — but our girls had separate sacs. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are fraternal, but they might be. One thing is certain — they definitely look a lot alike.

Yet over the last six months, as Janet and I have spent countless hours staring at their beautiful faces, we have fortunately become fairly proficient at recognizing which one is which, although admittedly this is a good deal easier when we can see both of them together. And of course, just to make things easier we make sure to dress them differently, and we usually make a habit of putting Carolyn on the left side, Elizabeth on the right. (Alas, the latter technique will only be helpful for another couple months until they become independently mobile.)

A few days ago I had both girls sitting in their little bouncy chairs and they were smiling easily, so I thought I’d take a couple pictures. Here are a couple pictures I took side by side, illustrating some clear similarities. You’ll notice that they are facing slightly different directions, and of course their smiles are different, but I pointed out to my Dad that if you horizontally flip one of the images, they line up surprisingly well. My Dad was so struck by this that he put together a little video, fading back and forth between them. It’s pretty cool! Click on the picture below to open the movie in another window.

Can you tell who is who?

Can you tell who is who?

If you grab the slider and move it back and forth more quickly, you can tell more clearly that the two images were taken from slightly different angles. Still, I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out. But you know what? Even with these obvious visual similarities, as time goes on we find ourselves noticing more and more differences in their personalities and behaviors. It’s amazing, but many of those differences were there (albeit subtly) even in the very first few weeks after they were born. But I think I’ll write up a separate post to highlight the differences we’ve noticed so far. Stay tuned!

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