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The Baby Days

Written by Mari


My husband and I found out we were having identical twins very early in my pregnancy. My doctor saw something on the ultrasound that gave it away. We weren’t 100% sure, though, until the placenta was tested after the babies were born.

Identical twins start as a single fertilized egg that splits. It’s a spontaneous and random occurrence. Identical twins are more rare than fraternal twins. Just three in every 1,000 deliveries worldwide are identical twins. There is no hereditary trait that predisposes you to having identical twins, the way there is with fraternal twins.

We didn’t have trouble telling the babies apart during the first couple of months. Sienna was bigger and had a redder complexion (for all the extra feeding she had done inside my belly), and Chloe was smaller and paler, as her sister hadn’t left much for her to feed from.

When they were 3 months old and Chloe was almost as big as her sister, we decided to have their ears pierced and give them different earrings to be able to differentiate them. I didn’t want to wake up one day and not know who was who. My mother (who stayed with us until the girls were 5 months old), my husband, and I never needed the earrings to tell them apart, but other family and friends did.

Now, when I look at pictures from when the girls were between 3 and 9 months old, I sometimes have trouble knowing who is who. I have to examine the photos very carefully and look for clues—like, Sienna’s hair grew faster, and she had redder and rounder cheeks. It’s amazing how similar they looked but we were able to easily tell them apart.

Today, at 3 years old, it’s very easy to tell who is who. We have no trouble at all. Still, I have given them different looks to make it easier on their teachers and kids at school. Chloe has bangs and shorter hair, and Sienna has longer hair. I never dress them the same because I want each one to have her own identity and personality.

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