Friday, June 08, 2012

Are they or are they not? DNA Test Results Revealed

Proactive Genetics analyzed 15 standard DNA markers used in human identity and Julia and Emma matched on all 15. They are indeed monozygotic ("identical"). The probability of them being monozygotic is estimated at 99.9%.

I'm not quite sure why this feels so life affirming, but it does. Possibly because their behavior has always lead me to believe they could be identical, while their looks dissuaded me. It is such a relief to just know. To not guess, to not analyze, to not question.

We have always known that we were incredibly fortunate to have conceived triplets, to have safely carried all three until 32.6 weeks, to have three preemies with only minor health issues, and to have shared the past two and a half years with them.

What we didn't know, is just how infinitely blessed we were during IVF. We now know that only two of the embryos that were transferred actually implanted, and that one must have split. The split most likely occured a few hours after our Day 3 transfer.

The 3rd day after fertilization is the latest possible time that scientists say zygotes can divide and form separate chorions and amnions. Our girls were trichorionic, triamniotic, meaning each had their own placenta and amniotic sac.

Our triplets are therefore referred to as "polyzygotic" meaning two are monozygotic "identical", and one is dizygotic "fraternal."

We can now also definitively say that Julia and Emma are mirror identicals. About 25% of "identical" multiples mirror one another in terms of hair whorls and handedness. Only monozygotic multiples can be mirror images of one another, and they are amongst the most identical-looking of monozygotic multiples.

It is a tremendous feeling to have this insight into their conception. While we have always treated all 3 girls equally, it feels like this DNA test result has shed light on their natural way of being around one another, and interacting with one another. Julia and Emma seem to crave a physical proximity to one another, while Ada seems to need and seek space by herself. They love one another equally, and all take turns playing together. It will be amazing to watch their dynamic and relationships evolve as they grow. I feel like I now have a deeper understanding of how best to nurture each child.