June 4, 2007

Seeing double in Delano

A large number of twins converged the campus of Delano Schools on a daily basis

By Kelsey Linden
Staff Writer

Each and every person is unique in their own way.

Twins may share the same facial features, or share the same birthday, but they are also just as different.

With 30 sets of twins in Delano Schools, many often wonder how alike twins are, and what life is like as a twin

Multiple births are more common than they were in the past. Twins account for more than 90 percent of multiple births. There are two types of twins – identical and fraternal.

Fraternal twins account for approximately 66 percent of twin births, according to keepkidshealthy.com, a web site dedicated to keeping children safe and healthy.

When it comes to the difference between identical and fraternal, it starts at conception. Identical twins develop when a fertilized egg splits and develops two babies with exactly the same genetic make-up.

Fraternal twins are the result when two different eggs are fertilized by two different sperm and produce two genetically unique children.

There are some factors that increase a woman’s tendency to conceive twins. Women in their 30s and 40s have higher levels of the sex hormone estrogen than younger women – meaning their ovaries are stimulated to produce more than one egg at a time.

Also, the greater number of pregnancies a woman has already had will increase her odds of conceiving twins. When it comes to race, mothers of black African descent have the highest incidence of twins, whereas Asian women have the lowest.

Cindy Moe, a Delano resident and mother to a set of triplets and a set of twins, could not agree more that she is blessed to have her healthy five children. Only being 18 months apart, she considers them to be the joys of her life. She would not trade the experience for anything.

Moe had difficulty getting pregnant, so she and her husband used fertility drugs. Three eggs were implanted inside her, and surprisingly, all three took. However, the greater shock occurred when she became pregnant with twins a year later without the use of fertility drugs.

Thinking back on the infant years, she smiled as she shook her head, “The first couple of years, we had a lot of help. The diaper years were a challenge. The nightly feedings, I’d have them all lined up.”

Without a doubt, the most difficult part about raising five kids that are so close in age is devoting equal attention to them.

“That’s probably the hardest part for me,” Moe said.

Watching her kids grow up is fulfilling for Moe.

“The neat thing is that they’re all individuals,” said Moe. “Every one of them has their strong points and their selves. Even being identical boys, they have their differences.”

As far as the Delano community goes, Moe was pleased to reply, “I love Delano. Delano has the most awesome school district. I can’t say a bad thing about it.”

Really and truly, it’s the twins who know better than all what it is like having either a brother or sister the exact same age as he or she.

Typically being linked as one, it becomes more and more obvious that those who spend the time to get to know them have an easier time telling them apart and recognizing their differences.

When it comes to telling each other a part, Jonathan Fraasch, who has a twin brother, said, “You just know after awhile.”

Shaking his head, Robert Matthisen also added, “We have different hair color, wear different clothes, have different writing styles. I still don’t know how people still have trouble saying our right names.”

Above all others, twins, especially, see themselves as individuals. Many choose to make themselves unique by changing a hair style, dressing different, or participating in different activities.

Whether it’s a freckle on the cheek or a scar on the leg, each twin has his or her own ways of standing out from each other.

Mason Hart, who is a fraternal twin next to Jarrett Hart, stands nearly a foot taller. Height is a quick tool that many of Hart’s friends have discovered when it comes to telling the two apart. They could not be greater opposites.

Jonathan Fraasch also discussed competition with his brother, Karl.

“We compete with each other more than other brothers and sisters,” he said.

In comparing sibling/sibling relationships to twin/twin relationships, Jarrett Hart said, “It really isn’t too different, except you share basically all of your friends.”

Jarrett did however agree with his twin brother’s theory. “You get in less quarrels with your twin than with your other siblings,” Mason said. “You have someone you can always rely on and can help you as they are most likely going through what you are going through also. Unlike older siblings who base their help on past experiences, or younger siblings, who don’t know what you are talking about, and friends who have varying points of view.”

From and girl-to-girl perspective, Danielle Dennison spoke highly of her twin sister, Katilin.

“We can sometimes read each other’s minds and we think alike,” she said. “You have a bond that you don’t have with your other siblings. My twin is my best friend. I can depend on her for anything, and I can’t do that with my other siblings.”

Jessica Vealetzek agreed by also complimenting her twin brother, “Jake and I go thought many of life’s experiences at around the same time, so we can relate to one another. With my younger sister, I usually tell her she’ll understand when she’s older, but Jake and I can help each other through certain experiences.”

When asked what was the best part of having a twin, kids had conflicting answers, but above all, the love and friendship was obvious.

“You always have someone there for you, to stick up for you. We sense when something is wrong with the other one, but the best part is knowing that you’ll have a best friend all the time,” Kate Lofrano said of her sister, Elizabeth. “She’ll always be the one I care about the most.”

Even though some twins may find sharing to be annoying and unfair, some, like Jonathan and Karl Fraasch, use it to their advantage, as they hope to equally purchase a car before next year. Girls also use having a twin as a way to share clothing.

Amanda Ross believes the best part about having a twin is being able to trick people.

When thinking long and hard about his twin, Michael Rajewsky said, “It helps me to meet and deal with other people that I otherwise wouldn’t talk to.”

“I think it is very unique,” said Jessica Vealetzek. “I feel that we have a kind of bond that is harder to find. It’s really neat for me to be able to say that I am a twin. I know that Jake is always looking out for me, even though it may not always seem like it.”

Some consider having a twin to be no different. Laughing to herself, Corbin Schaust said about brother Payton, “I barely see him as my twin brother. He’s more like an older brother who bullies me around.”

Katilin Dennison also added, “My sister and I have completely different personalities. We’re pretty much polar opposites.”

Regardless of whether the difference between twins is just one freckle on the nose or a whole foot in height, twins may look similar, but they are different people with different personalities, different goals, and different dreams.

More important than all their differences, having a twin is like having a built-in best friend for life – with endless love and understanding for one another.

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