Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Apart

Baby A and I decided not to go home for Thanksgiving this year. It had something to do with exorbitantly high airplane ticket prices and the fact that we'll be home for winter break in just a few weeks.

And then I got invited to Thanksgiving with my boyfriend's family. And then back to their home for the long weekend. So, that is where I am now.

I have had Thanksgiving dinner without Baby A before, but never had I just not seen her on Thanksgiving.

And you know what? I MISSED HER. As we drove back by our town on the way from the (all day) dinner to my boyfriend's hometown, I was tempted to stop by our apartment and see her for a bit.

I settled for texting her.

I always buy her a little something when I go away for the weekend. This was no exception. I can't wait to get back to open it with her.


PS: I totally did not abandon my twinkie. I asked her beforehand, and then she made her own plans. We're all good.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

In More News From Britain...

An 18 year old girl is due to give birth to conjoined twins in the next few weeks.

Do news sources know that the preferred term for conjoined twins IS conjoined twins, NOT Siamese twins? Just wondering.

They are already planning on separating the babies. However, they do not yet know how the babies are conjoined. Generally, twins are only separated if both can survive without the other (excepting parasitic twins), meaning they each have the organs and capacity to live without the other. Abigail and Brittany Hensel cannot be separated; they share multiple organs and organ systems. They each have an arm to control and they have two legs. In certain cases, an organ transplant can allow a twin that had less organs than the other to survive, such as the Herrin twins case. Kendra and Maliyah were separated, requiring Maliyah to get a donated kidney from her mother.

There is the well-known case of "Mary" and "Jodie" Attard. Their parents took them to Britain to seek medical advice. Doctors wished to separate the girls because Mary was much less developed; they viewed her more as a parasitic twin who was straining the more developed twin and would eventually lead to Jodie's death. This is what the courts agreed with. The parents, due to religious reasons, wished the girls to remain together as they were born. Mary died after she was removed from her sister; Jodie is healthy.

I will be following this new conjoined twins case closely, and am hoping for the best possible outcome for the mother and the babies.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I am so lucky to have a twin that goes to school with me.

Except, you know, when she spills a solution in chemistry lab. And then we have to make some more. And we're the last group working because of it.

She's going to read this, so I'm just going to throw this out there: I LOVE YOU. I'M JUST GLAD WE GOT OUT OF THERE ALIVE.

I am SO not a fan of chem lab. But, in general, having my Baby A there makes it so much more fun.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dear BBC,

I would like to inform you that the child born to Susanne, the woman who had the world's first full ovary transplant, is genetically her daughter. You wrongly stated that Maja, the baby born because of the ovary transplant, is "genetically her niece." Since Susanne and Dorothee have the same genes (that's what makes them identical), that makes any children conceived by them genetically half-siblings (not cousins). The sisters share DNA, so the children have the SAME DNA from their mothers and different DNA from their fathers.

What you probably meant to say is that Maja is her niece in a familial sense, because the eggs formerly reside in her sister. However, as stated before, identical twins have identical DNA, which means the children born to identicals are gentically indistinguishable from half-siblings. If two identical females married an identical male from the same pair, their children would be genetically indistinguishable from siblings!

Hope this clears up any (long-lasting and persisting) confusion about identical twins.


**ETA** If you feel like letting the BBC know about their mistake, go here to fill out the form for style, accuracy, and grammar mistakes. The full url for the story with this mistake is

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Um, Yes, My Last Post WAS About This

According to the BBC in an article posted today (go read it!), a healthy baby girl was born to a mother who had received an ovary from her identical twin. The woman had ovary failure in her teen years, while her twin had healthy ovaries.

I mentioned egg donation last post and jokingly referred to having spare body parts, but I never considered the viability of the ovary transplant option, if such a need ever arose.

And for good reason too. It was the world's first whole ovary transplant! The new mother received the ovary from her twin to try to alleviate her early menopause. Doctors attached it in such a way to allow eggs to travel as they normally would. The report says the mother was not intending to get pregnant, but she did. What a confirmation that the transplant was a success!

It is noted that most young women with ovary failure have little to no warning to store their ovaries for later and, of course, they don't usually have an identical twin. Because of these women's genetic match at the highest possible level, concern for rejection was very low.

The British Fertility Society supports the removal of ovaries to preserve future fertility in the cases of women who will undergo treatment for cancer. Removing an ovary can be done immediately allowing for chemotherapy or radiation to begin at once, while harvesting eggs takes times because of the injections needed to ripen many follicles at once. The spokesman quoted in the article says that long-term freezing could be just as damaging to fertility as age, and clearly there are other, more applicable options in the treatment of infertility.

Congratulations to the new mother and auntie!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Houston, We Have... Cats

Baby A is compassionate and kind and loves animals. So when the chance to adopt two little orphan kittens wandered in her path, she picked it up, schmoogled (TOTALLY a word) it, and said YES.

Now that we're in an apartment that allows pets, the brothers, who are now over a year old, live with us. They are named after historical figures. The bigger one is named after a certain king of France who got beheaded, along with his young wife, and was known for being fat. The smaller one is named after a certain French military leader who was known for being short. Louis and Napoleon. Clever, right? Auntie (yours truly) came up with them.

Yes, it is true. I am an auntie to two four-legged creatures, which is certainly preferable in my mind to being an auntie to one eight-legged creature. Because why anyone would want a huge, hairy spider as a pet is beyond me.

And then it randomly occurs to me every so often that when I'm eventually an auntie to Baby A's biological two-legged children, they will have MY DNA too. Our kids will be genetically indistinguishable from half-siblings.

Say one of us has bum ovaries. She could totally just use the other one's eggs! The possessor of said faulty reproductive organs is STILL passing on her DNA to the next generation, despite the fact that the eggs were stored in the other twin.

Having spare body parts walking around could be so useful (there's so much to say about that). Here's hoping we never test that theory.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

There Are No Words

Hugh Hefner is dating twins. Who appear to be identical twins. 19 year old identical twins. Whose myspace apparently said "Hollywood, here we come!"

Thanks, girls, for renewing random strangers' interest in seeing identical girl twins naked together/make out/whatever. Because fending off skeevy perverts is just *so* much fun!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Saved A Life!

It took FOR.EV.ER to donate blood yesterday. I had never done it before, so I had to register with the company. Baby A donated blood the day before and so she was in the system. Lo and behold, two people living at the same household with similar names and very similar SSNs! The guy seemed all concerned that I was trying to fraud them, or make another profile with them.

Seriously, I told him her name, her SSN, her date of birth (duh), even her weight. Though, if he was that concerned I was donating twice in two days and thought I had made it all up, then I should know all of fake "Baby A"'s stats. But he was convinced Baby A and I's information was correct, and we moved on.

It also took a long time because there were no good veins in my left arm (I'm a rightie, so that was unfortunate) and because my blood pressure was too low to donate. Nothing like some serious nerves to raise that blood pressure to the point where I could give.

I got a flyer about joining the National Marrow Donor Program at the donation. And today I found this post. Abbie, the Handmade Quilt-er, whipped up a beautiful lap quilt (in a ridiculously short amount of time and free of charge) at the request of neighbors to give to another neighbor, a woman who donated marrow to a stranger with leukemia.

To celebrate this woman's selfless act, Abbie is giving away a quilt similar to the one she made for the woman (pictured above).

I love quilts, so I definitely entered. You should enter too!

I feel this is one more push from the universe for me to join the Marrow Donor Program.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Midterms, Exams, and Quizzes, Oh My!

When you have a body and a brain based on the exact same DNA as someone else, things tend to work the same way.

Our brains tend to make the same connections between things, reach similar conclusions, and get confused on the same topics. This is why we know sit far apart when taking an exam in the same room as each other. Because getting the same wrong answer to the same question tends to puzzle the teacher.

Our seventh grade science teacher assigned seating, and I was way up front to the right, and Baby A was in the last desk in the back on the left. No one got up during the test. We both missed one question, the same one, and marked the same wrong answer. Clearly we didn't cheat, and the teacher briefly mused on the unlikelihood of telepathy.

We sat kind of close to each other in a midterm last quarter, and got the same wrong answer to a question. (We each missed more than one for sure). Same wrong answers trigger more suspicion than same right answers (because it's right for a reason, of course). We didn't cheat, it would have been obvious to the teaching assistants and professor if I positioned myself in a way to see Baby A's test or vice versa. But since then, we have been careful to get to exams early to pick seats far away from each other, so there is no possibility of that ever being accused of happening.

I guess I haven't recovered from being accused by our second grade teacher of cheating. We sat at the same group of desks, so OBVIOUSLY those DEVIOUS, TRICKY IDENTICAL TWINS used their external hard drives (each other's brains) for help. Actually, we didn't, and I'm pretty sure I cried when the teacher said we did. Because I was that much of a sensitive two shoes. It was pretty clear to everyone else that those gosh darn goody goodies wouldn't cheat. Our classmates also totally thought the teacher was on crack. Or however a second grader would say that.