Naturally conceived quads in California are getting closer to going home. Life with super twin girls Audrey, Emma, Natalie and Isabelle will be a big change for Samantha Weng and Wayne Wang. After three months in intensive care at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, the multiples’ health has improved enough that they may soon begin to bring them home.
According to The Mercury News, the quads are naturally conceived (quad odds = 1 in 729,000 births). Two of the babies are known to be identical because they shared a placenta (odds = 1 in a million), and it is not yet clear if the other two girls are also identical (odds = 1 in 8 million).
Initially, Samantha and Wayne were “just” expecting twins. As they were adjusting to the news that they were having twins, they were told they were having triplets. Finally, they learned of the quadruplets. Parenting twins (or rather parenting super twins) will be quite a challenge, and Samantha plans to stay home to care for the quads.
One thing is certain, life will never be the same. Welcome to the world of TwinParenthood!
The term ”twiblings” isn’t exactly new, with popular usage defining it as “two under two”, or that is, two siblings being born within two years of each other. Under this definition, the world is full of “twiblings”. But I recently read an article in the NYTimes by Melanie Thernstrom, “Meet the Twiblings“, about a pretty unique family situation. These siblings were born 5 days apart and did not share a womb. So, no, they are not twins, and Ms. Thernstrom refers to her children as “twiblings“.
Not twins, but they might as well be. These kids will be raised together at the same time, in one family. To me, that is the real world definition of a “twin“. I know this opinion will cause controversy, but I really don’t care how they were conceived. I also don’t really care that they were carried in two different wombs. I know… technically they are not twins. But this family will experience typical twin parenthood issues: feeding two babies at once, twin escalation syndrome, two kids entering school at the same time — and the decisions about sharing a classroom. The list of twin parenthood issues goes on, and this family will face many of these joys and struggles.
I think it is more than okay to want to have twins and to plan to have “twins” in this unique way. I love how Melanie Thernstrom refers to the egg donor as “the Fairy Goddonor” – now that is a term I just might have to adopt myself! And, I have to confess I was pretty surprised at the venom I have seen expressed towards this couple from a few twin parents since sharing this article. As though only “naturally conceived” twins are acceptable and all others are some kind of second rate citizens. Having conceived one of my sets of twins only with the help of our own “Fairy Goddonor“, and one of my sets of twins “naturally“, I think I am in a unique position to announce with 100% conviction that my second set of twins are not any more “natural” than my first set of twins.
As to Michael and Melanie’s method of obtaining their “twins” — er, “twiblings“, I must say, “Good for them! You Go, Twin Parents! You Go!”