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Pamela Prindle Fierro

Quads? Or 2 Sets of Twins?

By February 19, 2013

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These are the facts: a woman in Texas gave birth to four babies on Valentine's Day.  Ace, Blaine, Cash and Dylan Montalvo were born in Houston, Texas. Conceived without fertility intervention, the family said they were just trying to have a sibling for their son, Memphis, who is two years old. There were two placentas, one shared by Ace and Blaine, and one shared by Cash and Dylan.

The babies are identified as two sets of identical -- or monozygotic -- twins. Monozygotic twins form when a single fertilized egg splits. In this case, two eggs were fertilized and then split. However, the boys could also be considered quadruplets, which are defined as four offspring born at one birth. The media is calling it "two sets of identical twins", a one-in-seventy-million longshot. Technically, the foursome also consists of two sets of dizygotic twins, as each boy is a twin in relationship to their brother outside of their monozygotic pairing. It can make your head spin!

What do you think? Would you call them quads? Or two sets of twins?

This article mentions two other cases of identical twin/quads: the Crawford babies born in 2011 (two girls and two boys that resulted from IVF) and the Tetrick babies (boys born in 2002).

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February 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm
(1) Lousanne says:

Relating to the article above: The woman in Houston Texas had quads consisting of 2 sets of identical twins.

I am on the steering committee for the South African Multiple Birth Association and one of our members also gave birth to quads in 2012 consisting of 1 set of identical girls and 1 set of identical boys.

The same with when a woman is having triplets. We have had members who had triplets, consisting of 1 baby and 2 identical babies. They are still triplets and not a singleton and identical twins.

You get various types of triplets or quads. Triplets can consist of 3 identical babies (egg split once and one split egg, splits again), identical twins and another baby (2 fertilised eggs and one splits) or fraternal triplets (3 fertilised eggs). With quads there are so many different kinds: triplets and 1 baby, 2 sets of identical twins, 4 fraternal babies, 2 sets of fraternal twins.

In my opinion: babies born from the same pregnancy are called twins, triplets or quads consisting of one of the examples above.

Lousanne Terblanche
SAMBA Seminar co-ordinator

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