Conjoined twin marries, hopes to become mother

An American teacher who rose to prominence on a reality TV show with her conjoined twin is now focusing on parenthood after it was revealed she secretly married three years ago.

Abby Hensel, 34, of Minnesota, married Josh Bowling, 33, a nurse and army veteran, in 2021, according to public records obtained by TODAY.

Abby and her sister Brittany, one of just a few sets of dicephalus twins in history to survive infancy, come to prominence 28 years after enchanting the world with an appearance on Oprah.

In a documentary filmed when the girls were teenagers, their mother said they were keen to have children of their own one day, explaining: ‘That is probably something that could work because those organs do work for them.’

‘Yeah, we’re going to be moms,’ Brittany agreed.

Abbey agreed saying: ‘Yeah, we are going to be mums one day, but we don’t want to talk about how it’s going to work yet.’

The pair can eat, write and complete tasks separately from one another, but share a single body, and from the waist down, all their organs, including the intestine, bladder and reproductive organs.

This means they can conceive a child in the conventional way, but it’s unclear who would legally be the child’s mother.

In another interview, Brittany reiterated their desire to have families of their own, saying: ‘The whole world doesn’t need to know who we are seeing, what we are doing and when we are going to do it. But believe me, we are totally different people.’

Abby added: ‘Yeah, we are going to be moms one day, but we don’t want to talk about how it’s going to work yet.’

While their eponymous TLC show which chronicled their major life events, including their high school graduation and job hunting, Abby’s relationship with Josh, who is a father-of-one, has gone under the radar until now, with the twins leading a quieter life out of the spotlight in the past 10 years.

They have always shut down speculation about their private life and a decade ago, they dismissed a rumor that Brittany was engaged as a ‘dumb joke’, but even as teenagers they spoke about wanting to have children.

‘People have been curious about us since we were born, for obvious reasons,’ the twins said in the first episode of their eight-part series, according to ABC News. ‘But our parents never let us use that as an excuse. We were raised to believe we could do anything we wanted to do.’

In a 2001 interview with Time, the twins’ father Mike said his daughters had already then asked about finding husbands one day.

Knowing that other conjoined twins have married, he explained, why not? ‘They’re good-looking girls. They’re witty. They’ve got everything going for them, except they’re together,’ he added.

Conjoined twins are exceptionally rare, with less than one in 100,000 births.

Female conjoined twins are even more rare and in many cases, the twins don’t survive infancy.

As such, there is only in only one case were pregnancy and delivery successfully achieved by the conjoined twins themselves, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

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