December 22, 2011

And They Shall Call His Name Emanuel. And His Jesus.

Let's put this story from the northern Brazilian state of Para into chronological order:

Claudioner Assis de Vasconcelos, director of the hospital in Anajas where she gave birth, told Brazil's O Povo newspaper that the mother came in because she was experiencing strong abdominal pains.

It is reported that the 25-year-old, who lives in a remote area, did not have any ultrasound scans during her pregnancy - and only found out about her sons' condition minutes before the birth.

Mr de Vasconcelos said: "Despite all the problems we have as a small interior hospital we managed to save both mother and baby, which was our aim."

Jesus and Emanuel were born by Caesarean section weighing 9.9lbs (4.5kg) on Monday morning.

Conjoined twins have been born in Brazil with two heads, two functioning brains and two backbones - but a single heart.

The condition, known as dicephalic parapagus, is rare.

Doctors say the mother breastfed both heads a few times and that the baby's appetite is normal.

I don't know why, maybe it's because our neighbors just had their first kid the other day, healthy and with no surprises or complications, but this report just kind of stopped me in my surfing tracks this morning. Maybe it's the way that the BBC's language, even the hospital administrator's, seems unsettled on how many kids there are.

There's a reference to the Hensels, dicephalic parapagus twins born in 1990 in Minnesota, whose individuality is unambiguous. But then, this kind of blows your mind a little bit:

For tasks such as responding to e-mail, they type and respond as one, anticipating each other's feelings with little verbal communication between them. In such cases as the latter, their choice of grammatical person is to use the first person singular out of habit when they agree, but when their responses do differ, they use their names in the third person singular.
But then who knows if they have email in the Amazon? Anyway, the kids are adorable. The BBC and every Brazilian news site have pictures.

Twins born in Brazil with two heads, one heart [bbc]
Abigail and Brittany Hensel [wikipedia]


The item that freaked me out from a story of conjoined-at-the-brain twins (I can't remember where I saw this, it was recently though.)was that one twin liked a certain food and the other didn't. When Twin A ate the food Twin B didn't like, Twin B made a face showing they didn't like the taste. Whoa.

There's a pretty amazing documentary on the Hensel twins on Youtube:

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