Maria de Nazare, a 25-year-old Brazilian woman, believed when she was going into labor that she would be welcoming two babies into the world.
Instead, the Daily Mail reports, just minutes before giving birth, tests revealed that the twins would share the same heart, lungs, liver and pelvis. The babies have two brains and separate spines.
The Daily Mail has more:
The 25-year-old mother, who lives in a rural area of the state, had no ultra-sound scans during her pregnancy and only found out about the abnormality minutes before the baby was born at 1 a.m. on Monday morning.
[Claudionor Assis de Vasconcelos, director of the hospital where the baby was born] said: “When doctors scanned her they realised that the baby had two heads and that a normal birth would be a great risk both for mother and baby. The caesarean took an hour because the baby was sitting down.
“Despite all the problems we have as a small interior hospital we managed to save both mother and baby, which was our aim. And for us it was a great surprise to find out that the child was in really good health.”
The Daily Mail reports Neila Dahas, director of the Santa Casa hospital, as saying that removing one of the heads was not even an option as both of the brains were functioning. Separation of the babies is impossible.
The Daily Mail goes on to report that de Nazare named the babies Emanoel and Jesus due to their Christmastime birthday. It should also be noted that the mother did not appear to doctors at any point to be distraught over her babies’ malformation.
Although dicephalic parapagu is an extremely rare condition, the Daily Mail states that this is the second baby born in Brazil with two heads this year. This child only lived a few hours due to a lack of oxygen to one of the heads.