Conjoined Twins: The Story of Faith and Hope

September 19, 2011

Embracing Life

There has been a few articles in the news lately about conjoined twins. My favorite is an inspirational account of a single mother, Amanda Schulten, who gave birth to conjoined twins on September 6. She named her daughters Faith and Hope. When she was pregnant, her first doctor told her to abort them–she refused, wanting to give them as long a life as possible. She writes about this journey, and how she embraces life, on a blog called Faith & Hope & Love.  Amanda 7 months pregnant

Amanda is 21 and lives near Chicago. She became a Catholic at the beginning of her pregnancy during this past Easter Vigil. Because her babies have health issues, Amanda spent a lot of time hooked up to a monitor during her pregnancy. She was able to view her daughters in utero quite often, and couldn’t understand how someone could have told her “to just get rid of them.” She writes beautifully about the love she has for her disabled babies–before they were born and after. Here is a touching quote from her blog site before the girls were born:

Thanks everyone who’s praying for my little precious gifts from God. I sit with them all day waiting patiently to hold them in my arms. I cry tears of joy, that God made them so perfect. I can’t express enough how much I adore and love them.

The Birth

Faith and Hope were born by cesarean section at 34 weeks gestation (36 weeks is the norm for twins.) They collectively weighed 8 Lbs 10 ounces at birth. They share a heart and many of their other internal organs. They have one set of legs (one leg is clubbed), a pair of good arms, and two stunted arms. “God is good and he knows what he is doing,” Schulten said. “September 6th was a day miracles happened and I gave birth to the 2 most beautiful conjoined twins. We celebrate each day at 9:24, [What a] beautiful life they share together!”

She wrote this about her daughters: “The girls have lots of soft brown hair and the prettiest eyes. God is good and he knows what he is doing. I’m so honored to call them my children. I cry tears of joy, that God made them so perfect. (at least in my eyes and anyone who has met them.)”

Pro-Life

Amanda writes many life-affirming entries on her blog which has received almost 80,000 page views. Her story is being reported by news sources all over America. She is spreading the Gospel of Life in her own, beautiful way. One of my favorite entries is this:

I received a message on Facebook from a lady who works at a clinic in DeKalb yesterday night. She thinks it’s great that I’m spreading a good message about life.  She also said she is proud of me that I didn’t let anyone pressure me into an abortion because she meets with girls everyday who are considering abortions. You know why is because the world says it’s ok.  I’m showing the world what a mother’s love really is, not giving up on your children. She asked to use my story for patients that are thinking about getting abortions! I was like, yes! Something good is coming from this. Faith and Hope’s story can save babies’ lives!

Amanda’s Pro-Life Reflection:

Why is it that certain people think anything that isn’t
within someone’s definition of “normal” must be destroyed?
Our culture says disabled children of any sort are
less valuable than ‘normal healthy’ kids.
We need to put a STOP to this NOW.
People need to stop being heartless.
No child gets left behind

On September 16, she wrote,”Today Faith and Hope were holding hands while sleeping. Of course I took a picture. It was the most beautiful picture I have ever taken. I love my girls so much!!”

Conjoined twins are identical twins whose bodies never separated all the way. Their survival rate is 25 percent. Follow the journey of these babies through Amanda’s blog. It truly is a story of Faith, Hope and Love.

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About Kathy Schneeman

After graduating from The College of St. Thomas, I taught at Nativity in St. Paul until our oldest was just about born in the classroom (What a great lesson on life that would have been for my students!) I then became a stay-at-home-mom while teaching religious education classes and working very part time at UST. Recently, I served as the Archdiocese's Life Coordinator in the Office for Marriage, Family and Life until twins arrived (I was almost 43!) When I have a few minutes of quiet time, I like to run, eat chocolates, scones and Mexican food (that's why I run), read, and have a beverage with my husband at night. We have a whopping nine kids (yes...same husband and same wife; we get that question a lot!) and we attend St. Joseph's in West St. Paul--where we first met when we were in grade school.

View all posts by Kathy Schneeman
  • Sharon

    See this inspiring story of Conjoined twins from Minnesota – who are 19 now and one is engaged!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZUzi0RhBpM
    One body 2 souls…

    • http://catholicservant.com Craig Berry

      Wow Sharon…that’s an amazing video. I’m sure they’ve encountered enormous struggles and difficulties, but they have such great attitudes and personalities…very inspiring.

    • Kathyschneeman

      Sharon, thanks so much for sharing this video! It is moving.