Pregnant with conjoined twins, Chelsea Torres worried constantly that she would lose her babies. That fear followed Torres, 24, and husband Nick, 23, from their home in Idaho to Houston, where they sought medical care ahead of the high-risk births of their daughters, Callie and Carter, in February. Those worries had not subsided as they packed up their car on Friday to take their daughters, and 3-year-old brother Jaysin, home to Blackfoot, the Houston Chronicle reports. "I've been dreading the return," says Nick Torres, referring to their concern that the girls will not survive the 1,700-mile trip spread out over five or six days. The good news is that those fears may be unwarranted. Doctors say the babies are healthy, though they do not recommend that they be separated, ABC13 reports. The twins share two legs, one pelvis, intestines, and a colon.
They have two separate torsos that face each other, fused at the diaphragm, per the Houston Press. Only about 5% of conjoined twins share a pelvis; the vast majority are joined at the chest or abdomen. Although an orthopedic surgeon told the couple in January before the birth that separation was possible, Nick Torres says, "I'd rather have two babies living stuck together than zero babies because of a bad separation." The couple sought help at Texas Children's Hospital after doctors at home told them the babies would not die in utero or shortly after birth. With little money, the couple relied on local donations and a GoFundMe campaign. In Blackfoot, they'll move in with Nick Torres' mother, at least until he can land another job. "It’s still a few chapters ahead of us," he says. (These twins conjoined in a highly rare way were successfully separated in October.)