Conjoined Twin Sisters Tell Their Story: ‘Being By Her … It’s So Calming’ | Megyn Kelly TODAY
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Conjoined Twin Sisters Tell Their Story: ‘Being By Her … It’s So Calming’ | Megyn Kelly TODAY


>>>ALL YOU MOMS OUT THERE KNOW YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY IS NERVE-RACKING AND THOSE ULTRASOUNDS CAN HAVE YOU ON PINS AND NEEDLES. SO IT WAS FOR JAMES AND EMILY STARK WHO FOUND OUT THEY WERE PREGNANT FOR THE FIRST TIME. THE NEWS THAT CAME AFTER THAT WOULD LEAD TO A MEDICAL MIRACLE. WATCH.>>WHEN EMILY AND JAMES STARK GOT PREGNANT FOR THE FIRST TIME, EMILY HAD A FUNNY GUT FEELING. >>WE WERE SUPER EXCITED. I ALWAYS KNEW IN MY HEART WE WOULD HAVE TWINS. IT WAS JUST ONE OF THOSE GUT THINGS. >>OKAY. FINE, WHATEVER. WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF THAT. >>EMILY WAS RIGHT. WHAT THEIR DOCTOR TOLD THEM AT THEIR NEXT ULTRASOUND APPOINTMENT WOULD CHANGE THEIR LIVES FOREVER. >>HE LOOKED AT US, AND HE SAID THEY ARE JOINED SOMEWHERE IN THE LOWER REGION. I REMEMBER LOOKING AT THE CEILING AND I TUNED OUT AND JAMES KIND OF TOOK OVER FROM THERE. >>OBVIOUSLY WE KNEW WHAT CONJOINED TWINS WERE. YOU SEE STORIES AND READ ABOUT THEM. HE BROUGHT OUT THIS 1,000 PAGE MEDICAL BOOK AND FLIPPED THROUGH IT AND THERE’S LITERALLY TWO PARAGRAPHS ON CONJOINED TWINS. >>CONJOINED TWINS ARE RARE, ONE IN 60,000 BIRTHS. IT’S ESTIMATED 40 TO 60% OF THOSE BIRTHS ARE DELIVERED STILLBORN WITH 35% SURVIVING ONLY ONE DAY. >>I THINK IT WAS ALWAYS THEY WILL SURVIVE. I DON’T THINK THERE WAS EVER A QUESTION. >>ON MARCH 9th, 2001, LEXI AND SIDNEY STARK WERE BORN. DESPITE THE EXPECTED COMPLICATIONS, THEY WERE HEALTHY BABY GIRLS. >>THE GIRLS WERE SQUIRMING AND JAMES WENT OVER TO LEXI AND SAID, LEXI, ARE YOU HAVING A NIGHTMARE, A NIGHTMARE YOUR SISTER IS STUCK TO YOUR BUTT. ALL THE NURSES GIGGLED. THEY WERE LIKE, OKAY, THIS FAMILY WILL BE FINE. >>SEVEN MONTHS LATER THE GIRLS WENT IN FOR SEPARATION SURGERY. >>I CARRIED THEM DOWN TO THE OPERATING ROOM AND LAID THEM DOWN AND WE SAID GOOD-BYE. I THINK THAT’S THE MOMENT YOU KNEW WE COULD BE SAYING GOOD-BYE FOREVER OR WE COULD BE GETTING JUST ONE BABY BACK. >>THEN CAME THE LONG WAIT. BUT THE HOSPITAL STAFF CONTINUALLY LIFTED THEIR SPIRITS. >>EVERY SINGLE HOUR THIS NURSE CAME IN AND SHE GAVE US BETTER AND BETTER AND BETTER NEWS. >>SAME NURSE ALL DAY. MY GUESS IS SHE WASN’T GOING ANYWHERE NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TOOK. >>FINALLY CAME THE WORDS THEY WERE WAITING FOR ALL DAY. >>SHE CAME UP, AND SHE SAID, WE HAVE TWO BABIES. >>AND THE ROOM JUST STARTED STREAMING. >>IT EXPLODED. >>YOU COULD HEAR THAT, WOO-HOO, TWO BABIES. >>THE STARK TWINS NO LONGER SHARED BODY PARTS BUT THEY WOULD FOREVER HAVE AN UNBREAKABLE BOND. >>WOW. PLEASE WELCOME EMILY STARK AND JAMES STARK. INCREDIBLE. IS IT EMOTIONAL TO SEE THAT?>>YEAH, IT DOESN’T GO AWAY, YOU KNOW. WE GOT THE FAIRY TALE. THAT’S THE PIECE YOU KNOW. WE KNOW THE ENDING SO FAR. >>RIGHT. >>IN THE BEGINNING IS IT TRUE YOU CHOSE NOT TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS. YOU WERE AT THE BABY SHOWER. THEY KNEW TWINS BUT THEY DIDN’T KNOW CONJOINED TWINS. >>YES. IT WAS SO HARD TO VERBALLY SAY IT. IT TOOK A LITTLE BIT. I’M A PROCESS THINKER. IF YOU’RE A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE, YOU KNOW I’M A PROCESS THINKER. IT TOOK TIME TO SETTLE IN THE FACT WE WERE HAVING CONJOINED TWINS. >>WHERE WERE THEY CONJOINED AND HOW COMPLEX DID THE DOCTORS SAY IT WOULD BE TO SEPARATE THEM?>>THEY KNEW THEY COULD DO IT, THE DOCTOR KNEW. THEY WERE THINKING PARALYSIS WAS A REAL OPTION. THEY NEVER GAVE NUMBERS BUT WORST CASE PARALYSIS, COLOSTOMY COLOSTOMIES FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. >>THEY DIDN’T HAVE THE SURGERY FOR SEVEN MONTHS, CAN WE TALK ABOUT FIRST SIX, SEVEN MONTHS. WHAT DID THE CLOTHES LOOK LIKE? HOW DID YOU HANDLE THAT?>>LUCKY FOR US THEY STAYED IN NICU FOR 17 DAYS. THE NURSES PUT THEM ON A FEEDING SCHEDULE. THEY CAME HOME ON FEEDING SCHEDULE EVERY FOUR HOURS. WHAT THEY DID WAS A ONESIE. PUT THEM OVER THEIR HEAD AND SNAP, TWO LEGS OUT OF EACH HOLE.>>FOUR-LEGGED ONESIE, ONCE YOU SEWED IT TOGETHER. I WAS ADAMANT SHE BE IN PANTS. IT TOOK TOO LONG TO GET IN THOSE ITEMS SO WE WENT WITH A ONESIE EVERY DAY. >>I KNOW YOU COULDN’T BREASTFEED. >>WE TRIED. >>ONE WOULD HAVE BEEN — >>WE TRIED. >>SO MANY CHALLENGES. >>WE DID THE PUMP AND FED THEM THAT WAY. WHAT WE REALIZED IF YOU PUT A PILLOW ON YOUR LAP AND PUT THE GIRLS ON IT, YOU COULD SEE THEM AND FEED BOTH OF THEM AT ONCE. THE COOL PART IS, ONE GOT A BATH, THE OTHER GOT A BATH. ONE GOT FED, WHY NOT FEED HER. IT BECAME DOUBLE-WIDE SINGLETON, WE FEEL LIKE GOD GAVE US TWINS. >>YOU REFER TO THE SEPARATION OPERATION AS WHAT? CAN YOU TELL US WHAT YOU CALL IT. >>MY BEST FRIEND CALLED IT SISTERECTOMY. >>SISTERECTOMY. NOW WE CAN LAUGH ABOUT IT BECAUSE THEY ARE WELL BUT THAT MUST HAVE BEEN THE HARDEST DAY WAITING AND WAITING AND WAITING.>>I THINK IT WAS HARDER THE TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO THAT. WE HAD DONE ALL THE PREP SURGERIES. WE HAD DONE SO MANY THINGS TO GET TO THIS DAY. ABOUT TWO WEEKS PRIOR I LOOKED AT JAMES AND SAID, ARE WE PLAYING GOD? ARE WE MESSING WITH PERFECTION? WE COULD KEEP THEM TOGETHER AND KEEP THEM BUT ARE WE MESSING THIS UP? THAT WAS MY MOMENT OF WE COULD REALLY BE MESSING THIS UP. >>YOU FROM WHAT I READ REALIZED YOU ARE IN CHARGE OF MAKING DECISIONS FOR YOUR CHILD. THAT’S ONE OF THE THINGS YOU WANT OTHERS TO KNOW. JAMES, YOU TELL ME, PARENTS NEED TO FEEL EMPOWERED AT THESE MOMENTS. >>IT’S YOUR CHILDREN, IT’S YOUR CHOICE. YOU DON’T LET ANYBODY MAKE THAT DECISION FOR YOU. WE SPENT FOUR OR FIVE MONTHS BEFORE THEY WERE BORN MAKING THESE DECISIONS AND THEN ANOTHER SIX OR SEVEN MONTHS MAKING THESE DECISIONS. AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, YOU HAVE TO TRUST YOU MADE THE RIGHT DECISION WITH THE INFORMATION AT THE TIME. IF SOMETHING WENT WRONG, YOU’RE NEVER PREPARED FOR THAT. AT LEAST YOU WENT INTO IT KNOWING WHAT YOU’RE DOING. >>IT’S A RISK BUT A CALCULATED RISK. YOU HAD GREAT DOCTORS ADVISING YOU ON WHAT THE ODDS WERE. >>ABSOLUTELY. >>OF COURSE WE ALL WANT TO MEET THE GIRLS, DON’T WE? AF>>>BACK IN 2000, DOCTORS TOLD EMILY AND JAMES STARK NEWS THAT SHOCKED THEM. THEY HAD DISCOVERED THEIR TWIN BABIES WERE CONJOINED. THEYINTESTINES, TAILBONE AND SPINE. SEVEN MONTHS LATER THE INFANTS WERE HEADED INTO A HIGH-RISK SURGERY TO BE SEPARATED. HOW ARE THEY DOING 17 YEARS LATER? COMING ON OUT SIDNEY AND LEXI.>>HI, SIDNEY, RIGHT?>>HI. >>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. HI, LEXI. >>HI.>>SO HAPPY TO HAVE YOU HERE. >>HAPPY. WE’RE SO GLAD TO BE HERE. >>HOW ADORABLE ARE YOUR PARENTS?>>OH, MY GOD, THEY ARE PRECIOUS. >>WE ARE. >>SO YOU DON’T HAVE ANY MAJOR HEALTH PROBLEMS AS A RESULT OF THIS. >>NO, THANKFULLY, THANKFULLY NO. >>LINGERING EFFECTS AT ALL?>>WE HAVE BEEN VERY BLESSED TO ONLY HAVE MINOR — >>WHAT ABOUT, DO YOU HAVE A BIG OLD SCAR FROM THE SEPARATION?>>YES. WE HAVE SCARS ON OUR BACK AND FROM THE COLOSTOMY, YOU CAN SEE WHEN WE WEAR SWIM SUITS BUT IT DOESN’T BOTHER US AT ALL. >>I WOULD SAY ON THE BREAK, THIS WOULD BE THE MOST FUN REVEAL EVER. MEETING A NEW PERSON, GUESS WHAT, ARE PEOPLE STUNNED WHEN THEY FIND OUT?>>YEAH, WHEN WE TELL THEM WE ONLY HAVE ONE BUTT CHEEK, THEY ARE LIKE REALLY? I DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE. >>YEAH, WE GET THE OLD, I HAD NO IDEA ALL THE TIME. >>IS IT TRUE — YOU HAVE VERY DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES. >>YES. >>WHO IS THE OUTGOING ONE?>>WE BOTH ARE OUTGOING. >>IT DEPENDS ON THE SITUATION.>>OKAY. IS THERE A ONE THAT’S AN EXTROVERT, INTROVERT, BIGGER AND QUIETER. >>I TEND TO GO FOR IT FIRST AND SHE WILL AFTER ME. >>IS IT TRUE WHEN YOU SLEEP YOU TAKE A NAP TOGETHER IN THE SAME BED YOU REVERT — >>WE CALL IT CONJOINED TWIN POSITION WHERE WE BOTH GO BACK INTO THIS BACK-TO-BACK WITH HER NUZZLED RIGHT HERE, HER HEAD. >>I LOVE THAT. >>THAT’S HOW THEY WERE?>>IT’S 100% HOW THEY WERE. WHEN THEY ARE SUPER STRESSED AND YOU WALK IN THEIR BEDROOM, YOU’RE LIKE, THEY ARE STRESSED BECAUSE THEY ARE BACK IN THAT POSITION. >>DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER TO GET IN THAT POSITION. >>JUST A COMFORT POSITION. >>JUST BEING BY HER, PUTTING MY HEAD ON HER, IT’S SO CALMING. >>OH, MY GOSH. WE’VE HEARD ABOUT TWINS HAVING SENSES. SOMETIMES YOU HEAR ABOUT MOTHER AND CHILD HAVING IT AND SOMETIMES TWINS. YOU’VE HAD SOME OF THOSE EXPERIENCES?>>FOR SURE, FOR SURE. >>WHAT HAS HAPPENED?>>WE WERE PROBABLY FIVE OR SIX AND I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL AND I WAS GETTING A SHOT. IT WAS A PAINFUL SHOT. I WASN’T — I WAS UNBOTHERED. MY PARENTS WERE ON THE PHONE AND MY DAD WAS TELLING MY MOM MY SISTER WAS FREAKING OUT. SHE WAS IN TEARS AND HYSTERICSH, I WAS GETTING THE SHOT AND NOTHING WAS HAPPENING. >>SHE WAS IN A TOTALLY DIFFERENT PLACE. NOTHING WAS HAPPENING TO YOU. >>SHE WAS AT HOME, I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL. WE WERE IN COMPLETELY DIFFERENT AREAS. >>WHAT ABOUT WHEN ONE OF YOU IS UPSET, DOES THE OTHER ONE — >>YES. IN SITUATIONS WHERE I GET UPSET OR AN UPSETTING SITUATION FOR ME, SOMETIMES I WON’T GET UPSET. I’LL BE LIKE, IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL. SHE’S OVER HERE, THAT’S SO AWFUL, OH, MY GOODNESS. SHE’S FREAKING OUT FOR ME. >>DO YOU EVER NOT KNOW WHY YOU’RE UPSET. >>SOMETIMES I DO. SHE’LL COME HOME AND SAY I HAVE A BAD DAY. THERE IT IS. >>CAN YOU IMAGINE? SOME OF YOUR BAD DAYS GO TO HER AND TO YOU SO IT’S NOT DOUBLE BAD. >>SO YOU’RE GOING OFF TO COLLEGE NOW. >>SUPER EXCITED. I’LL BE APPLYING FOR MY FIRST PICK COLLEGE. >>ARE YOU GOING TO GO TOGETHER OR APART?>>NO, ACTUALLY SUPER APART. I WANT TO GO TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI IN ST. LOUIS AND SHE WANTS TO GO TO UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY. SO NOT ONLY IS IT A DIFFERENT STATE — >>WHO ARE YOU GOING TO SNUGGLE WITH WHEN IT’S TIME TO GET IN POSITION. DON’T ANSWER. WE’LL TALK WHEN YOUR PARENTS AREN’T HERE. LISTEN, THANK YOU FOR TELLING YOUR STORY. I KNOW — THIS IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL STORY. THEY DIDN’T SEE A LOT OF POSITIVE LITERATURE OUT THERE ON CONJOINED TWINS, AND THEY WANTED OTHER PARENTS TO KNOW THERE IS A POTENTIAL GREAT OUTCOME DEPENDING ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES,

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