The Distant Twins

One womb, two minds.

Chelsea Nelthropp
Human Parts
Published in
7 min readSep 1, 2023


As twins, everyone expects you to be connected from birth. They assume that sharing the same womb would make you inextricably linked — one mind inhabiting two bodies. But for my brother and me, that was never the case.

My brother and I were miracles (well, to my parents, at least). Before we were born, my mother had several hopeful pregnancies. She hugged my father excitedly each time the strip showed “positive,” envisioning her new life as a mother.

She had everything ready and organized. A beautiful nursery with a big round crib stocked with diapers, wipes, and tiny baby clothing. She was ready. She had everything in place.

Unfortunately, her body was not. She was able to get pregnant, but it would never last. Her excitement would turn to grief as the baby would miscarry, leaving her womb vacant, as though she had never been pregnant at all.

My parents kept up hope as they tried again and again, but nothing worked. The doctors eventually sat my parents down, giving them the sad news that conceiving naturally wasn’t in the cards. They were heartbroken, but my mother was tough and persistent. She knew there had to be some way, somehow, to bring about the thing she wanted so badly. She asked if there was anything else they could do, anything else they could try.