Abby Hensel and her husband have been married two years. The internet just found out.

Abby and Brittany Hensel's lives as conjoined twins have long been documented. 

The now 34-year-olds became household names on their 2012 TLC show Abby & Brittany. By then, they'd already appeared on Oprah as young kids, Joined for Life as teenagers and were pretty recognisable for those (like me), who grew up following their story.

In recent years, they've remained pretty under the radar. Which is probably why the media is only now cottoning on to the fact the twins have recently celebrated a big life milestone: marriage!

Before we get to that, let's take a look back at their lives. 

"We flip a coin."

Abby and Brittany were born in 1990 to parents Patty and Mike Hensel in a small farming town in Minnesota. 

Their parents didn't even know they were having twins until Patty was giving birth, but despite the initial surprise the couple were unfazed by the challenges ahead; they were instantly in love with their little girls.

Brittany and Abby are dicephalic parapagus twins, a very rare condition which gives them the appearance of having two heads on one body. They each have their own heart, stomach, spine and lungs but share a bladder a bloodstream and genitals. They control one leg and one arm each. 

Their parents were given the option of separating them, but death or severe disability in one or both of the girls was a potential side effect and so surgery was off the table. 

Survival with their condition is considered rare, but the Hensels haven't just survived, they've had perfectly normal, ordinary lives. 


Appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show aged six, the twins demonstrated how they can do things independently with one arm, but then have to work together to use both arms or legs as one. Each has no sensation of the other's side of the body, so it all comes down to teamwork.

Watch Abby and Brittany on Oprah. Post continues.

Video via Oprah

"We flip a coin!" they told Oprah, when asked how they decide what they're going to do or where they're going to walk in any given moment.

Growing up on TV.

The Hensels have practically grown up on TV.

Their first documentary Joined for Life followed them around aged 13 and then again aged 16. In 2007 they appeared on Extraordinary People before starring in their own reality series with TLC, titled Abby & Brittany, in 2012. The show followed them as they prepared to graduate from college and travel to Europe.

The girls decided to do the various shows because they were sick of people taking pictures of them and staring. 

"We don't like it when they take pictures, so we wanted people to know who we are," Abby said.

Abby and Brittany Hensel as teenagers. Image: TLC.


While they have shared their story in various documentaries, after Oprah the twins have steered clear of more interview style set-ups, preferring to tell their story, their way.

On screen, they shared things like their arguments over what clothes they were going to wear (they tended to take it in turns to keep the peace). The fact they had to take one driver's licence test each (using the same limbs), and just ordinary days in their lives - school, work, road trips and family life with their two younger siblings. 


More than anything, the various documentaries allowed them to put their different personalities on show. While Abby loved math at school, her sister preferred English. Where one loved pink, the other preferred purple. Abby is more outgoing and assertive while Brittany is more reserved.

At college, the twins studied education. They wanted to pursue different concentrations within that major, but the volume of extra coursework was prohibitive. So they graduated with Bachelor of Arts degrees in 2012.

We saw the twins prepare to take their first job out of college as teachers, excitedly preparing their room for the kids and then poof, they disappeared from our screens. 

Brittany and Abby as young student teachers. Image: TLC.


With their show not renewed for another season, and the family opting out of interview style media, they've remained out of the public eye for the most part of a decade. 

A new chapter: Marriage and parenthood.

In adulthood, the twins have continued their careers as primary school teachers and currently teach the fifth grade in their home state of Minnesota.

This week the world learnt that Abby, now 34, got married in 2021. While Abby shared news of her wedding on TikTok last year, mainstream media only started reporting it in recent weeks. 


In a video of the couple's first dance, Abby and her husband - nurse and United States Army veteran Josh Bowling - sway along to Mat Simons Lose Control.

Photos on their wedding day show Abby and her sister Brittany in a lace trimmed wedding gown with matching curled hair. 

Abby is also now stepmum to Josh's eight-year-old daughter Isabella, and fans of the twin's shows will know parenthood has long been a dream for both women.

Growing up, both Abby and Brittany were very open about their desire to become mothers with Abby telling Joined for Life: Abby & Brittany Turn 16, "Yeah, we’re going to be moms. We haven’t thought about how being moms is going to work yet."

Since news of Abby and Josh's marriage was made public, the twins have responded to 'haters' and invasive questioning about their lives and marriage with a few pointed TikToks.

"This is a message to all the haters out there. If you don't like what I do, but you watch everything I'm doing, you're still a fan," a male voiceover says over some pictures of Abby, Brittany and Josh. 

In another video, they share the caption "The internet is extra LOUD today. We have always been around," alongside a series of photos of ceramics and historic pictures of two headed figures.

Feature image: Facebook.

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