It's no wonder they call pregnancy and childbirth miracles.
It takes a lot for a mother to carry a fetus for nine months and give birth to healthy, normal baby. Pregnancy is risky and complications can occur at any stage, and while doctors are able to spot these right away, there have been instances in which the problem goes unnoticed.
Thirty-three years ago, Taylor Muhl was born after her mother opted for a natural pregnancy without ultrasounds. Aside from a large birthmark taking up half of her stomach area, Muhl appeared healthy.
As she got older, she began to experience severe autoimmune issues, and this would be how she lived for years. It wasn't until she was in her 20s that a doctor diagnosed her with a rare disorder known as chimerism.
The condition, named after the Greek mythological creature, occurs when a person has two separate sets of DNA in their body. In Muhl's case she has been living with the DNA of her fraternal twin sister. This happened because at some point during her mother's pregnancy, the two fertilized eggs fused to together to form one egg with two different genetic codes.
“For more than half my life I didn’t even know I had chimera," Muhl said to the Huffington Post. "I was told I had a birthmark. My mom was like a flower child so she had me naturally at home with two mid-wives. Her whole pregnancy she ate all fresh, healthy food, no caffeine."
Ever since she was little, Muhl has been obsessed with the idea of having a twin sister. She would ask her mother on multiple occasions if she ever had a twin, and would pretend to be twins with her friend and dress exactly like her. So finding out that she was a chimera brought her sadness.
“My first reaction was shock,” Muhl told People in another interview. “Then my second reaction was sadness because I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! I could’ve gone through life with a twin, with a sibling that hopefully I could’ve been close to.’ There was some sadness.”
Living with her twin sister's DNA is by no means easy.