Monday, November 10, 2014

Rare 'Mono Mono' Twins Jenna And Jillian Are Still Inseparable Six Months After They Were Born Holding Hands

  • Jenna and Jillian Thistlethwaite were born May 9 in Akron, Ohio
  • They shared an amniotic sac and placenta, a condition known as monoamnioitic, or 'mono mono', and came out holding hands
  • Doctors say it is the rarest form of pregnancy among twins
  • Despite doubts for their survival they are still strong and holding hands

A set of rare 'mono mono' twins born holding hands in Ohio are still inseparable six months later.

Jenna and Jillian Thistlethwaite were born May 9 sharing an amniotic sac and placenta at Akron General Medical Center, in the state's northwest.

Despite fears for their survival, they are now healthy and strong - and still feel most comfortable when holding hands.

Their closeness is something of a test for their parents Sarah and Bill, who struggle to tell them apart.

'Actually Jillian, the way you could tell her from her sister, she is a little bit smaller, about a pound difference between them and Jillian has a birthmark above her left eye and eyelid,' Bill Thistlethwaite told WJW-TV.

Sarah added: 'I had a lot of anxiety at the beginning, especially, when I found out they were mono mono twins - just whether or not they were going to survive.'

She spent nearly a month with the identical girls in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit before they could head home to Orrville in northeast Ohio.

The twins' rare birth condition is called monoamnioitic, or 'mono mono'.

Doctors say they occur in about one of every 10,000 pregnancies.

Jenna was born first at four pounds, two ounces and 17 inches, with Jillian following 48 seconds later at three pounds, 13 ounces and 17.5 inches.

They were born at 33 weeks and two days to their 32-year-old mother, a middle school math teacher.

They were moved to Akron Children's Hospital after birth because they needed breathing assistance.

Jenna and Jillian were delivered by Caesarean section at Akron General Medical Center and were holding hands when presented to Sarah and Bill in the delivery room.

'They’re already best friends,' Sarah told the paper after the birth. 'I can’t believe they were holding hands. That’s amazing.'

Now, they are still incredibly close.

'When the whole thing happened it was absolutely amazing for me to see something like that,' Bill gushed.

'Three kids was what I had always said, absolutely. I wasn't planning on having them this quickly but once it happened I couldn't picture it any other way.'

Dr. Melissa Mancuso, who delivered the monoamniotic girls along with Dr. 

Katherine Wolfe, told the paper that something like this normally 'happens in about 1 in 10,000 pregnancies and 1 to 5 per cent of all twins.'

Monoamniotic twins are the rarest type, Mancuso told the paper, with risks including birth defects and tangled umbilical cords that might kill a twin.

Mother Sarah Thistlethwaite, a middle school math teacher, delivered the twins after spending 57 days in bed, according to the Beacon Journal, and her 15-month-old son Jaxon was looked after by family and friends while she waited to give birth.

A hospital press release noted that Sarah, who took leave from her teaching position, was visited by husband Bill every day after work.


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