NRL News

Identical Twin Girls with rare condition born holding hands

by | May 12, 2014


By Dave Andrusko


Sarah Thistlethwaite gave birth to Jenna, right, and Jillian on Friday.

Identical twins Jillian and Jenna Thistlethwaite were born last Friday in Akron General Medical Center, a rare enough occasion.

But they shared one amniotic sac and one placenta—a condition known as monoamniotic (or “mono mono”)–a rare condition that takes place about one of every 10,000 pregnancies. And because there are potential life-threatening challenges—the girls’ umbilical cords could have become entangled–mom Sarah Thistlethwaite spent 56 days on bed rest.

And then to top it off, when doctors lifted Jillian and Jenna up for their parents to see after delivery, they were grasping each other’s hands!


Sarah Thistlethwaite (right) touches her twin daughters,Jenna and Jillian, for the first time while her husband, Bill, snaps photos after her C-section delivery of the monoamniotic twin girls at Akron General Hospital on Friday in Akron. Monoamniotic twins are a rare occurrence where the babies share the same amniotic sac within the mother’s uterus. (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal)

Fortunately the girls were breathing on their own which allowed their parents to hold them on Mother’s Day.

Mrs. Thistlethwaite told the Akron Beacon Journal that this was “the best Mother’s Day present ever.” A middle school math teacher, she added, “They’re already best friends.”

She described their birth as “definitely, truly a miracle.”

The girls were born at 33 weeks and two days. Jenna, at 4 pounds, 2 ounces and 17 inches, came first. Forty-eight seconds later Jillian arrived, weighting in at 3 pounds, 13 ounces and 17.5 inches in length.

Actually, there is one final rarity. Another mother is on bed rest at Akron General Medical Center. She is also carrying mono mono twin girls.

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Categories: Birth