Just in time for Mother’s Day, an Ohio woman has given birth to a rare set of monoamniotic twins that were born holding hands.
Sarah Thistlethwaite went into labor on Friday and shortly thereafter gave birth to Jenna and Jillian, a pair of rare monoamniotic twins. This rare occurrence means that the identical twins share the same amniotic sac as well as the same placenta, and to top it all off, the two young girls were holding hands.
“They’re already best friends,” said Thistlethwaite to the Akron Beacon Journal. “I can’t believe they were holding hands. That’s amazing.”
According to Dr. Melissa Mancuso, who delivered Thistlethwaite’s twin girls, two babies living in the same sac occurs in around 1 in 10,000 pregnancies and 1 in 5 sets of twins.
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Due to the nature of her pregnancy, Thistlethwaite was forced to spend nearly two months in a hospital bed being monitored, and she says the most difficult part was not being able to spend time with her 15-month old son.
“It’s hard. It really is,” said Thistlethwaite of the time spent apart from her family while she was on bed rest in the hospital. “It’s very mentally challenging knowing I have to sit here all day.”
Jenna and Jillian were born premature at 33 weeks and will reportedly have to spend nearly a month being closely monitored to make sure they grow and are healthy.
“Sarah was given the option to deliver between 32 and 34 weeks gestation,” said Dr. Mancuso. “This type of twin is at high risk for stillbirth because of cord entanglement. We were just having a discussion about how difficult a decision it is to make, weighing the risk of prematurity vs. the risks of entanglement. She was excited about having her C-section on May 9 because she would be a ‘real mother’ on Mothers’ Day.”
Thistlethwaite, a middle school math teacher, says she and her husband Bill are excited that their daughters will celebrate their birthday on or around Mother’s Day every year.