Rare ‘mono-mono’ twins born holding hands

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(CNN) – When Sarah Thistlethwaite and her husband, Bill, went to their third ultrasound to learn the sex of their baby, they received a double dose of surprising news.

“The ultrasound tech said, ‘Oh, there’s two.’ And, my husband said, ‘Two what?’” Sarah Thistlethwaite said.

The couple was also told they were having “mono mono” twins, meaning the babies shared the same amniotic sac and placenta. The odds of this type of pregnancy is one in 10,000 births.

“I’ve been practicing high-risk obstetrics for about 35 years and I’ve seen less than 10 cases,” said Dr. Justin Lavin of the Akron General Medical Center.

Sarah Thistleethwaite was considered high risk because of concerns over cord entanglement or compression. She spent 56 days in the hospital.

But on Day 57, she gave birth to Jillian and Jenna, who came out holding hands.

“It was just so awesome and they were both holding hands and it was so great to hear them cry. It was just a miracle,” Bill Thistlethwaite said.

Doctors say both babies are doing great, with Jillian quickly breathing on her own and Jenna getting a little oxygen.

For Bill Thistlethwaite, it was hard to find the words.

“What was going through my mind, I don’t know. I couldn’t think. I started tearing up immediately. It was beautiful,” he said.

The couple already has a 15-month-old son, who will soon get to know his identical twin sisters.

For Sarah Thistlethwaite, Mother’s Day just couldn’t get any better.

“Best Mother’s Day present ever.,” she said. “Mother’s Day is definitely going to be different.

“It’s definitely truly a miracle.”

For Akron Children’s Hospital’s blog on the birth, click here.

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