AKRON, Ohio — It was an extra special Mother’s Day for a Northeast Ohio woman this year after the birth of her twin girls, who are now getting some national attention.
Jenna and Jillian were born Friday to Sarah and Bill Thistlethwaite, of Orville, at Akron General Medical Center. They are considered ‘mono mono’ twins — where the babies shared an amniotic sack.
Their birth was rare enough in itself; mono mono twins happen in about 1 in 10,000 twin pregnancies. Because of complications, some never survive to birth.
But on top of that, seconds after nurses held the babies up to show their parents, the two newborns quickly clasped hands.
“They were born 45 seconds apart,” said Amy Kilgore, a hospital spokesperson who was there for the birth. “Once they made sure they were OK, they held them up so mom and dad could see. As soon as they were side by side, they held hands. It gave me chills.”
Kilgore said Sarah actually didn’t know she was having twins until she was 19 weeks into the pregnancy. She’s been in the hospital the last two months as a precaution and to monitor the risky pregnancy.
“It’s hard with mono mono because you didn’t want them to be born too premature,” said Kilgore. “But if they get too big, the umbilical chords can get twisted.”
That can cause problems, even death, during birth.
So the couple decided on a C-section for May 9, when she was 33 weeks pregnant. Kilgore said the babies were safely delivered, weighing almost five pounds each.
“To hear them both crying, that’s what you want, and you’re holding your breath,” said Kilgore.
The girls were both taken to Akron Children’s Hospital for specialized care. Kilgore said the babies are doing very well and will ultimately be transferred back to Akron General before they’re cleared to go home.
Sarah is also doing well and recovering from the surgery.
Kilgore added that the hospital is actually expecting another set of mono mono twins this week. The mother was just a few doors down from Sarah, she said.
For Akron Children’s Hospital’s blog on the birth and the Thistlethwaite family, click here.