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Rare 'Mono Mono' Twins To Celebrate Father's Day At Home

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A set of rare "mono mono" twins photographed holding hands moments after they were born are home in time for Father's Day.

Jenna and Jillian Thistlethwaite were born at 33 weeks on May 9 sharing an amniotic sac and placenta at Akron General Medical Center in Ohio. Jenna was born at 4 pounds, 2 ounces, with Jillian following less than a minute later at 3 pounds, 13 ounces.

Rare 'Mono Mono' Twins To Celebrate Father's Day At Home

A photo showing the twins holding hands moments after they were born went viral.

The twins spent nearly a month in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit gaining weight and getting stronger. At nearly 6 pounds now, they were cleared to be released from the hospital on Saturday and went home with their parents and their big brother, 15-month-old Jaxon.

Their parents, Sarah and Bill Thistlethwaite, had been splitting their time at home with Jaxon and at the hospital 40 minutes away with the twins.

"It's just nice to have everyone under the same roof," Sarah Thistlethwaite told The Associated Press. "It was really stressful - you want to pay attention to the little one at home and you just gave birth to two little babies. It was a pull and a tear as to where to go."

The twins' rare birth condition is called monoamnioitic, or "mono mono." Doctors say they occur in about one of every 10,000 pregnancies.

Thistlethwaite, a 32-year-old eighth-grade teacher, said she's already noticed a unique bond between the twins.

"When I try to feed them on the feeding pillow, they gradually migrate toward each other," she said. "And when I lay them on the floor, they scoot toward each other. It's pretty cool to see them doing."

She said her mother, grandparents and her husband's grandparents all came to their house Saturday night to welcome the little ones. The family spent Sunday trying to relax and enjoy each other.

"We were so excited and kept thanking God we made it to that point," she said. "Having them here is amazing, but having them here so healthy when they were premature, it's absolutely phenomenal."

Thistlethwaite said she's grateful that her and her husband's biggest worry now is telling the twins apart. She plans to solve that problem with pink nail polish for one and purple for the other.

A second pair of mono mono twins born at Akron General the week after Jenna and Jillian, both girls, are still at the hospital and doing well, hospital spokeswoman Amy Kilgore said.

"All four girls are progressing as hoped, if not even better than hoped," she said.

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Melanie June 09 2014 at 11:51 AM

I am a mom of surviving twins from a triplet pregnancy that included monoanmniotic twins. My "mono mono" twin girls shared a womb with their brother. At 23 weeks 6 days we lost one of our daughters in utero. I carried all three and delivered our living twins at 34 weeks 4 days. Our daughter we lost was carried stillborn for those last 11 weeks and was delivered third. This is an extremely rare condition amongst twins. But adding another baby into the mix really increased our chances of losing them all. It was nice to read a story of survival of both twins and this article brought tears to my eyes. This is why babies are called miracles. Each and every one is a special gift and for these who fight even harder to get here, that gift is completely unexplainable. =)

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2 replies
twobjme Melanie June 09 2014 at 12:13 PM


If you're up to it emotionally, I would encourage you to write about your experience. Based on this brief description, I am confident others would share my interest.

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ease717 Melanie June 09 2014 at 2:57 PM

So sorry for you. That must have been terrible for you and your family. I hope your surviving son and daughter are healthy and happy. God;s blessings on you.

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motoco62 June 09 2014 at 11:28 AM

I am still confused what mono mono means. Does it mean they were holding hands? This may sound like a stupif question but the story did not really explain what mono mono means.

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28 replies
luannemaria09 June 09 2014 at 11:29 AM

I have mono mono twin Greatgrandsons born 5 years ago. Both were full time and weighed 6 and 1/2 lbs each. They are so attached to
each other. Its fun to watch.

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1 reply
motoco62 luannemaria09 June 09 2014 at 11:36 AM

I bet they are a big part of your life. Congrats!

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leo92mls June 09 2014 at 12:39 PM

I can relate to the "nailpolish" sentence. When my 4 yr old, Sabina, began to put her own shoes on, she always put her shoes on the wrong feet. I then began to put red nail polish on the right shoe's sole and on Sabina's right big toe. Ah, that did it! Red goes with red. Easy to remember for a 4-yer-old.

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virginiaeagle June 09 2014 at 2:32 PM

Please make sure the nail polish is okay for newborns...some can be harmful to their health. God Bless them and your family.

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traceymarie624 June 09 2014 at 10:51 AM

very sweet story, happy fathers day

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motoco62 June 09 2014 at 11:35 AM

Yes, my question was a dumb one but I did look up mono mono twins. I now know they share the same amniotic sac and that is all it means. I guess it can be dangerous.

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3 replies
ncnatelco June 09 2014 at 2:07 PM

GOD bless you and your beatiful twins and may GOD keep them in his blessings always !

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Luis E. Paz Jr. June 09 2014 at 11:40 AM

I'm glad the Mono Mono are great. As well the entire HAPPY FAMILY......Bless Bless Bless for all of them.......

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lorraine.usa June 09 2014 at 1:49 PM

The fact that they held hands moments after being born is both astonishing
and sweet and tells something about human nature. Congrats to the happy parents.

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