Mᴏɴᴏ ᴍᴏɴᴏ twins are a one in 10,000 occurrence. Because they share the sᴀᴍᴇ ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇɴᴛᴀ and ᴀᴍɴɪᴏᴛɪᴄ sᴀᴄ, the ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ is considered extremely high ʀɪsᴋ. But despite the ᴏᴅᴅs, Jenna and Jillian Thistlewaite not only sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇᴅ, but captured the hearts of millions when they were born holding hands.
Their mother Sarah had spent 57 days on bed rest to minimize the ʀɪsᴋs and was relieved to give birth to two healthy girls. The girls were were born May 9 at Akron General Mᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ Cᴇɴᴛᴇʀ, in the state’s northwest. Sarah said: “I had a lot of ᴀɴxɪᴇᴛʏ at the beginning, especially, when I found out they were Mᴏɴᴏ ᴍᴏɴᴏ twins – just whether or not they were going to sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ. Really, I can’t believe how big it was. I look back and I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s us. That’s us on TV’.” Dᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs had detected the ᴍᴏɴᴏᴀᴍɴɪᴏᴛɪᴄ ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ at 19 weeks during the third ᴜʟᴛʀᴀsᴏᴜɴᴅ. That day, the parents, who already had a one-year-old son named Jaxon, also found out their were having twins. Most twins have their own ᴀᴍɴɪᴏᴛɪᴄ sᴀᴄk during the ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ. But ᴍᴏɴᴏᴀᴍɴɪᴏᴛɪᴄ twins, who are always identical, share the sᴀᴍᴇ one, which comes with additional ʀɪsᴋs. Their ᴜᴍʙɪʟɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅs can become ᴇɴᴛᴀɴɢʟᴇᴅ or ᴄᴏᴍᴘʀᴇssᴇᴅ, or one of the ᴄᴏʀᴅs can get ᴡʀᴀᴘᴘᴇᴅ ᴀʀᴏᴜɴᴅ the other twin’s ɴᴇᴄᴋ. Dᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs told them they could deliver the twins at 32 or 34 weeks of ɢᴇsᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ and the parents settled on 33 weeks. Jenna and Jillian were born on May 9, weighing almost five pounds each after what was already a ʀᴀʀᴇ birth. But what they did during the first seconds of their lives stunned the Dᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs even further.