AP News

Rare 'mono mono' twins could be home within weeks


CINCINNATI (AP) — The Ohio couple whose twins were born holding hands is getting a taste of what it's like to be celebrity parents

The identical twins, born sharing the same amniotic sac and placenta, are making progress toward going home from the hospital, their parents say. A photo showing twins Jenna and Jillian holding hands taken shortly after birth May 9 at Akron General Medical Center went viral.

"It's still been crazy," father Bill Thistlethwaite said. "Everywhere we go, someone saw it. People are still talking about it."

He said he and his wife, Sarah, were approached by people Saturday while having breakfast at a diner in their hometown of Orrville before going to visit the girls. They want to know how the twins are doing and express their good wishes, he said.

Both girls are taking full bottles and have gained weight, each now at 5 pounds or more.

Their rare birth condition is called monoamniotic, or "mono mono," and doctors say they occur in about one of every 10,000 pregnancies. A second pair born at Akron General the following week also are doing well, hospital spokeswoman Amy Kilgore said.

Jenna was born first at 4 pounds, 2 ounces and 17 inches, with Jillian following 48 seconds later at 3 pounds, 13 ounces and 17.5 inches. They were born at 33 weeks and two days to their 32-year-old mother, a middle school math teacher.

They were moved to Akron Children's Hospital after birth because they needed breathing assistance.

If they continue to hit feeding milestones, they are on track to be home in another week or two, just before Father's Day.

Thistlethwaite said he's been scrambling to finish painting their bedroom pink. Their 16-month-old son, Jaxon, has visited the girls and kissed them on the cheeks, his father said.

Thistlethwaite has daydreamed about the time, years in the future, when he and his wife will show the girls their famous baby photo.

"I already feel like they're going to be best friends," he said. "They'll probably look at it and say, 'That makes sense because that's how we are.'"

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Contact the reporter at http://www.twitter.com/dansewell


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