Sarah Thistlethwaite, a teacher from Orrville, Ohio, stayed in hospital for almost two months before her new bundles of joy, identical twins Jenna and Jillian, entered the world.
The tiny ‘mono mono’ twins, who were born holding hands, shared an amniotic sac, something that only happens in one in 10,000 pregnancies.
“It’s definitely, truly a miracle,” the happy woman told reporters.
When Sarah and her husband, Bill, for the third ultrasound when being on the 19th week of pregnancy, they received a double dose of surprising news.
“The ultrasound tech said, ‘Oh, there’s two.’ And my husband said, ‘Two what?'” Sarah recalled, smiling.
The couple, who were once told that there’s a possibility that they would never be able to have children, suddenly found out they were having identical twin girls.
“I’ve been practicing high-risk obstetrics for about 35 years and I’ve seen less than 10 cases,” said Dr. Justin Lavin from Akron General Medical Center.
He went on, adding that this case can occur only when the same embryo splits more than eight days after fertilization.
Sarah, an eighth grade school teacher, appeared to be stunned by the news.
“We were so excited that we were having twins and so that was great, and then you have the flip side of it that I knew I would have to be in the hospital for eight or nine weeks,” Sarah said.
The risks, Dr. Lavin explained, include cords becoming entangled or compressed, reports Newsnet5.
The couple already has a 15-month-old son, Jaxon. Sarah admits that being away from her baby son has been the hardest part when staying in hospital.
“We’re trying to keep his life as normal as possible so he comes up and visits for a couple of hours,” Sarah said. “It’s hard to be here, be we know in the end, we’re going to end up with two twin girls and they’re going to be healthy and everything is great.”
On Sarah’s 58th day in the hosptial, Dr. Katherine Wolfe and Dr. Melissa Mancuso from Akron Children’s Hospital helped Sarah deliver the mono mono girls by Caesarean section at 2:41 p.m. Wolfe and Mancuso had closely monitored the high-risk pregnancy for several weeks.
As unusual as it is to have one mono mono pregnancy, medics were shocked to learn that a second mono mono mom was being admitted to Akron General.
Amanda Arnold, 24, of Akron, is due to deliver twin girls soon and plans to name them Janiya and Amanda. The woman revealed twins run in her family, but she was still taken back the mono mono pregnancy.
“The first one, she (ultrasound tech) looked and it was just one baby to the side and she was like, ‘Wait a minute. Don’t count on that one. Let’s look all the way around.’ The other one, they were sitting side-by-side just looking at each other. I sat up and said, ‘That is not two heads.’ And, she was like, ‘Yeah.'”
“It’s pretty surprising to have two at the same time,” Dr. Lavin said.