Five years ago, photos of Jenna and Jillian Thistlethwaite of Ohio were shown by all news channels. The twin girls were born strong and healthy, despite the huge risks to their lives. That's because Jenna and Jillian shared one amniotic sac and placenta.
Such twins are called 'monoamniotic' or simply 'mono-mono'. Such pregnancies are rare and have a wide range of risks, including the nuchal cord complications, premature birth, and even the death of one of the twins.
But that's not all. The sisters were holding hands so tightly when born that doctors had to pull them apart for medical examinations. After months of anxiety for the babies, this sweet gesture of sisterly friendship brought tears of joy to their mother, Sarah, who had spent nearly three months in hospital.
A few weeks after delivery, Jenna and Jillian's parents were finally able to take them home. The parents understood atonce that there was a special bond between the girls. They couldn't be away from each other for a long time and only calmed down by holding hands.
Sarah and Bill watched this unspoken communication with amazement. The girls, who had spent 33 weeks in close contact, were now unable to part even for a minute.
Jenna and Jillian are now 5 years old each. According to their mom, the girls look and act so much alike that she sometimes confuses them. Jenna and Jillian spend all their time together and get upset if they are separated. "They are like two peas in a pod," their mom says.
"If my husband goes to the store," Sarah says, "I may send one of my daughters with him and leave the other at home. When that happens, they both get sad and ask about each other all the time. They are incredibly close."
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The sisters have the same interests. They both like swimming and walking outdoors, they like the same toys, and they choose the same food. And even when they sleep, the girls stay close to each other holding hands, just as they did when they were born.
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