Born to Sarah Thistlethwaite in Ohio, twins Jenna and Jilliana were holding hands at childbirth. Reinforcing the unconditional love between siblings, the twins shared the same amniotic sac in their mommy’s womb. This is one of the rarest twin pregnancies and this condition is known as mono-amniotic or mono-mono, wherein the twins share a single placenta but have separate umbilical cords. An embryo that does not split after fertilisation leads to this condition. There can also be triplets, and mono-amniotic multiples, which are also extremely rare.
It was a caesarean delivery and the doctors found the babies holding hands in the mother’s womb. After a long period of intensive care and 52 days of bedrest, their mom finally got to see her babies.
Dr. Sukirti Jain, Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, Mumbai says, “This is an extremely rare condition where the twins in the womb share the same amniotic sac. There are some side effects of this condition like cord entanglement, cord compression and Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) which stop the supply of nourishment to either one of the two foetuses.”
But, a miracle occured and these identical twins survived this high risk condition. “This condition can also lead to congenital malformation but can be protected by monitoring the pregnancy and detecting the mono-amniotic twins. Even though there are high chances of morbidity and mortality, the advancement in technology enables us to protect the pregnancy,” concludes Dr. Jain.
After spending a month in the intensive care unit of the hospital, the girls are now strong enough to live a normal life. We hope these little munchkins recover well and grow into healthy, beautiful young individuals.