Two years ago, a photo of a rare set of newborn twins holding hands was shared en masse across social media.
That’s when an Orrville, Ohio, woman Sarah Thistlethwaite delivered them through a C-section days before Mother’s Day in 2014.
The viral photo was taken at the moment of birth, showing the girls holding hands. The twins shared the same amniotic sac and placenta—a rarity among twins—and such births are called monoamniotic, or “mono mono.” Monoamniotic twins are rare, with an occurrence of about 1 in 35,000 to around 1 in 60,000 identical twin pregnancies.
“Oh my gosh!” the doctor, Melissa Mancuso, said at the time, according to WHIO-TV. “They’re holding hands!”
A few days after the birth, Thistlethwaite said babies Jillian and Jenna were “already best friends” and “I can’t believe they were holding hands. That’s amazing,” according to CBS.
In May, Thistlethwaite posted an update on her Facebook page about the status of her children.
“It seems like just yesterday I was snuggling with them both in my tank top at the NICU. Three kids 15 months apart is very challenging at times (ok most of the time hahaha), but I don’t know who I’d be without my three little munchkins. I never want to take for granted what a blessing from God these two little miracles are,” she wrote.
On Friday, People magazine reported on the current condition of the twins, now 2.
“My heart just melted,” Thistlethwaite, 35, told People of the birth. “Even my husband got tears in his eyes—I don’t know that anybody in the room had a dry eye.”
She said that after two years, the twins are still very close.
“Sometimes if my husband goes to the store, he’ll take one twin and I’ll keep the other,” Thistlethwaite told the magazine. “When that happens, they both get really upset and ask for each other. They’re definitely really close. They’re like two peas in a pod.”
“If one twin is crying, the other will try to find a way to comfort her, like going to find a pacifier or rubbing the other’s back or offering a hug,” Thistlethwaite added. “They always take care of each other.”
The girls both like the same foods, swimming, and the outdoors. They also like to play with the same toys.
“We try to buy two of everything to minimize competition, but still, they usually find one to fight over—even if they’re exactly the same,” Thistlethwaite said.
She added that the twins, like any 2-year-olds, get into trouble. “If Jenna does something bad, I’ll ask her about it and she’ll say, ‘No, Jillian did it!'” Thistlethwaite said. “But they look so much alike that sometimes I really can’t tell which one of them is in trouble.”