When Ohio mother Sarah Thistlewhistle first laid eyes on her twin daughters, she couldn’t believe what she saw. The girls were holding hands!

But that’s not the only thing unique about them. Jenna and Jillian are rare monoamniotic or “mono mono” indentical twins, which means they shared an amniotic sac during pregnancy and remained in near-constant contact. This condition occurs in about .3% of births, according to ABC News.

rare twins

Courtesy of Akron General Health System/abcnews.go.com

The girls were born healthy on May 9 at 33 weeks through a caesarean section, though they are reportedly under observation for breathing problems in the neonatal unit.

“I didn’t think they would come out and instantly holding hands,” shares Sarah with ABC. “It was overwhelming. I can’t even put into words. There wasn’t a dry eye in the whole OR.”

But the new mom of twins, who also has a 15-month-old son at home, admits her nearly two months spent in Ohio’s Akron General Medical Center was no picnic.

“It’s really mentally challenging,” Sarah says of the constant monitoring of the babies’ health due to a high risk of entanglement from their umbilical cords. “It’s a very tough experience to go through.”

We’re happy to hear the pregnancy went well and hope these little girls can head home soon!