Even before they were born, twins Jenna and Jillian Thistlewaite had a special bond. Nineteen weeks into mom Sarah Thistlethwaite’s pregnancy, an ultrasound confirmed that the twins were “monoamniotic,” a high-risk condition meaning they shared an amniotic sac and that their umbilical cords could become tangled. It carries just a 50 percent survival rate.
But in May 2014, Sarah got more than just the good news that her twin daughters had been born healthy–she also gave everyone in the delivery room the shock of their lives.
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Amazingly, Jenna and Jillian were born holding hands (really!), and stunning photos from the birth immediately went viral and amazed the country.
Her doctor, who spotted the babies’ strange position first, was stunned–and when the nurses held the babies up for mom to see, “It was the most amazing beautiful moment,” Sarah, 35, told PEOPLE. “My heart just melted. Even my husband got tears in his eyes – I don’t know that anybody in the room had a dry eye.”
But now, two years later, everyone is again talking about Jenna and Jillian and marveling over not how far they’ve come, but also how strong their bond still is.
“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,” their mom told People. continues. “They always take care of each other.”
But that doesn’t mean they don’t fight, just like any set of close sisters.
“They like the same foods, they both love swimming and being outside, and they love to play with the same toys,” Sarah added. “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.”
Along with big brother Jaxon, the twins are great at keeping mom and dad feeling blessed.
“Twins have this special bond, and I can’t wait to watch them grow up and be best friends,” Sarah said.
PLUS: Here are the 13 FUNNIEST photos of twin babies you will ever see!
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They're a perfect fit!
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They're posed as two of our favorite Sesame Street characters.
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Time for kisses!
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Maybe their parents are writers?
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Dressed as two of Dr. Seuss's most beloved characters, these babies look... well, surprised.
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We love this creative use of face-paint.
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These siblings are obviously fans of The Princess and the Frog.
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Squeezed into their mermaid costumes, these cuties make us glad we're seeing double.
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Superman and Wonder Woman have never been more adorable.
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By his expression, we can guess that the boy on the right has figured out what the sign says!
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Looks like it's an early start on playing "Cowboys and Indians."
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They're dressed as chefs--but only one twin seems amused.