UK
12/05/2014 21:00 BST | Updated 12/05/2014 21:59 BST

'Mono Mono' Twins Born In Ohio Holding Hands (PICTURE, VIDEO)

Identical twin girls born with a rare condition in which they both shared the same amniotic sack and placenta were astonishingly delivered holding hands.

Born in Ohio, the babies, Jillian and Jenna, were moved off ventilators over the weekend and are breathing on their own, much to the delight of parents Sarah and Bill Thistlethwaite.

"It's just hard to put into words how amazing it feels to know the girls are OK," Sarah told AP. "It's great to know that they're doing so well, and being able to hold them."

The extremely rare births, which occur in around one in every 10,000 pregnancies, are called monoamniotic, or "mono mono", with the babies at high risk of death during pregnancy from entangled umbilical cords.

Dr. Melissa Mancuso at the Akron General Medical Center delivered the twins on Friday.

"They're already best friends," said the 32-year-old mother. "I can't believe they were holding hands. That's amazing."