Orrville, OH - An Ohio couple is getting a taste of what it's like to be celebrity parents.
The parents of twins born with a rare condition in northeast Ohio say the girls are making progress toward going home from the hospital. A photo showing the girls holding hands taken shortly after birth May 9 at Akron General Medical Center has been widely seen on social media, in newspapers and on national TV.
"It's still been crazy," father Bill Thistlethwaite said. "Everywhere we go, someone saw it (the photo). People are still talking about it."
He said he and wife Sarah were approached by a lot of people Saturday while having breakfast at a diner in their hometown of Orrville before going to visit the girls.
"It's not bad," he said, saying people just want to know how Jenna and Jillian are doing and express their good wishes.
Both now are taking full bottles and have gained weight, each now at 5 pounds or more.
The identical twins shared the same amniotic sac and placenta. Such births are called monoamniotic, or "mono mono," and doctors say they occur in about one of every 10,000 pregnancies. A second pair born at Akron General the following week also are doing well, hospital spokeswoman Amy Kilgore said.
Jenna was born first at 4 pounds, 2 ounces and 17 inches, with Jillian following 48 seconds later at 3 pounds, 13 ounces and 17.5 inches. They were born at 33 weeks and two days to their 32-year-old middle school math teacher mother.
They were moved to Akron Children's Hospital after birth because they needed breathing assistance.
If they continue to hit feeding milestones, they will soon be ready for release. Born two days before Mother's Day, they are on track to be home in another week or two, just before Father's Day.
Thistlethwaite said he's been scrambling to finish painting their bedroom pink. Their son Jaxon, whose first birthday was Jan. 27, has visited the girls and kissed them on the cheeks, his father said.
Thistlethwaite has thought about the day years in the future when the parents will show the girls their famous baby photo.
"I already feel like they're going to be best friends," he said. "They'll probably look at it and say 'That makes sense, because that's how we are.' "