05/11/2015 03:57 EDT | Updated 05/11/2016 05:59 EDT

Conjoined twins separated in 12-hour operation

Conjoined baby boys in Florida who shared a liver have been successfully separated, to the delight of their parents.

Carter and Conner Mirabal were born in December 2014 joined at the abdomen. They shared a liver and part of their small intestines.

Nemours Children's Specialty Care and Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., today announced the boys were in critical but stable condition as expected following a 12-hour separation on Thursday.

Carter and Conner's mother, Michelle Brantley, said she can't wait to take the boys home.

"We are so grateful to everyone who has taken care of our babies. We had so much confidence in them and they have been so good to us and to our family," she said on a hospital website.

Brantly and Brian Mirabal said they marvelled at seeing their sons lying in separate cribs.

In December 2014, the twins underwent emergency surgery to repair a potentially life-threatening condition. Their shared small intestine protruded through a weak area of the abdominal wall, a condition known as ruptured omphalocele,

Surgeons and intensive care specialists expect the boys to recover and lead healthy and active lives.

Conjoined twins are extremely rare, with estimates ranging from one in every 100,000 births to one in every 200,000 births.