100 days of care for baby Solomon

100 days of care for baby Solomon

After being born on 22 March at just 25 weeks, Mater Mothers' Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) was home for baby Solomon for 100 days. Last week, the family celebrated as he finally made the journey home to the Gold Coast.

Parents Danielle and Phil had only spent one night in their new home before Danielle suffered bleeding with twins at 21 weeks. One of the twins passed away, a little boy named Archie. The distraught parents continued on with the pregnancy to give their other son Solomon the best chance of survival.

Despite full bed rest, Danielle woke one evening at 25 weeks gestation with contractions.

“We were so scared,” Danielle said.

“We knew it was early but after it was discovered I was actually going into labour, there was no choice but to transfer me to Mater so Solomon and I had the best chance of survival.

“It was just so hard—I was hanging on to both of my babies right until the end,” she said.

Phil couldn’t travel in the ambulance as Danielle had to be accompanied by a midwife. He describes the drive as one of the most difficult things.

“Thankfully I was driving with Danielle’s mum, so we could keep each other calm,” he said.

Baby Archie was delivered first and Danielle and Phil were warned Solomon wouldn’t cry immediately after birth.

“We knew he was fine, despite being born so early. Solomon was treated immediately and we didn’t get our first cuddle for two weeks,” Danielle said.

“Our family could not have survived the last 100 days without the incredible support of all the staff within the NCCU. They are some of the most incredible people the world doesn’t know about!” she said.

Transitioning from 24 hour care with supportive doctors and nurses to life at home has been one of Danielle’s greatest stresses.

The stress is understandable when Solomon has suffered a pulmonary haemorrhage, collapsed lung, an infection, two brain bleeds and received four blood transfusions.

To make the transition from hospital to home more comfortable, parents and babies who spend time in NCCU ‘room in’ like all new families, and experience being together in a quiet, well supported space before going home.

“Practically, everything is all set up at home for us now and the car seat is installed ... but emotionally, I’m not ready at all,” Danielle said.

Phil is quick to reassure his partner.

“I keep telling Danielle it’s going to be OK—Solomon’s established a great feeding routine and he only cries when he’s hungry or not comfortable in some way,” he says.

This precious bundle travelled home with a special teddy bear memento containing a locket with brother Archie’s ashes—who joined the family in spirit as they left Mater Mothers for the final time.

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