Baby Hudson is just seven months old. He has a bright, toothless grin and is a “really happy boy”, according to his mum, who says he is beginning to love the sound of the voice he is only just starting to find.
He is rolling now, holding his own head up and doing “great” tummy time. His next little project, for the moment, is trying to get his tiny knees up. He isn’t so good at that one and he knows it. His tiny face gets angry with every failed attempt, but his mum doesn’t think it’ll be long before he is able.
Because baby Hudson, against all odds, is a very able little boy. A miracle boy, who has fought to be here more in the last seven months than many fight in a lifetime.
Born at just 23 weeks, Hudson entered a world that made him fight for his right to stay in it. Weighing just 684 grams and measuring just 30 centimetres long, Hudson is one of the most remarkable premature babies in the country.
His mother, 21-year-old Jodie Hollis-Tobin from Brisbane, knows all about remarkable premature babies. After all, she’s had three of them.
Her and ex-partner Josh Meehan's first child, Ariella, was born at 33 weeks in 2015. A year later, in 2016, they welcomed another child, Tobias, at just 25 weeks and 866 grams.
So, when Jodie was told her third baby was coming at 23 weeks, Jodie wasn't surprised, but she was absolutely, positively terrified. So much so, she refused to believe it.
"I was hoping [he wasn't going to come early] because my pregnancy was pretty smooth sailing," Jodie tells Mamamia over the phone from her Queensland home. "To be honest, I didn't think anything of it. My only hope was to get past my 25-weeker. That was my goal."