After performing the usual ultrasound, he turned to her and said: “It doesn’t look great. One looks like he’s dying. You’re not going home, you need to go to hospital.”
Shaken, the West Australian mum did exactly as he instructed. She was given steroid injections to help the boys’ lungs, but the next morning an ultrasound showed their condition had worsened. Both her sons were at risk of death. She had to go in for an emergency c-section.
“I was in absolute shock. I didn’t know anything about premature babies… I kept saying ‘They’re staying in. I want them in’,” she said.
“It was really scary. I didn’t know if they’d come out alive or dead. I was asking so many questions but I didn’t really want to hear the answers.”
Genesis and Elijah, now 16 months old, were born weighing just 890g and 940g respectively. Immediately after their delivery, they were wrapped in plastic and taken away.
It would be another two weeks before their parents could cradle them in their arms.
The boys needed constant monitoring and support to stay alive, unable to breathe without the aid of a machine. Meanwhile Mrs Madeira Da Silva was dealing with PTSD from the birth.
After 14 weeks in hospital - during which time their mother visited every single day, often twice a day - they were finally strong enough to go home. Their older brother Jeremiah, now age three, was at last allowed to meet his siblings.