Balcatta parents, Solonge and Phil Italiano know all about adversity and overcoming a challenge almost seemingly insurmountable.
Solonge, a Perth blogger and Phil a local Perth builder, are proud parents of twin boys Leo and Cruz who were tragically born sleeping in February this year.
“Our boys were born on the 15th
of February at King Edward Memorial Hospital at just 22 weeks after I began to labour unexpectedly,” she said.
“What we’ve been through has been absolutely soul-crushing and every parent’s worst nightmare. What added to our pain was there was no identifiable reason for my early labour.”
Worldwide, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm each year. In 2015, preterm birth was responsible for nearly 1 million deaths. In WA alone, nearly 3000 babies are born preterm each year.
Despite an often consuming sense of grief and loss, Solonge and Phil have invested their emotions and efforts into the twins’ legacy, raising almost $12,000 for the Women and Infants Research Foundation (WIRF) as part of the recent 2018 HBF Run for a Reason.
“After the run both my husband Phil and I ached. But it was nothing compared to the emotional pain we have endured over the past three months,” Solonge explains.
“We will forever be on a journey of healing and dealing with the aftermath of this incomprehensible loss but we want to be a part of the solution and hopefully prevent other families enduring such loss in the future.”
Of equal importance to raising awareness and support of preterm birth prevention, is Solonge’s push to confront the traditionally off-limits subject of miscarriage.
“Miscarriage is a topic that for so long has been taboo,” Solonge said.
“Within this darkness, I have somehow found my spark for writing again and promise to be a voice or light for those who have suffered adversity to rise through the darkness and continue to live with their new found strength.
“I hope my stories become a place of comfort, positivity and happiness for many and at the very least a lasting legacy for my beautiful boys.”
You can follow Solonge’s journey and her blog here: www.instagram.com/simplysolonge
or at www.simplysolonge.com.au