A long time between drinks…

Kristie at the Women's

It’s close to a year since our last fundraiser, a sausage sizzle at Bunnings, so a great opportunity to share an exciting update on the Lilyroo Fund. But first…

Phoebe

Lily’s little big sister, Phoebe, is now an independent, free spirited three year old. Her birthday was in June and we made her a Nemo cake.

Kristie lighting Phoebe's Nemo cake at daycare

Kristie lighting Phoebe’s Nemo cake at daycare

Lilyroo Fund

To date the Lilyroo Fund has raised $220,396.84 and we’ve spent $99,000 on new equipment. Last time I posted I mentioned we met with Carl and Jan Chisholm, the CEO of the Women’s Foundation, to plan the future of the Lilyroo Fund.

Well, we’re delighted to announce that these plans have to come to fruition and we are contributing $100,000 of the funds raised towards the refurbishment of the Women’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It’s been 10 years since the Women’s relocated to
the Parkville site, and the family support spaces within the NICU haven become out-dated, a bit tired and no longer fully support the needs of the NICU families and staff. The refurbishments have been designed in consultation with staff as well as current and past parents and will focus on:

  • 1 x Waiting room
  • 2 x Family Interview rooms
  • 1 x Tea room
  • 3 x Family Sleeping Rooms
  • 1 x Quiet Space

We were the beneficiaries of these spaces during Lily’s stay in the NICU. Kristie’s mum, Mary, stayed in the Family Sleeping Rooms (although she spent most of the night sitting next to Lily’s incubator).

The total cost for refurbishments is $200,000 with the remaining $100,000 raised from other donors. These spaces will have a wide reaching positive impact not only on the families of the 1,600 babies the NICU cares for each year, but also the amazing NICU staff.

The future

Work is due to start on the refurbishment in coming months with completion in the first half of 2019.

In the meantime we have another Sausage Sizzle at Bunnings Mentone on Saturday 25th August. Our last sausage sizzle raised $2,400 and we’d like to try and match that again. If you’re in the area, please pop down, say hello, and grab a snag.

Sausage Sizzle 2018

Thank you for your continued support,
Pete

One year on…

Today, 17th November, is World Prematurity Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of preterm birth, and a perfect opportunity to update everyone on the Lilyroo Fund.

14 months ago we unveiled the portable Cardiac Ultrasound Machine we purchased for the Women’s NICU (the NISC has been rebranded to the NICU), and less than 11 months ago we posted our most recent Facebook update. Time has certainly flown by…

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Sunday 23 March: Ironman Melbourne

Today as I write here in Australia, it is AFL Grand Final day – a huge day for Melbourne. For us, personally, it is 6 months to the day since our beautiful baby girl, Lily, passed away. Yesterday, I took the day off and had a fantastic day at the Reach Foundation Ladies Lunch – a special pre-Grand Final lunch to celebrate women. It was fantastic to support a great charity that helps young people get the most out of life. It was a huge amount of fun and an inspiration for our own fund raising activities.

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Saturday 22nd March

When I started writing this blog, I knew that this post was going to be the hardest to write: recalling the day my waters unexpectedly broke. Subconsciously I think I’ve been dreading it, knowing that I would have to detail the toughest day Pete and I have ever experienced. However, in order to fully share our story it is important that I revisit it, document it, and by doing so draw a line underneath it.

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Father’s Day

It’s hard to believe it has been seven weeks since my last blog post…

I’m not really sure the saying ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ really applies in our situation, but I feel like we’ve come a long way, both physically with the fund and personally as we continue to cope with our loss.

Before I recommence sharing our story, I’d like to give you an update on what Pete and I have been up to the last seven weeks and how we’re currently feeling.

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Emotions

As mentioned last week, Thursday 17 July was Lily’s due date. Weeks ago we decided to take this day off work and celebrate her life and the precious time we spent with her. It was an emotional but very special day which I’ll talk more about in a later blog post.

Those who have seen me recently know how exhausted I am. I am completely drained and my emotions feel like they’re balancing on a knife edge – the slightest thing can put me in tears. I’ve had to protect myself by keeping my guard up, and some days needed to keep to myself, but have found this near impossible with work and our normal social outings.

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Readymade Mother’s Group

As I left you in my last blog post, it was early January; we had passed 12 weeks and were extremely excited about the impending arrival of our first child.

In February I turned 30 and to celebrate Pete organised a night out with friends in the city: eating good food, laughing the night away and for the first time in my, and a number of pregnant friends adult lives, sticking strictly to ‘mocktails’ and waking up the next day feeling fresh! Excitement was growing as our bellies got bigger and I looked forward to the day where we could celebrate and watch our children grow up together as well as support each other through our ‘Readymade Mother’s Group’ (I was 1 of 12 in our extended friendship group, and 1 of 17 women at work who were pregnant).

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The 12 week scan

We’re a pretty healthy couple. We take good care of ourselves and each other and surround ourselves with positive people who share a similar outlook on life.

I’m a 30 year old New Zealander, having moved to Australia in 2006. Pete is 37 years old and emigrated from the UK in 2005. We fell in love with this country and each other and have happily settled here in Melbourne. We met through triathlon in 2007 and were married in February 2012.

Pete and Kristie on their wedding day

Pete and Kristie on their wedding day.
Photo: Candy Capco

We’ve participated in different sports for a large majority of our lives and on any given day you’ll either find us on our bikes, in a pool or running around Melbourne. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved through sport and believe it has taught us valuable life lessons that have helped mould us into the people we are today.
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Milestones

Today, as I write, is Friday 27 June, 2014…

  • It is three months since I first held my beautiful daughter.
  • It is three months since I had to say goodbye to her.
  • It is another milestone – 3 months without my baby girl. I should still be pregnant with her.
  • It is annual Remembering Day (Red Nose Day) dedicated to all the beautiful and precious children that are no longer with us.
  • I should be finishing my first week of maternity leave but I’m still at work.

But I’m OK.

There have been no tears today (this time 1 and 2 months ago I found myself so upset at the time of day she passed away).  I haven’t struggled today.  I’ve had a good day.  I’ve smiled and celebrated my goddaughter, Libby, turning 3 today.  It only occurred to me last night that it has been 3 months.  I’ve stopped counting the weeks.

It’s a sign that I’m ready to start sharing our story…
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