You’ve never seen their name up in lights, but our ambassadors have some amazing stories to tell. We think there is no greater ambassador than people from our own premmie community.
They are so passionate about creating greater support for families of premature or sick babies, and we hope that you’re inspired by their stories. Our sincere thanks go to all of our 2020 Walk for Prems Ambassadors.
Hear from our 2020 Ambassadors
David and Molly
This year, the 11th walk, we’re encouraging everybody that we can to please support Life’s Little Treasures and Walk for Prems as generously as possible in a very challenging year
Mum Leanne works in the Baby Bunting Ballarat store in regional Victoria. This is her story:
“I have to say that the journey with Hayden from birth was a roller coaster to say the very least! Hayden was born at 25 weeks gestation, or 15 weeks early (that depends on who you ask). He weighed in at 795grams or 1lbs 12oz. He was a tiny little peanut! With infections and weight loss, Hayden faced challenges from the start including a Grade 3 ventricular haemorrhage which we didn’t find out about for 72 hours. He spent 111 days in hospital. I spent every second I could in hospital with him.
Any foundation that is willing to help families stay with their sick babies is more than amazing. We were fortunate enough to have a room close to the hospital where it was within walking distance to the hospital, so that I could be with my son. If we didn’t have that option I honestly don’t know how I would have coped. Being apart for even that short walk was painful enough for me.
Hayden spent the first 3 months of his life in the NICU and then moved onto Special Care. For me it really was the smaller things that helped me get through this new challenge in my life. I just want new parents to know that, no matter what
happens, you do come out the other side. It’s a tough journey but it has made us both very strong and closer as we get older. Hayden is now 22 years old now and the most amazing young man you’ll ever meet.
I feel like I have finally found my home working at Baby Bunting. I have had times where I’ve been able to share stories with younger mums in a similar situation to mine. Being able to connect with a new mum who’s feeling low and empty, and letting her know things should be okay, is what makes me smile at the end of the day.
My advice for other parents is to please take some time out for yourself. It’s not a selfish move. Before there was a tiny little person in your life, you would have taken 5 minutes for yourself. Please continue to do that. In fact, that is my best advice for new parent whether you have a Premmie or a Full term.”
Catherine has been working at Baby Bunting now for 5 years as store manager. Here she shares her story:
“Valarie was my first-born. At 27 weeks, she weighed only 545 grams – half the size she should’ve been for her gestation. She spent the first 25 hours of her life intubatated, and the first weeks of her life supported with CPAP until she was strong enough to be in an open cot. Three blood transfusions later, the most terrifying part of this experience was watching my daughter be jabbed and looked at. During the first three months my days were filled entirely with expressing, feeding and eating. I’d sit by her bed all day.
Being the mother of a premmie can be a very lonely experience. And for any parent enduring similar circumstances, I ask you to remember that every baby is different. Some will go home earlier, and others will feed better or grow faster, but you can’t compare your baby to others around you. Remember that it’s okay to cry; it’s important to let it all out so that you can give all of yourself, your love, attention and emotions to your baby. At the time, being the mother of a premmie was my only experience of motherhood. And yet, I wouldn’t change a thing. The experience, though heartbreaking at times, has made me a stronger person and a better mother for my daughter. Valarie is now 11 years old and will finish grade 6 this year. Valarie is catching up with her peers, is a very happy and continues to surprise us with what she can do considering they only gave her a 10% chance of surviving her birth and told us that if she did not take a breath they would not resuscitate. She was a little fighter.
I have been working at Baby Bunting for almost 5 years as store manager since the store opened in 2015. I love that my role lets me encourage and support other mothers who are going through what I’ve been through. Whether through our range of products for premature babies or heartfelt advice and support, I value being able to them know that there’s a light at the end of this very long tunnel and that they will get through it. If we get a new parent in the store that has had a premmie then the team will always call me over to say hello.
I’ve followed Life’s Little Treasures Foundation on Facebook for quite some time now, so I was very excited when I found out we were the major sponsor for Walk For Prems. We need to get the word out around premmie babies. With the advances now available in medical care, more and more premmies are surviving and thriving and growing into beautiful bright children and adults. Life’s Little Treasures is an incredible foundation offering crucial support to families in need. They are always available to give advice and send you in the right direction, which is something most parents in this situation desperately need. I’m so excited to be a part of the yearly Walk For Prems event, and I encourage anyone and everyone to get behind this wonderful cause. Last year at the 10th anniversary I had the honour of introducing Baby Bunting at the opening of the walk this really took me out of my comfort zone but I am really proud of myself for doing it. Since we will not have an actual walk this year we will still be walking on the day with some of my team and my kids to support such a worthy cause”.
My name is Sarah and I am a part of the Baby Bunting team at the Support Office. My son Jackson was born at 30 weeks old, weighing only 1320grams. As a first-time parent in a country with no family, having a premmie baby was one of the most emotional and challenging things I have ever experienced. The 56 days he spent in hospital were the hardest days of my life. We had our first cuddle on day 11.
Walk For Prems is an amazing cause supporting parents who are experiencing the challenges of having a premature baby. To support and get behind something you have experience of creates passion and the want to make a difference for others who go through the same experience. My son Jackson now works for Baby Bunting too, so it’s great to be able to get behind this cause together. Jackson is 19 years old and we are the luckiest parents in the world. Jackson has grown up to be an amazing person, a talented musician, and a caring young man.
My name is Coral Bacely and I am a part of the Baby Bunting Team at the Geelong Store. My grand daughter Poppy Mary-Jane was born at 28 weeks, weighing 840 grams, and my grandson at 32 weeks. After Poppy was born, we began the 9 week process of getting this small human being looking like the healthy newborn we were expecting to take home. Some of these little prems in the neonatal intensive ward were even smaller that Poppy, their anxious parents just sitting, watching and praying for their little ones. Poppy was sent home on April 23rd, 3 weeks before her due date. Poppy has continued to race through life and has started school this year. She is destined for greatness.
I am so proud to work for Baby Bunting, who play their part in helping these prem and sick babies. The donations made each year for Walk for Prems could not go to a more worthy cause.