I have a story to tell you about little girl named Lily, and her amazing parents, Dave and Jess.
Dave and Jess were ready to start their family, so were thrilled to find out they were pregnant with their first child. That elation got turned on it’s head when, at 16 weeks pregnant, Jess’s waters broke. They were told there was nothing much they could do except to stay on bed rest and hope for the best. The baby’s chance of survival was 1 in 100. Rather than expecting the worst, Dave and Jess decided that without doubt, that 1% chance was theirs. They welcomed their community to send their energy, prayers and wishes to their fragile little baby, and Jess spent the next 8 weeks at home in bed.
At 24 weeks pregnant, the little fighter was still holding on, despite being in an amniotic sac which never resealed, so Jess was moved to Royal North Shore Hospital where she spent the next 5 weeks. On the 13th March 2013, at 29 weeks pregnant, Jess went into labour. Plans for a caesarean section were being made but this clever baby had other plans. Before they could make it to theatre, Jess birthed a breech baby girl named Lily Mireya Missio, weighing just 1.67kg.
Lily spent the next 5 months in intensive care and the following 2 months in the children’s ward- her biggest challenges being lung function and digestion. Remarkably, Jess expressed breastmilk for every single feed for her little girl, to give her the very best chance possible. During Lily’s time in hospital Dave and Jess tag teamed an around-the-clock roster (whilst Dave held down a full time job)- so they were with Lily every step of the way.
After 205 days in hospital, it was decided Lily was well enough to go home. Still on constant oxygen and a feeding tube, there are some challenges to overcome, but given the tenacity she has shown thus far, no one has any doubt she’s up for the challenge.
I was lucky enough to capture Dave and Jess finally taking their little girl home. This was only the second time she had been out of the hospital walls, into fresh air, and it was the very first time Lily had felt the sun on her face. What a beautiful day it was.
Oh, and you might even spot me in there having a little cuddle.