Parents of Britain's smallest-ever premature baby finally get their wish

·Lifestyle Writer, Yahoo Life UK
·3-min read
Ellie Paton holding Hannah Stibbles. See SWNS story SWSCbaby. The parents of Britain's smallest ever premature baby told of their joy after they got to hold her - and are reading her stories. Baby Hannah Stibbles is now a month old, and was born on December 30 by emergency C-section at 25 weeks. Tiny Hannah, who weighed just 325g (11oz) at birth, is thought to be the smallest baby ever to survive in the UK and was given a 20 per cent chance of pulling through by doctors. Parents Ellie Paton, 17, and Brandon Stibbles, 21, have finally been able to hold the tot, who will stay in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, in Glasgow, until she is big enough to go home. (SWNS)
Mum Ellie Paton finally holding her baby Hannah Stibbles. (Brandon Stibbles/SWNS)

Doting parents of the smallest baby ever thought to survive in the UK have finally been able to hold their (very) little one.

Baby Hannah Stibbles is now over a month old, having been born on December 30 by emergency caesarean section, extremely premature at 25 weeks.

Hannah, who weighed as little as 325g (11oz) at birth was given a 20% chance of staying alive by doctors, who told them 'babies that small don't survive' – but nevertheless, she was strong enough to breathe by herself.

Parents Ellie Paton, 17, and Brandon Stibbles, 21, from Newmilns, Ayrshire, haven't been able to hold their daughter, until recently.

However, baby Hannah will remain in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow until she's big enough to go home.

Brandon Stibbles holding Hannah Stibbles. See SWNS story SWSCbaby. The parents of Britain's smallest ever premature baby told of their joy after they got to hold her - and are reading her stories. Baby Hannah Stibbles is now a month old, and was born on December 30 by emergency C-section at 25 weeks. Tiny Hannah, who weighed just 325g (11oz) at birth, is thought to be the smallest baby ever to survive in the UK and was given a 20 per cent chance of pulling through by doctors. Parents Ellie Paton, 17, and Brandon Stibbles, 21, have finally been able to hold the tot, who will stay in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, in Glasgow, until she is big enough to go home. (Brandon Stibbles/SWNS)
Brandon Stibbles holding baby Hannah. (Brandon Stibbles/SWNS)

Speaking of the proud moment, Brandon said: "It's a completely different feeling – you can either pick her up from the incubator or they can bring her over.

"We prefer that, (as) she's really, really small.

"Her eyes have opened and she's pretty aware now. She was waving at us, and we wave back. We are there all day, every day."

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Baby Hannah Stibbles. See SWNS story SWSCbaby. The parents of Britain's smallest ever premature baby told of their joy after they got to hold her - and are reading her stories. Baby Hannah Stibbles is now a month old, and was born on December 30 by emergency C-section at 25 weeks. Tiny Hannah, who weighed just 325g (11oz) at birth, is thought to be the smallest baby ever to survive in the UK and was given a 20 per cent chance of pulling through by doctors. Parents Ellie Paton, 17, and Brandon Stibbles, 21, have finally been able to hold the tot, who will stay in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, in Glasgow, until she is big enough to go home. (Brandon Stibbles/SWNS)
Little Hannah weighed just 325g (11oz) at birth. (Brandon Stibbles/SWNS)

The couple have been enjoying reading her stories, including Dilly Duckling and Giraffes Can't Dance, and watching her respond as she now recognises their voices.

They are also now able to feed her through a tube, though one of her lungs has collapsed, which means she needs oscillation and a nebuliser.

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Ellie added, "It's not just good for her, it's good for us as well.

"We get to change her nappies quite often as well now.

"Because she's got chronic lung disease, there's a really high chance she will need oxygen when she's discharged.

"She's done amazingly well."

Watch: Teenage mum gives birth to tot believed to be UK's smallest premature baby

Hannah now, more reassuringly, weighs 547g, and her eyes are open. Her parents are counting down the days until Hannah can be transferred to Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, which is much closer to home.

During the short month of her life, the family has been through the trauma of her birth and their hospital vigil, without knowing if Hannah would make it. Both of her lungs collapsed, but thankfully have since re-inflated.

Brandon added:"She definitely recognises our voices when we speak to her. She starts waving her hands and gets (really) relaxed when we hold her - Hannah absolutely loves skin to skin contact.

"We are all spending all day every day with Hannah and haven't seen our families - we'd more worried about being Hannah at the moment."

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Nappy and foot print for Hannah Stibbles who was born 25 weeks premature. See SWNS story SWSCbaby. A teenage mum gave birth to a tot believed to be the UK's smallest premature baby in 20 years. Ellie Paton, 17, was warned baby Hannah Stibbles might not survive due to her tiny size after she had a C-section at 25 weeks pregnant. Tiny Hannah, who weighed just 11oz at birth, is thought to be the smallest baby to survive in the UK in the past 19 years, and was given a 20 per cent chance of pulling through by doctors. She was born on December 30 by emergency C-section, after her parents were warned by medics 'babies that small don't survive'. (Brandon Stibbles/SWNS)
Nappy and tiny foot print for baby Hannah Stibbles, thought to be the UK's smallest baby. (Brandon Stibbles/SWNS)

They haven't yet been back to their home in Ayrshire, meaning none of their relatives has met Hannah yet, with that joy still to come.

On another heartwarming note, the couple were also shocked by the kindness of a stranger who set up a fundraising page to help the family out financially.

Because they are constantly at the hospital, Brandon and Ellie are forced to wash their laundry at a nearby petrol station and face the cost of staying in a hotel. So far £320 has been raised, towards a £1,000 target.

The Gofundme page can be found here.

Additional reporting by SWNS.

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