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Extremely premature: Doctors have never seen anything like this before

Life in the palm of your hand

When Hannah Wicks from Bristol, England, fell pregnant with her daughter she had no idea what a strong little girl she would soon be bringing into the world.

The mother-of-two and husband Steve, both 31, were very much looking forward to their child, but their excitement was all too soon overshadowed by anxiety when Hannah was given some awful news just 18 weeks into her pregnancy. Poppy was suffering from foetal growth restriction, which meant that blood was not reaching her vessels.

Such a moving story and it can be viewed here in the series of images:

Both parents were preparing themselves for the worst when on March 9, little Poppy Wicks was born weighing a mere 12.7 oz. When her legs and arms were curled up, she easily fit into the palm of her father's hand — no bigger than the size of a tennis ball.

The small bundle of life was given round-the-clock intensive care by the Bristol Southmead Hospital staff but the parents knew it was a battle against all odds. Hannah even bought a tiny bunny for Poppy so that she wouldn't be alone in her coffin.

But Poppy clung to dear life with every bit of strength that she had. She simply refused to give up, and amazed the doctors, who followed her development with astonishment, then with cautious hope and finally with overt joy.

Poppy, now four months old is back at home and weighs 4lb 5oz, still tiny compared to the average 7lb 5oz for a newborn. She needs an oxygen aid but is noticeably a lot stronger.

The overjoyed parents couldn't be happier: "Poppy really is our miracle baby — she’s just fought and fought and fought against all the odds. But she’s made it. We’ve never given up hope but we always prepared for the worst — that Poppy would not survive."

What a strong little child. Hopefully she will continue to bring joy to her parents for a long time to come.

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