Mum over the moon as premature baby due in February is the size of a Christmas cracker

A mum has shared her joy after her premature baby girl, who wasn’t due until February, has managed to grow to reach the size of a Christmas cracker while in the NICU

A tiny baby, born at just 23 weeks, has managed to stun medics at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford as she has grown to reach the size of a Christmas cracker.

Tiny Lily Bickerdike-Guile was born alongside her twin sister Daisy on October 20 weighing just 15oz after her mum, Cheryl Guile, went into labour very early and had to have an emergency C-section.

The twins were given just 20 per cent chance of survival and tragically Daisy developed a serious infection and passed away in November.

However, Lily, who is being cared for in the NICU unit, has been making amazing progress and Cheryl, 38, has been documenting her growth by comparing her to various objects.

When Lily was five days old and weighed just 1lb, she was pictured next to her dad Ray’s hand.

At 20 days old and weighing 1lb 5oz she was only marginally bigger than an iPhone, and at one month old and 1lb 9oz she was around the size of a pop bottle.

More recently, Cheryl, from Milton Keynes snapped eight-week-old Lily, who now weighs 2lbs 9oz next to a Christmas cracker, as she prepares to celebrate her first Christmas despite not being due until February 6 2022.

The mum, who also has four other children, is over the moon that little Lily is growing.

She said: “I heard the team of nurses gasp when they saw how unexpectedly tiny they were.

“I was told by the consultant that we would need some serious good luck on our side if they were even to survive the night as their chances were very low, I was so terrified, I didn’t know if Ray would make it to see our girls alive.

“Measuring Lily against objects started after Daisy passed away, I realised how precious every moment was and wanted to document every part of Lily’s journey.

“My children had also said when they met the girls, when Daisy was critical care, that they never realised their extreme teeny size from the pictures I had shared so I decided to do the comparison pictures.

“I have left my children at home for two months while spending every single day with Lily, I have promised them that I will be home with them at Christmas.

“Ray is staying on his own with Lily. It will break my heart to leave her but her incubator is decorated with little pink fairy lights and she has a little Christmas stocking in the hope Santa will stop by.”

In her short life so far baby Lily has already endured numerous medical setbacks and procedures, including countless blood transfusions, a collapsed lung and a lumbar puncture.

Now her mum cannot wait for the day that she can bring the latest addition to the family home.

She added: “The day Lily comes home will be ridiculously emotional.

“It will be the time we were supposed to be bringing two identical babies home so it will be tinged with sadness but at the same time it will be the happiest day of our lives.

“I know her brothers and sisters will be fighting over who will be holding her.

“But the most important thing is that we will finally be able to be a family again.”

To follow Lily’s journey visit: Daisy & Lily one in heaven one on earth – miracle twins UK