A BATTLING baby who was born on New Year's Day two months premature is home with her family after astounding hospital staff.
Little Renn Watson was not due until February 17 but made an early arrival after her shocked mum, Andrea Byers, 33, went into labour in the early hours of January 1.
Renn, who spent the first two days of her life in an incubator, was having half her feeds by bottle and half by tube. But at the weekend, Renn had pulled the tube out herself and medics left it out to allow her to feed unaided.
Hospital staff were amazed by her progress and told Andrea on Saturday that Renn could go home on Sunday afternoon.
Renn weighed 5lb 4oz when she made an early appearance at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, where Andrea had an emergency Caesarean section 33 weeks into her pregnancy.
After Renn spent two weeks at the hospital's neo-natal unit, beaming Andrea showed off her bundle of joy after doctors allowed her to take the baby home to Totnes Close, in the Clavering area of Hartlepool.
Andrea, who is also mum to 18-month-old Sonny Watson, said: "It feels amazing to have her home.
"We are overjoyed and can't wait to show her off."
Andrea, who lives with Renn's dad, Mark Watson, 40, who owns Peterlee-based Car Commercial Services, said medics told her babies are usually deemed well enough to go home when they start being bottle-fed.
Andrea, who works at The Barber's, in York Road, Hartlepool, said: "It was brilliant news to hear, but I was also a bit nervous.
"She's only little and Sonny was 8lb born so I was used to handling big babies.
"She was 5lb 4oz born, but her weight went to 4lb 9oz, though apparently it's normal for babies to lose weight.
"She weighs 4lb 13oz now and she's been feeding great."
Andrea said all of her family had been to see Renn and she was especially being doted on by Andrea's parents, Carole Palmer, from the Park area, and Chris Byers, from Clavering, as she is the first granddaughter on Andrea's side.