A TINY baby born 11 weeks prematurely weighing just 3lb 5oz who was kept breathing by the equivalent of ten espressos a day will celebrate the first birthday her parents feared she would never see this weekend (Sunday, March 1).

When Michelle Jones went into labour with Freya-Lillie at 29 weeks, she burst into tears, shouting: "It's too soon, it's too soon".

But the "little fighter" survived, is now catching up with other children of her age and on Sunday (March 1) Ms Jones, her partner Mark Kearney and son Liam, 15, will throw a family party to celebrate her big day.

Meanwhile, Ms Jones, a lecturer at Bishop Auckland College who lives in Durham City, has launched the Freya-Lillie baby boutique, with a specialist range in tiny clothes for premature babies, and is donating a percentage of the profits to the charity Tiny Lives, which supported her at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.

She also hopes to fundraise for the neonatal unit at University Hospital of North Durham (UHND), where Freya-Lillie was born and returned before being allowed home for the first time, aged six weeks.

"When she was born they put her straight into a plastic bag to keep her warm and she landed on my chest - she was amazing, she had so much dark hair already," Ms Jones said.

"She had to be taken straight away to be resuscitated and it was not until a few moments after that I heard her cries - it was the best sound I'd ever heard."

Ms Jones, a former Peterlee school pupil, had a normal, healthy pregnancy until the placenta ruptured, putting Freya-Lillie's life at risk.

The tiny tot was born at UHND but quickly transferred to the RVI, receiving a daily shot of caffeine to remind her to breathe.

"We could hardly hold her for the first few weeks and even when we did she was attached to so many tubes we were terrified of hurting her.

"When we stroked her in the incubator it was like touching a feather," Ms Jones said.

"(Taking her home) was the best and most exciting day of our lives and we're so grateful to everyone at both hospitals for the care they gave us.

"Tiny Lives gave us so much support. We really wanted to give something back."

To see the baby range, visit freya-lillie.com