A MUM has spoken of her mixed emotions as she celebrates her daughter's first birthday while also remembering her twin brother who didn't survive their premature birth.
Jack and Willow were born on January 28 last year when their mother Kim Hazelton was just 24 weeks and four days pregnant.
"They were the length of my hand with heads the size of eggs," Kim wrote on her Justgiving page, "perfect, but so tiny."
Willow, who was born weighing 710g, fought hard but Jack, who weighed 675g, had a bleed on his brain which meant he would have lived with cerebral palsy.
Jack died on February 29.
"His dad and I had already decided that baby Jack had had enough," wrote Kim, 34, a single mum from Edinburgh Close in Carlyon Bay.
"We chatted with our consultant and the doctor and said we didn't want anything more done; he'd had enough. It wasn't our decision, it was baby Jack's; there was nothing else they could do for him.
"I held him as they removed his ventilator; he didn't try; he just looked asleep. At 5.22am he was gone. I like to think [Jack] took all the bad things so [Willow] could live.
"I didn't have the luxury to grieve as I didn't want Willow to be alone, so every day as usual I went in and read to her, with an empty space opposite where her twin had been."
Willow celebrated her first birthday on Monday, January 28, but Kim said it was impossible to celebrate without also remembering her lost twin.
"This sounds awful, but we didn't really celebrate on the day. It was amazing that it was her first birthday, because when they were born I never looked further than the first day, but it was also a sad day because there were two of them. It was such a shock that it wasn't a good memory."
Willow spent the first four months of her life in neonatal care, but grows stronger every day, and the family threw her a party the weekend after her birthday.
"She's really strong and healthy and happy – everyone says she's a fighter but I think she's just stubborn," joked her mum.