A HELENSBURGH mum has told how she had to watch in desperation as a nurse helped her premature daughter breathe moments after she was born.

Kelly McAulay, 23, gave birth to Lexie on October 8, 2012. The tot was born at 26 weeks, and weighed just 1lb 12oz.

Now the proud mother-of-two and dad Alex say they cherish their “bright” little five-year-old every single day and are raising funds to say thanks to a supportive charity.

Kelly had a normal pregnancy up until 25 weeks and three days, when she started to bleed and she was advised to go to her local unit. She gave birth days later.

Following the birth, Lexie was immediately whisked away. The new parents didn’t find out they had a baby girl until five minutes after she was born.

Kelly said: “I didn’t get to hold her – or in fact see her – and my husband didn’t get to cut the cord either. Everything had to be done at 100 miles an hour to make sure Lexie had the best chance of survival.

“They rushed her away inside an incubator wrapped inside a plastic bag to keep her warm and with a piece of equipment to manually help her breathe.

“The nurse was holding it in Lexie’s mouth and pumping the breaths for her as Lexie was far too small and under-developed to breathe for herself.”

The family spent an agonising 95 days in three different hospitals with Lexie as she faced many complications, including infections and struggles with breathing on her own.

She also had to undergo eight blood transfusions.

But Lexie is now a happy, health,y child and even has a little sister, Mia-Lily, to play with.

Kelly said: “Lexie will be six this year and is doing amazingly well, although the cold wintry weather doesn’t agree with her chest and she’s forever coughing and on inhalers.

“But other than that she’s a gorgeous, smart, bright little girl. We couldn’t be any more proud of the strength she has shown throughout her life, and we cherish her every single day, as it could have been a lot different.”

After those traumatic 95 days waiting to take their girl home, Kelly and new dad Alex were so thankful for the help that they received – and now Kelly is determined to give back to Bliss, a charity which supports premature and sick babies.

Kelly said: “Having been first time parents and not knowing what the future held for our beautiful tiny baby was so hard and difficult to deal with – that’s where Bliss came in.

“One day the nurse provided us with leaflets explaining different things to us and DVDs with story’s of other premature babies we could take away and watch.”

To compound the parents’ stress, months after Lexie’s birth, Kelly also suffered from post-natal depression, for which Bliss also provides support.

Kelly has organised ‘Bake for Bliss’, to take place in the Families Centre in Helensburgh’s Churchill Square on Friday, February 23 from 10.30am-1pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Kelly said: “Bliss also do life saving research, replace old equipment and help grieving parents and I wanted to give back.

“The amount of support this charity give to parents is amazing but they can’t do that without money.”

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/kelly-mcaulay18