MIRACLE baby Max Price is the best Christmas present his adoring Halesowen parents could have dared wish for after being born 10-and-a-half weeks early – weighing just 1lb 2oz.

The tiny infant made his unexpected arrival by emergency caesarean when a scan revealed he was not growing.

For first time parents Karen and David Price, of Hartsbourne Drive, it was the most anxious time of their lives, as they looked on helplessly as their son fought for survival.

Mrs Price, aged 35, said: “You feel powerless, the staff were wonderful, but we were just waiting day to day, hoping that he didn’t get infections, or bleeding on the brain, which premature babies are prone to, or that he didn’t get problems with his heart of lungs.”

Finally home with their 4lb 10oz bundle of joy, she said: “We knew it was going to be a lovely Christmas because his due date was this Saturday, but it’s going to be even more special now.”

A routine scan at 27 weeks revealed Max was very small and a follow up scan a fortnight later at Birmingham Women’s Hospital showed he had grown just a millimetre.

The petrified mum-to-be was whisked off immediately for steroid injections to boost his lungs and a section so that technology could take over his development.

Mrs Price and her 37-year-old project manager husband could hardly see their baby’s face for five days as he was covered in leads, with cannulas in his little hands, drips and oxygen to help him breathe.

But he did not need full ventilation – which Mrs Price put down to the success of the two steroid injections – and within a fortnight he was transferred to Russells Hall Hospital.

The only other relatives who could visit were the grandparents, with the rest of the family having to wait until Max’s home-coming at seven weeks old, weighing 4lb 3oz.

“Everyone was quite amazed, we’re used to having quite large babies in our family,” said Mrs Price, a broadcast assistant at BBC Radio WM.

Even the smallest baby clothes drown tiny Max, but he’s perfectly formed sleeping well, feeding every four hour and proving to be a tough little fighter.