A farming couple who held their baby girl for the first time when they said goodbye hope her short but precious life will make a difference to other sick or struggling newborns.

Cory and Emily Norman spent an anxious three weeks in Waikato Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) last March after their daughter Kelly June Norman was born at 23 weeks and six days.

Emily, 36, had an weakened cervix that was unable to hold the pregnancy any longer. At 12 weeks a stitch was put in to keep it together, but it didn't last.

That, coupled with complications,