The world’s smallest surviving baby went home healthy after being delivered at a San Diego hospital at only 23 weeks. A San Diego hospital on Wednesday revealed the birth of the girl and said she is believed to be the world’s tiniest surviving micro-preemie, who weighed just 8.6 ounces when she was born in December.
Smallest Premature Baby
The girl was born 23 weeks and three days into her mother’s 40-week pregnancy. Doctors told her father after the birth that he would have about an hour with his daughter before she died.
“But that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week.”
“No one expects their baby to be born with complications,” said Trisha Khaleghi, senior vice president and chief executive officer at Sharp Mary Birch. “But when the unexpected occurs, Sharp Mary Birch is equipped with the latest technologies, equipment, research and specially trained experts to care for even the world’s smallest baby.”
The weight that little Saybie was born is about the size of a small apple. Previous to this birth, a baby was born at 7 grams more than Saybie and that was the smallest baby to survive up until this baby was born.
According to Dr. Edward Bell of the University of Iowa, which manages the Tiniest Babies Registry, Saybe is the title holder for the world’s smallest preemie.
The parents wish to remain anonymous. The mother was in the middle of her pregnancy when complications arose that led to a caesarian birth.
She said she was taken to the hospital after not feeling well and was told she had preeclampsia, a serious condition that causes skyrocketing blood pressure, and that the baby needed to be delivered quickly.
“I kept telling them that she’s not going to survive, I’m only 23 weeks.” she shared with Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, where she gave birth in San Diego, California.
But she did. The tiny girl slowly gained weight in the neonatal intensive care unit.
A pink sign by her crib read “Tiny but Mighty.” Other signs kept track of her weight and cheered her on as the girl, whose birth weight compared to that of a hamster, gained pounds over the months.
Saybie, a nickname the nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit gave the newborn, did not give up. She fought and she fought hard. Each month she grew and hit milestone after milestone.
The girl faces enormous challenges as a micro-preemie, who is an infant born before 28 weeks of gestation. Micro-preemies can experience vision and hearing problems, developmental issues and a host of other complications.
Many do not survive the first year, said Michelle Kling of the March of Dimes, a nonprofit that works to improve the health of mothers and babies.
So far Saybie has beaten the odds.