A little girl was born weighing only as much as an apple.
A hospital in San Diego revealed that the girl is believed to be the tiniest surviving micro-preemie in the world. She weighed only 8.6 ounces when she was born in December.
The girl, who nurses called “Saybie” was born 23 weeks and three days into her mother’s 40-week pregnancy. Saybie’s Father was told after her birth that he would only have an hour to be with his daughter before she passed away.
“But that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week,” the mother said in a video released by Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, as reported by Mail Tribune.
It has been five months since Saybie was born and in late May she returned home from the hospital as a healthy infant. She was five pounds.
The hospital said that Saybie’s family wanted to remain anonymous, but they gave permission to share her story.
According to the Tiniest Baby Registry that is upheld by the University of Iowa, Saybie is the world’s smallest baby ever to survive.
Professor of pediatrics from the University of Iowa, Dr. Edward Bell, said that Saybie had the lowest medically confirmed birth weight submitted to the registry.
However, “we cannot rule out even smaller infants who have not been reported to the Registry,” he said in an email to The Associated Press.
The previous tiniest baby was born in Germany in 2015. But Saybie officially broke that record by weighing seven grams less.
In a video created by the hospital, the mother said that the birth was the scariest day of her life.
She said that she was taken to the hospital because she was not feeling well. When she got there, she was told that she had a damaging condition called preeclampsia, which causes the blood pressure to skyrocket. She needed to give birth right away.
“I kept telling them she’s not going to survive, she’s only 23 weeks,” the mother said.
But in her neonatal intensive care unit, Saybie did survive.
As she gained pounds over the months, a pink sign was placed by her crib. It read “Tiny but Might.”
“You could barely see her in the bed she was so tiny,” nurse Emma Wiest said in the video.
When Saybie was ready to leave the unit, nurses positioned a tiny graduation cap on her head.
The tiny little girl has massive challenges ahead of her as a micro-preemie, defined as an infant born before 28 weeks of gestation. Babies like Saybie can face vision and hearing problems, developmental issues and many other complications.
Michelle Kling, of March of Dimes, said that many micro-preemies don’t survive their first year. March of Dimes is a nonprofit that seeks to improve the health of mothers and babies.
To date, Saybie has defied the odds.
“She’s a miracle, that’s for sure,” said Kim Norby, another nurse featured in the video.
“I just want her to know how strong she is,” nurse Emily Wiest said. “There’s nothing she can’t do.”
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