- After nearly five months in a neonatal intensive care unit, the “world’s smallest” surviving premature baby who nurses have nicknamed “Saybie” has been discharged from the hospital.
- In December 2018, Saybie was born at 23 weeks gestation. A typical pregnancy is 40 weeks.
- When she was born, she weighed 8.6 ounces and was 9 inches long. She “weighed as much as a large apple.”
- Now, she is 16 inches long and weighs 5.6 pounds.
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Doctors gave Saybie just one hour to live.
In December 2018, the “micro-preemie” was born at 23 weeks gestation. At the time of her birth, she weighed 8.6 ounces and was 9 inches long. She is believed to be the “world’s smallest” surviving premature baby, according to Sharp Healthcare.
At the time, she “weighed as much as a large apple.”
Saybie, which is not her real name but a nickname given to her by nurses, has been released from a California hospital after spending nearly five months in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Now, she is 16 inches long and weighs 5.6 pounds.
A typical pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, and babies born before 28 weeks are considered “micro-preemies.” According to the Washington Post, Saybie’s mother was experiencing preeclampsia, a dangerous condition that can be fatal for both the pregnant person and the baby.
“It was the scariest day of my life,” Saybie’s mum, who has chosen to remain anonymous, said in a video released by the hospital. “I just felt very uncomfortable, and I thought maybe this is part of the pregnancy.”
When she got to the hospital, doctors told her she would have to deliver her baby immediately.
“I kept telling them she’s not going to survive, she’s only 23 weeks,” said in the video.
Doctors initially told Saybie’s father that he would only have one hour with his daughter, as they expected her to die due to complications from her “micro-preemie” status, her mother explained in the video.
“But that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week,” Saybie’s mum said.
And that week turned into five months.
According to the hospital, she unexpectedly “experienced virtually none of the medical challenges typically associated with micro-preemies.”
Now, Saybie is going home from the NICU, with the title of the world’s smallest surviving premature baby, according to theTiniest Babies Registry.
The title previously belonged to a baby born in Germany in 2015, who weighed 8.9 ounces at the time of birth according to the registry.
“Baby Saybie has the lowest birth weight among the infants in the Tiniest Babies Registry,” Edward Bell of the University of Iowa who maintains the registry told NPR. “The registry contains only those infants submitted and medically confirmed. We cannot rule out even smaller infants who have not been reported to the registry.”
And now Saybie, who has had the round-the-clock support and encouragement from the staff at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns in San Diego, is headed home.
“She’s a miracle,” Kim Norby, one of Saybie’s NICU nurses, said of the infant. “That’s for sure.”
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