When she was born, the baby girl weighed about the same as an apple.
A San Diego hospital on Wednesday revealed the birth of the girl and said she is believed to be the the world’s tiniest surviving baby, who weighed just 8.6 ounces (245 grams) when she was born in December.
Baby Saybie, a name used by her care team “graduated” from the NICU in mid-May after a five-month stay at the Sharp Mary Birch Hospital in San Diego, California, the hospital announced Wednesday. When she went home, Saybie weighed a healthy 5.6 pounds. The baby is reportedly ranked as having the lowest birth weight ever recorded in the University of Iowa’s Tiniest Baby Registry.
After experiencing severe pregnancy complications, Saybie’s mother gave birth via emergency cesarean section at 23 weeks, 3 days gestation in the womb. A typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks. Doctors said the preterm birth was necessary after they found the baby was not gaining weight and her mother’s life was at immediate risk.
Although Saybie did not have any of the medical challenges typically associated with babies born before 28 weeks’ gestation, including lung and heart issues, and brain bleeds, the doctors didn’t immediately know whether the infant would survive.
“They told my husband that he had about an hour with her, and that she was going to pass away,” the woman said in a video released by the hospital. “That hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week.”
The hospital says the baby’s family gave permission to share the story while remaining anonymous.