This April, 2019 photo provided by Sharp HealthCare in San Diego shows a baby named Saybie. Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns said in a statement Wednesday, May 29, 2019, that Saybie, born at 23 weeks and three days, is believed to be the world’s tiniest surviving baby, who weighed just 245 grams (about 8.6 ounces) before she was discharged as a healthy infant. She was sent home this month weighing 5 pounds (2 kilograms) after nearly five months in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. (Sharp HealthCare via AP)

Size of an apple: Girl becomes tiniest newborn to survive

The San Diego girl was born 23 weeks and three days into her mother’s 40-week pregnancy

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 world’s tiniest surviving micro-preemie, who weighed just 8.6 ounces (245 grams) when she was born in December.

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,” the mother said in a video released by Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns.

More than five months have passed, and she has gone home as a healthy infant, weighing 5 pounds (2 kilograms).

The baby’s family gave permission to share the story but wanted to stay anonymous, the hospital said. They allowed the girl to go by the name that nurses called her: “Saybie.”

Her ranking as the world’s smallest baby ever to survive is according to the Tiniest Baby Registry maintained by the University of Iowa.

Dr. Edward Bell, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Iowa, said Saybie had the lowest medically confirmed birth weight submitted to the registry.

But “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 hospital said the girl officially weighed 7 grams less than the previous tiniest baby, who was born in Germany in 2015.

ALSO READ: After two failed pregnancies, B.C. couple expecting identical girl triplets

In the video produced by the hospital, the mother described the birth as the scariest day of her life.

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 she’s not going to survive, she’s only 23 weeks,” the mother said.

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.

“You could barely see her in the bed she was so tiny,” nurse Emma Wiest said in the video.

It shows photos of Saybie wearing a mint bow with white polka dots that covered her entire head, her tiny eyes peering out from under it.

Nurses put a tiny graduation cap on her when she left the unit.

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 non-profit that works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

So far Saybie has beaten the odds.

“She’s a miracle, that’s for sure,” said Kim Norby, another nurse featured in the video.

Julie Watson And John Antczak, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley Regional District receives $100,000 to develop poverty action plan

Courtenay-Comox NDP MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard says a $100,000 grant in provincial funding… Continue reading

Spring In The Garden: Natural disarray adds to the charm of the English cottage garden

Ellen Presley Special to The Record The cottage garden has had an… Continue reading

VIDEO: Community generosity helps Courtenay Elementary school replace stolen bikes

Community compassion, coupled with school connections, helped Courtenay Elementary restock its inventory… Continue reading

Comox Valley gives back

Comox Valley businesses, organizations and individuals helping improve the lives of others

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Most Read