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

76 new cases of COVID-19 reported Thursday

Active cases at 1,036, 10,713 recovered cases

COVID-19 tests urged for all teachers and school staff

121 new cases Wednesday, active cases up to 1,040

Clive counsellor biking 421 km to raise funds for Central Alberta Youth Unlimited

Jeremy Whelan raised $2,200 for Lacombe FCSS Fill-A-Friday last year

City of Lacombe council highlights – August 10, 2020

The next scheduled Council Meeting is August 17, 2020, at 5 p.m. (Committee)

Alberta’s active COVID-19 cases continue to trend downwards

85 new cases Tuesday, active cases sit at 1,004

Charges likely in fatal attack at central Alberta medical clinic: RCMP

A vigil was held Monday night to mourn the victim

Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools receive grant from Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

WRPS has received $15,975 from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.

Three people drown at Crescent Falls

Rocky Mountain House RCMP say the incident occurred Tuesday

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Most Read