She weighed as much as an apple when she was born, and she fit in the palm of a hand.
But the baby girl nicknamed “Saybie” by her care team, who entered the world weighing only 8.6 ounces, has finally left the hospital.
In December, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns in San Diego, California, delivered the infant at 23 weeks and 3 days. (A full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks.)
Saybie was a “micro preemie,” or an especially small premature baby.
The little girl’s family chooses to remain anonymous.
However, the infant’s mother did participate in a video about her incredible birth story for the Sharp Mary Birch Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Saybie’s mother described how she went to the hospital after feeling unwell.
“It was the scariest day of my life,” she said. “They told me that I had preeclampsia, my blood pressure was really, really high … and we had to deliver her really quick.”
Preeclampsia is a type of high blood pressure during pregnancy that usually develops after 20 weeks. It can involve kidney problems, impaired kidney function, nausea, severe headaches and fluid in the lungs.
“Left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious — even fatal — complications for both you and your baby,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
“If you have preeclampsia, the most effective treatment is delivery of your baby.”
After learning that the mom needed to deliver her daughter several months early via cesarean section, Saybie’s parents prepared for the worst possible outcome.
“They told my husband that he had about an hour with her — that she was going to pass away,” Saybie’s mother says in the video. “But that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week.”
After receiving five months of care at the NICU, Saybie is the world’s smallest baby to survive, according to the University of Iowa’s Tiniest Baby Registry.
Her weight is now clocking in at five pounds.
Saybie is still small but she’s “a happy, healthy 5-month-old,” according to the hospital.
You can hear Sabyie’s mom and nurses from the NICU share the baby girl’s incredible story here:
This is such an inspiring story for everyone involved, from the NICU nurses to the baby’s parents.
Congratulations on “graduating” from the hospital, Saybie!
Perhaps someday down the line, Saybie will be able to thank the NICU nurses who have been so kind to her, as one California man was able to do last summer.
In August 2018, the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California, posted on Facebook that a NICU nurse was reunited with a patient who had been a premature baby in her unit 28 years prior.
What’s more, the man who was once a premie baby under the nurse’s care now works at the same hospital.
Talk about a heartwarming reunion!
These special cards declare messages like “First cuddle with Mum” and “I wore my first outfit today,” putting words to these pivotal events in the lives of parents and their babies.
These make for a unique way to celebrate the exciting progress a baby makes during their journey in the NICU.