Just moments after she was born, baby Saybie entered the records as the world’s smallest surviving preemie, according to officials at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital. She was born prematurely at 23 weeks and 3 days weighing 8.6 ounces. Simply put, she weighed about as much as an apple when she was born.
Saybie was released from the hospital last month as a happy and healthy infant weighing 5.6 pounds. Her mother experienced complications in the middle of her pregnancy that resulted in an emergency cesarean section.
“After experiencing severe pregnancy complications, Saybie’s mother gave birth via emergency cesarean section at 23 weeks, 3 days gestation in the womb. Doctors said the preterm birth was necessary after they found that the baby was not gaining weight and her mother’s life was at immediate risk.” the hospital explained at a news conference.
After she gave birth doctors and nurses told Saybie’s mom and her dad they only had one hour with their baby. “But that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week.” Saybie’s mom said.
Saybie, a nickname the nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit gave the baby girl, was a fighter. Every month she surprised the doctors as she hit milestone after milestone and thrived while at it.
Finally, after nearly five months in the hospital’s NICU Saybie left the hospital with her family excited to have her home.
According to Dr. Edward Bell of the University of Iowa, which manages the Tiniest Babies Registry, Saybie is the title holder for the world’s smallest surviving preemie. According to the hospital, she weighed 7 grams less than the previous smallest baby, who was born in Germany in 2015.
“The registry contains only those infants submitted and medically confirmed,” Bell told NPR. “We cannot rule out even smaller infants who have not been reported to the registry.”
In a video released by the hospital, Saybie’s nurses expressed their love for the micro-preemie. “I just want her to know how strong she is,” Emma Wiest, a nurse, said. “I mean if she can start off where she was and do as well as she can be, there’s nothing she can’t do.”
The hospital said the baby’s family gave permission to share their story but wished to remain anonymous.
Let’s keep this little warrior in our prayers so that she may continue to grow healthy and strong.