Doctors feared world’s tiniest baby only had an hour to live

A baby girl born in California weighing around the same as an apple is believed to be the world’s tiniest surviving baby.

Sharp Mary Birch Hospital in San Diego revealed the birth of the girl on Wednesday and said she weighed just 8.6 ounces (245g) when she was born in December.

She was born 23 weeks and three days into her mother’s 40-week pregnancy and doctors told her father after the birth that she just had one hour to live.

“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 and Newborns.

Pic: Sharp Mary Birch Hospital
Image: Doctors predicted Saybie would only live for an hour after she was born

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

The hospital said that the baby’s family gave permission to share her story but wished to stay anonymous. However they allowed the girl to go by the name the nurses called her – “Saybie”.

Pic: Sharp Mary Birch Hospital
Image: The baby was born weighing around the same as an apple

She was ranked as the world’s smallest baby ever to survive according to the Tiniest Baby Registry maintained by the University of Iowa.

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

Nurse Emma Wiest with the baby. Pic: Sharp Mary Birch Hospital
Image: Nurse Emma Wiest with the baby

However, he added that they “cannot rule out even smaller infants who have not been reported to the registry”.

The hospital said the baby officially weighed seven grams less than the previous tiniest baby, who was born in Germany in 2015.

Her mother described the birth as the scariest day of her life after she was taken to the hospital feeling unwell.

Image: The baby weighed four pounds in April

She was told she had preeclampsia, a serious condition that causes skyrocketing blood pressure, and that the baby needed to be delivered immediately.

“I kept telling them she’s not going to survive, she’s only 23 weeks,” she said in a video produced by the hospital.

5 pounds may 2019. Pic: Sharp Mary Birch Hospital
Image: Saybie pictured weighing five pounds in May 2019

Against all odds and doctors’ predictions, the baby survived and slowly gained weight in the neonatal intensive care unit.

One pink sign by her crib read “tiny but mighty”.

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

When she was finally well enough to leave the unit, nurses put a tiny graduation cap on her.

Saybie left the unit wearing a graduation hat. Pic: Sharp Mary Birch Hospital
Image: Saybie left the unit wearing a graduation hat

Saybie has a challenging journey ahead as a micro-preemie – an infant born before 28 weeks of gestation.

Many micro-preemies do not survive the first year, according to Michelle Kling of the March of Dimes, a non-profit that works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Many of these infants can go on to develop vision and hearing problems, developmental issues and a host of other complications.

But so far Saybie has beaten the odds, with nurse Kim Norby describing her as a “miracle”.

Source: SKY NEWS

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