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.

Just Posted

Greater Victoria residents recognized for International Volunteer Day

Thousands of people volunteer throughout the community every year

New survey finds 4.7 million women over 15 were victims of sexual assault in Canada

Some 1.2 million men (eight per cent) report having been sexually assaulted since age 15

Trend to convert lawns to meadows and gardens reaches Oak Bay

Front yard ‘food production,’ a piece of the puzzle

UVic researchers develop industry-changing ‘hyper-glue’

‘Cross-linking’ technology already playing a role in performance body armour

Artists with Disabilities Showcase returns for seventh year

Victoria Disability Resource Centre showcases artists from across the region

VIDEO: Rockslide closes Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Illict drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Threats to the Fraser River at ‘new zenith,’ says river conservationist

The ‘Heart of the Fraser’ should be deemed ecologically significant according to ORC statement

Grandparents raising children: Shuswap grandma sees need for support

Peer group formed for those who have unexpectedly taken on the role of parenting

Final appeal rejected for man convicted in deaths of missing Alberta seniors

Lyle and Marie McCann were in their 70s when they left their home in St. Albert in 2010 and vanished

Most Read