World’s smallest preemie beats the odds, heads home from hospital after weighing 8.6 ounces at birth

Ever since she came into this world, lil’ Saybie was in the record books. She was born prematurely at 23 weeks and 3 days and weighed about as much as a piece of fruit.

Despite all odds against her, she survived.

Now she has another record. She is the world’s smallest surviving preemie.

Her mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, experienced complications in the middle of her pregnancy that resulted in an emergency c-section.

“I kept telling them that she’s not going to survive, I’m only 23 weeks.” she shared with Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, where she gave birth in San Diego, California.

After she gave birth doctors and nurses told her and her husband that they only had one hour to be with their micro-preemie before she died.

“But that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week.”

Saybie, a nickname the nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit gave the newborn, did not give up. She fought for every hour, every minute of her life. Each month she grew and passed milestone after milestone.

Finally, after nearly five months in the hospital’s NICU Saybie left the hospital weighing five pounds.

“She is the smallest baby,” her mother said. “But she’s mine.”

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 preemie.

“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.”

“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.”

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