While most pregnancies happen without a hitch, occasionally things don’t go as planned, as baby Saybie found out when she was born prematurely weighing just 245g (8.6oz). She is believed to be the tiniest baby on record to survive premature birth and has since been discharged from hospital in the US, in good health.
The baby, who has been named Saybie, weighed the same as a large apple when she was born at just 23 weeks and three days, back in December 2018. As expected with most premature babies, she wasn’t ready to come out and was struggling to survive. She was transferred to the intensive care unit at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital in San Diego, California, where she was left fighting for her life. Saybie’s parents were told by doctors that the chances of survival were unbelievably slim and she had just a few hours left to live.
However, Saybie has proved everyone wrong and now, five months on, she was discharged weighing a healthy 5.6 pounds (2.5kg), defying all expectations. In an interview, a nurse who cared for Saybie when she was struggling to survive, said that her recovery and release earlier this was miraculous. The Tiniest Babies Registry said Saybie is thought to be the world’s smallest surviving premature baby, which is an absolutely remarkable title. Previously, the record for the smallest baby was held by a girl from Germany who was born weighing 252g (8.9oz) in 2015, just 7 grams more than Saybie, according to the registry, which is operated by the University of Iowa. The smallest baby boy to have survived premature birth was born weighing just 268g (9.45oz) in Japan earlier this year.
The birth was obviously quite stressful for both Saybie’s mother and Saybie herself. Three months ahead of schedule, she gave birth to the little girl by emergency C-section after she was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, which is a pregnancy complication involving high blood pressure which can turn fatal for both the mother and the baby involved. The hospital has since release a video where the mother described the birth as the “scariest day of my life”. Having chosen to remain anonymous, the mother kept telling the doctors that Saybie wouldn’t survive because she’s only 23 weeks pregnant.
Having been born so prematurely, there’s actually another sub-section of premature babies which Saybie fits into. Doctors call her a “micro preemie”, due to her being born so early. As babies are typically born at 42 weeks said the hospital, a micro preemie is considered to be any baby born before 28 weeks’ gestation. Her care team said that she was so small, she could literally fit in the palm of a hand. Doctors believe that her miraculous survival could possibly be attributed to the fact that she experienced no serious complications after her early birth. Usually, micro preemies experience significant complications after the birth, however according to the hospital, Saybie experienced almost none of the medical challenges that premature babies typically do. It’s clear that Saybie is a very lucky baby indeed.