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World's smallest surviving baby born in San Diego

Baby Saybie weighing 3 lbs in March 2019.
Baby Saybie weighing 3 lbs in March 2019. Copyright Sharp Mary Birch Hospital
Copyright Sharp Mary Birch Hospital
By Janelle Griffith with NBC News U.S. News
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At 8.6 ounces, or 245 grams, the newborn known as Saybie weighed 7 grams less than the previous world's smallest surviving baby.


One family's bundle of joy was only 245 grams. And now she's a title holder, snagging the world record for smallest surviving baby.

The baby girl was delivered in December at Sharp March Birch Hospital in San Diego at 23 weeks, three months earlier than planned. A full-term birth occurs between 37 and 42 weeks, according to the hospital.

The family has requested privacy but agreed with hospital staff to publicly refer to the child as Saybie.

The Tiniest Babies Registry, which is maintained by the University of Iowa, said Saybie's weight of 245 grams (8.6 ounces), was seven grams less than the previous world's smallest surviving baby, a girl born in Germany in 2015.

Saybie was discharged this month weighing 5.6 pounds, the hospital announced Wednesday.

Her mother gave birth by emergency cesarean section after it was found that the baby wasn't gaining weight due to preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication involving high blood pressure that can be fatal for both the mother and the baby.

After Saybie's delivery, her parents were advised she might not survive the first 24 hours.

"They told my husband he had about an hour with her and that she was going to die," Saybie's mother said in a video released by the hospital. "But that hour turned into two hours. Which turned into a day. Which turned into a week."

Her caretakers at the hospital describe her as a "miracle".

"I'm just really proud of them and the baby and to just see them transform as parents and see this little baby go home that usually is like completely against all odds," one of her nurses, Devyn Kohl, said, tears filling her eyes.

Saybie's mother said she is grateful for the hospital staff who cared for her daughter, especially her primary nurses who "became friends."

"I just want her to know how strong she is," said nurse Emma Wiest about Saybie. "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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