Saybie, born 23 weeks and three days into her mother’s 40-week pregnancy, weighed about the same as an apple. Saybie has gone home as a healthy baby, weighing two kilograms, five months later.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on May 30, 2019

The father was told by doctors at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns, San Diego, that their baby ‘Saybie’, weighing only 245 grams, would have an 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 & Newborns.


At three months, she weighed 1.4kg. Photo: Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns

More than five months have passed, and she has gone home as a healthy infant, weighing 2 kilograms, AP reported.

Saybie, born 23 weeks and three days into her mother’s pregnancy, weighed about the same as an apple. Now five months have elapsed and Saybie has gone home as a healthy baby, weighing two kilograms.


Now four months old, Saybie weighs 1.8 kg. Photo: Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns

Saybie’s family gave permission for the story to be publicised but wanted to remain anonymous. The baby goes by the name given to her by the nurses that cared for 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 paediatrics at the University of Iowa, said Saybie had the lowest medically confirmed birth weight submitted to the registry.

“We cannot rule out even smaller infants who have not been reported to the Registry,” he said in an email to The Associated Press.

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.


Nurse Devyn Kohl says her goodbyes to baby Saybie, who was given just one hour to live. Photo: Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns

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.


Nurse Michelle Gill gets a final cuddle before baby Saybie goes home with her parents. Photo: Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns

Saybie was given a tiny graduation cap to wear when she left the unit by her nurses.

Saybie 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 nonprofit that works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Saybie has beaten the odds so far.

“She’s a miracle, that’s for sure,” said Kim Norby, another nurse featured in the video.