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World's smallest surviving baby born in San Diego

At 8.6 ounces, or 245 grams, the newborn known as Saybie weighed 7 grams less than the world's previous smallest surviving baby.
Baby Saybie weighing 3 lbs in March 2019.
Baby Saybie weighing 3 lbs in March 2019.Sharp Mary Birch Hospital

One family's bundle of joy was only 8.6 ounces. And now she's a title holder, snagging the world record for smallest surviving baby.

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

The family has requested privacy, but agreed with the 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 8.6 ounces, or 245 grams, was 7 grams less than the world's previous 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 was not 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."

Saybie's 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," nurse Emma Wiest said 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."