Amillia Sonja Taylor, born Oct. 24 after just less than 22 weeks in the womb, will spend a few extra days in the hospital as a precaution.
Amillia, now a relatively robust 4½ pounds, was about to be released from Baptist Children's Hospital in Florida, but today doctors unexpectedly decided to postpone her release.
A hospital spokeswoman told The Associated Press that she did not have details on why doctors had changed their minds about sending Amillia home.
On Monday, Amillia was between 25 and 26 inches long, doctors said. She was 9½ inches long and weighed 10 ounces at birth.
Amillia is the youngest surviving premature baby, born after just 21 weeks and six days in the womb.
The only known premature babies that have survived so young prior to her were all born at 23 weeks. The average pregnancy is between 37 weeks and 40 weeks long.
Her parents, doctors and caretakers joined "Good Morning America" Monday to discuss Amillia's amazing recovery. Her parents expected her to be released from the hospital today.
"I'm overjoyed to be able to take her home," Amillia's mother, Sonja Taylor, told "GMA."
Taylor said that she stayed hopeful throughout Amillia's first few weeks of life.
"I knew we were going to be able to take her home because she had great doctors, nurses, physical therapists. So I knew she was coming home," Taylor said.
Amillia was born with a mild brain hemorrhage, respiratory problems and digestive problems, but her doctor, William Smalling, said she showed a strong will to live.
"This baby showed signs of being viable at the time of delivery, which means she showed signs that she was mature enough to survive," Smalling said.
"She made efforts at breathing, [an] attempt to cry at birth. So when she was assessed at the delivery, she showed signs that she may have been mature enough to survive, and she proved us right," Smalling said.
Amilia will return home today but will be constantly monitored.
According to Smalling, "She still needs a little bit of oxygen, but that's to be expected. Her future looks bright at this point."
A Bright Future for Preemies
There is hope that Amillia's survival will help doctors reassess viability for premature babies.
A database run by the University of Iowa's Department of Pediatrics lists seven babies born at 23 weeks between 1994 and 2003.
The standard of care for all premature babies is the same, but Amillia's case opens the door for reassessing viability of just how young a baby can survive out of the womb.
"I think she does open the debate again that we're constantly reassessing those limits of viability. She may well be one of the factors that allow us to consider babies that age to viable," Smalling said.
Amillia Equals Resilience
For her parents, Eddie and Sonja Taylor, Amillia is simply a miracle of God.
New dad Eddie Taylor told "GMA" that the couple chose the name Amillia to honor the spirit of their baby daughter.
"It means resilience. She fought for her life, she fought to be here. By the grace of God, she's here," he said.
Eddie Taylor said he was compiling a scrapbook of Amillia's first days.
"We're keeping everything in a record book to show her to believe that -- [so] she can believe that she's here," he said.
The Taylors can hardly believe it themselves.