World's smallest surviving baby, born at .5 pounds, goes home 5 months after birth

Baby Saybie was born at a San Diego hospital at 23 weeks gestation in December.

The world's smallest surviving baby has been discharged from the hospital five months after she was born at just 23 weeks gestation, according to the hospital.

Baby Saybie, who was born in December 2018, weighed just half a pound when she was delivered at the Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns in San Diego, according to a press release by Sharp Health. Saybie weighed 5 pounds when discharged.

Her mother underwent an emergency cesarean section after she experienced severe pregnancy complications and doctors determined that the baby was not gaining weight and the mother's life was at immediate risk.

"It was the scariest day of my life," Saybie's mother said in a video released by the hospital, adding that doctors told her that she was suffering from preeclampsia and very low blood pressure. "I just felt very uncomfortable, and I thought, maybe this was part of the pregnancy."

Doctors told Saybie's father that he would only have about an hour with the tiny newborn before she would die, her mother said.

"But, that hour turned into two hours, which turned into a day, which turned into a week," she said.

Saybie weighed about half of what normal fetuses at 23 weeks weigh, NICU nurse Emma Wiest said in a video released by the hospital.

"So, I went and saw her, and we could barely see her in the bed, she was so tiny," Wiest said.

According to the Tiniest Baby Registry, maintained by the University of Iowa, Saybie is the smallest baby to ever survive.

After the birth, the hospital's advanced life support team and neonatologist Dr. Paul Wozniak worked to stabilize Saybie before she was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit, according to the hospital. A team of experts then cared for Saybie, helping her to grow stronger during her five-month stay at in the NICU.

"She's a miracle, that's for sure," said NICU nurse Kim Norby.