ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A baby girl who only weighed 12 ounces at birth was finally able to go home last week.
Ariana Cruz Gutierrez weighed about the same amount as three sticks of butter when she was born at 24 weeks. She now weighs about four pounds and is almost five months old.
Ariana was born at Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) in Maryland to Oscar Gutierrez and Claudia Cruz, the Capital Gazette reports. The hospital said she was the smallest baby ever born there.
Her parents took her home last Thursday.
“We’re all thrilled Ariana is going home,” Dr. Suzanne Rindfleisch, the director of the NICU, said. “She was a special baby. She’ll always be remembered.”
Midway through the pregnancy, Cruz learned she had gestational hypertension. They made the decision to bring on the birth.
“When the baby was born, we were uncertain of what could happen,” Gutierrez told the Capital Gazette. “The baby could die, but with God’s help and blessing, and the incredible work of the people here, everything has turned out well.”
Ariana wasn’t breathing when she was born, so her parents made the decision to resuscitate her knowing she may not survive.
Although she’s going home, Ariana still needs to return to AAMC for physical therapy and regular checkups, according to the Capital Gazette. The hospital said she could still have physical or intellectual challenges ahead.
She is still about three pounds lighter than the average American newborn, the paper said.