ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A Maryland baby born prematurely and weighing just 12 ounces is finally home after several months at the hospital.
Ariana Cruz Gutierrez weighed about the same amount as three sticks of butter when she was born at 24 weeks. She now weighs about 4 pounds and is almost 5 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 paper. "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, but doctors resuscitated her.
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 3 pounds lighter than the average American newborn, the paper said.