9:25 AM PDT, June 10, 2022
The smallest baby to be alive after birth in the Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Indiana, has finally been released from the hospital.
Audrey Mead was just under 11 ounces at birth. This makes her the smallest baby ever born at the hospital and survive, according to local outlet WNDU.
“It’s amazing to see her wiggling around so much and making all these noises. The progress that she’s made is just incredible,” the baby’s father, Tim Mead, said to the outlet.
Brooke Mead, the baby’s mother, dealt with preeclampsia during the pregnancy. This complication led to the little one coming nearly four months early on Thanksgiving Day, according to WNDU.
“If you look at our statistics from the National Institute of Child Health, they’re not even numbers for 300 gram babies,” said Dr. Basharat Buchh, Audrey’s NICU doctor.
“Babies born at that early gestation, if they don’t … do well, they tell us right away in the first few days of life.”
The mother, who is also an employee at Memorial, told the outlet that she relied on faith to get her through the tough moments.
“Honestly, I prayed every day. I prayed to God every day that she would make it,” she said to the outlet.
“We knew, like, that the first week was crucial. But even, you know, like that first week, she was moving around – like swinging her arms, kicking her feet. She was very active. And that gave us hope.”
Audrey now weighs close to 11 pounds and is heading home.
“While she’s been here, we would always we call her ‘The Secret-Keeper,’” said Emily Fredericks, a NICU nurse.
“We would come in and tell her all kinds of things. We’d come in and hold her, read her stories. She knows all the drama, all the gossip, so we’re really, really gonna miss her around here.”
“Not everybody that is born in the NICU, or taken care of in the NICU, does well. But it’s moments like these, the days that kids like that go home that keep us going, give us immense joy,” Dr. Buchh said to WNDU.