When doctors induced labor on March 9, Ariana Sophia Cruz-Gutierrez did not make her entrance into the world with a gasp or a cry. She wasn’t even breathing.
About halfway through her pregnancy, Sophia’s mother was diagnosed with gestational hypertension, a condition that can cause serious problems for both mother and child. So the doctors at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland, decided to induce labor at just six months. When she was born, Ariana weighed just 12 oz.
Her parents and hospital staff spent the next five months on pins and needles, unsure for the first several weeks whether Ariana would make it. They watched as her weight dropped from 12 oz. – comparable to three sticks of butter – down to 10 oz.
But with her strong will to survive and devoted parents who remained by her side, little Ariana rallied. Swaddled in a pink blanket and her head topped with a pink knitted beanie, the hospital’s “tiniest survivor” was finally able to make the trip home this week.
Dr. Suzanne Rindfleisch, who serves as director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, said Ariana is the smallest premature baby to ever survive at the hospital.
“It was a long and difficult course for her … She used pretty much every form of ventilation that we have avail to us. She had blood transfusions, lots of tests,” she said, adding an initial head sonogram showed normal functioning. “It was interesting, it was a challenge, but it’s been very rewarding.”
Watch the video below to hear more about this sweet little girl, and share !