(Photos: Anne Arundel Medical Center)
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The smallest baby ever born at a Maryland hospital is finally home after spending nearly five months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Ariana Cruz-Gutierrez was born premature at Anne Arundel Medical Center at only 24 weeks during her mother's pregnancy back in March. She entered the world weighing only 12 ounces – or the equivalent of three sticks of butter, according to the hospital.
"We felt like we wanted to die," Oscar Gutierrez, Ariana’s father, told the Capital Gazette. "But, now that we've thought of it, it was the best decision we made. Truthfully, when they told us the baby could die, our life changed completely."
Little Ariana dropped down to as low as 8 ounces after she was born, but after transfusions and intubations along with the care of the hospital’s NICU team and her parents, this little survivor has grown to 4 pounds, 15 ounces.
Ariana’s parents, who have been by her bedside during this entire ordeal, were finally able to take their beautiful daughter home in Annapolis last Thursday.
"Special thanks to our amazing NICU team who took care of Ariana during her stay here, and her parents who were dedicated partners in her care," Anne Arundel Medical Center wrote on their Facebook page.