Smallest baby born at Libertyville hospital goes home

December 13, 2010 (LIBERTYVILLE, Ill.)

"That is what we have been saying all along. We said, 'I don't care if she comes home 11:59 on Christmas Eve, as long as we have her home for Christmas,'" said mother Gina Rupe.

Ashtyn Katherine Rose Rupe was supposed to be born on New Year's Day. Instead, she came before Halloween.

"At 29 weeks we were like the case of survival is there. We know she will survive. But we didn't know at what state," Gina said.

"I heard her cry. I started crying and then they took her right away and started working on her and I couldn't deal with it. They were doing a fine job of me trying to watch that with her being so small. I left the room. I was breaking down.," said father Aaron Rupe.

This couple had endured four miscarriages in less than three years. They had already decided this would be their last try.

"I happened to be one of the physicians that had to tell her one of her pregnancies ended at the eight-week time. It's very rewarding to see them taking a healthy, happy baby home. Even though she's tiny, she's doing great," said Dr. Jennifer Schaefer, an obstetrician with Advocate Condell Medical Center.

Schaefer isn't just Gina's obstetrician, she's also her boss. Gina works in billing for Schaefer's practice at Advocate Condell Medical Center, where Ashtyn became the smallest baby born and cared for without being transferred to a specialty hospital. On Monday, she's four pounds, five ounces.

Monday evening they leave the care of one family to begin a family of their own.

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