Charles James Reinhard, 6 hours old and sound asleep.

Charles James Reinhard, 6 hours old and sound asleep.

If you had told us a week ago that Charlie would already be two days old by this Friday, I’m not sure if we would have believed you.

Everything was going great with the pregnancy. Val had no complications and no indication that Charlie would come before the due date. On Tuesday, she and I went in for a routine check-up with her doctor. The nurse took her blood pressure, frowned, and took her blood pressure again. The doctor came in and took her blood pressure a third time. She told us she was really worried … Val had something called pre-eclamsia. “Fortunately,” she told us, “there’s a cure.” We asked her what it was. “We deliver the baby.” Yes, we knew that. In 2 1/2 weeks, right? “No. Go home, back, and go straight to the hospital. You’re going to have him now.”

Well that was terrifying and exciting all at the same time. We were OK with the idea of becoming parents in 2 weeks. Within 24 hours? Wow. We went home, packed, and checked in at River Bend. They put Val in bed and stuck those tubes in her arm you see in the picture below. (The morphine came later.) They gave her drugs to help induce labor, and waited.

By the morning, it was apparent that her body was not ready to give birth. But the doctor was still worried about her blood pressure. Shortly after 10 a.m., the doctor ran a lab test on her blood and realized her platelet count was low (platelets are what makes blood clot.) She told us Val would need to have a C-section, and if we didn’t have it soon, her platelet count might be so low Val would have to be put under during the surgery. Val was shocked. She really, really did not want a C-section.

At 10:33, Charlie was born. Val told me right afterwards that it wasn’t that bad. “We could probably do that three more times,” she said hopefully. I think that was the pain drugs talking … we’ll see how she feels about that in a few years :-).

Charlie weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces when he was born, and was 19 inches long. His weight is low but within the acceptable range for a 37 1/2 week baby. Our pediatrician says Charlie is very healthy, and he definitely seems that way. He makes little cat-like cries when he is cold, or tired, or hungry, or needs changing. He is incredibly fun to hold.

Val is slowly improving. She was pretty sick there for a while. Her liver was starting to malfunction, and her platelet count had dropped by more than 75 percent.  Her blood pressure has finally started to stabilize after two days. The doctor thinks we might be able to move her out of the intensive care room today. The hospital won’t let us bring more than two or three people at a time, and if Val’s blood pressure rises at all, a nurse comes in and kicks everyone out (this has happened several times so far.) Val thinks she might be able to get out of bed today. We both love Charlie, and are very grateful that God has kept our family safe this week. Thank you for all your prayers, everyone.

How it came to pass …

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