A size five ring is almost as big as the hand of baby Sophia Reneigh Reynolds.
Born at one pound, two ounces, Sophia spent the first few months of her life in a hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
“Things were going all as planned [when] unfortunately and unexpected[ly] at 22 weeks [Sophia’s mom Valerie] went into labor,” Sophia’s aunt Trish Gaubatz wrote on a GoFundMe page established to raise money for the family and assist with gas and other expenses. “Now it is up to the doctors to help baby Sophie grow.”
Sophia or “Sophie,” as her parents call her, was born on August 15, just 23 weeks into Valerie’s pregnancy.
“She’s a little fighter and has got a long way to go yet,” Gaubatz, who is Valerie Reynolds’ sister, wrote.
Sophie is one of the smallest babies to be treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, according to Fox 8.
“She’s very, very sick, but she’s doing really well,” Valerie Reynolds told the Mansfield News Journal. “Right now, the doctors think she’s going to be pretty normal, but things could go wrong. They monitor her every day.”
During the first weeks of her life, Sophie had surgery on her bowel in addition to undergoing blood transfusions. She also suffered a brain hemorrhage, an event that is common among premature babies with fragile brains.
“The second day after she was born they actually let me hold her,” Valeria told Fox 8 Cleveland. “They had to get a lamp to keep her warm and wrap me up and have her against me.”
Sophie’s doctor also described a technique used for preemie babies called Kangaroo Care to Fox 8. The method involves skin-to-skin contact with the baby and parent for as many hours as possible every day.
“One of the biggest problems with having a preemie—especially a hospitalized preemie—is that [the parents] don’t feel like parents; they feel like bystanders to their own child, so we’ve been working incredibly hard to get rid of those walls between parents and babies,” Dr. Edward Shepard told Fox 8.
Committed to Sophie’s health, Valerie and her husband Shawn have spent every day at the hospital since their daughter’s birth.
An recent update says that Sophie is up to a weight of three pounds, five ounces.
She is currently gaining about one ounce per week and is on a ventilator “fighting to stay strong.”
“[The doctors] are working hard to get her weight up to 4 pounds so she can have the second part of surgery to put her bowels back together!” Aunt Trish wrote on another GoFundMe page update. “They are also checking twice a week on her brain hemorrhage and so far so good!!”
Sophie needs to weigh around five pounds before she can go home, according to the Mansfield News Journal.
Doctors expect to release the baby in mid-December, around the time of her original due date.