Baby boy born premature to Virginia couple whose baby announcement went viral

Family asks for prayers

By Dave Andrusko

kalebannouncereThe couple whose inspirational video about their unexpected pregnancy went viral, is now asking for prayers for their son, Kaleb, who was delivered by C-Section Tuesday 16 weeks premature.

Posting on their Facebook account this morning, Dana Griffin-Graves and Arkell Graves wrote

Thank you for all of the prayers and love. It is definitely needed and appreciated. This is definitely a tough journey and we feel it. We are blessed to share the experience with so many. Kaleb is such a fighter and is encouraging us daily. Please continue to keep us lifted up in prayer. We need every bit of it.

“Kaleb had his mom’s blood pressure very, very high, to the point that it was putting her health at risk,” Mr. Graves told PEOPLE. “The doctors came in every day and explained the risk of continuing to hold him inside.”

The media accounts are not entirely clear, but both mother and baby appear to have made enormous strides since Wednesday when Mrs. Graves wrote

Kaleb Arkell Graves was born yesterday at 10/20/1015 at 1:08 PM. He is tiny in statue but he is a fighter. He is in stable but critical condition.

When I arrived in the Intensive care unit over a week ago, they told me in order to save my life, I had to terminate his, My blood pressure was 223/113 but I couldn’t…

he was my miracle an[d] I had to give him a fighting chance to make it. Daily I was told how my chances of survival were declining because of my heart functions and chronic blood pressure.

With only a 5% chance of survival, Kaleb is here. I’m grateful to God, my wonderful husband Arkell and my amazing family.

I want to thank everyone for the constant prayers, Please keep praying. We are asking God to finish this & give us a healthy son. I count it all done.

Writing for PEOPLE, Tiare Dunlap explains that

Arkell says his wife ignored the risks and continued to carry the baby until he reached a point where he would have the best chance of survival.

“She refused to go on with the delivery until it was a time where they could actually take care of him in the neonatal intensive care unit,” Arkell continues. “I’m going to tell you, just looking at my wife, it was the most selfless thing I have ever seen somebody do.”

NRL News Today readers will recall how Mr. and Mrs. Graves, both 41, had suffered through four miscarriages and the loss of a baby who was stillborn. When she discovered she was unexpectedly pregnant, Mrs. Graves thought of a clever and imaginative way of breaking the welcome news to her husband–and then recorded it.

In the quiet voice we heard throughout the video, she told him there’s some “stuff in the oven.” He bends over, looks in and discovers a packet of buns and their unborn child’s first ultrasound.

The look of stunned amazement and sheer joy on Mr. Graves’ face is priceless.

Then he says, “You’re pregnant.” No response. “You’re pregnant!”

“That’s why I couldn’t lose weight,” she says softly, referring to an exercise program she’d been on.

Over and over he repeats, “You’re pregnant,” and breaks into uncontrollable sobs of joy when his wife tells him, “And it’s a boy.”

Where did the name Kaleb come from? The Bible:

‘Caleb was one of the spies sent by Moses to spy out the land of Canaan,’ they wrote in a birth announcement for the couple’s new baby boy.

‘Only Caleb and Joshua advised the Hebrews to proceed immediately to take the land; for his faith Caleb was rewarded with the promise that he and his descendants should possess it.’

‘Well our Kaleb has spied out this place he will call home and will be rewarded with this promise called life!’