Everything about this pregnancy was different than my previous experiences, so I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that these first days postpartum are new terrain as well.
Recovering from a c-section — sore, but not awful.
Being attached to a pump every two hours — exhausting at 3am, but for a good reason.
Leaving my baby at the hospital — incredibly painful.
Ro’s been doing well in the NICU. But even though I know he’s where he needs to be right now, it doesn’t take away the hurt. Being away from him has been the hardest part out of all of this.
Ray and I have been back to visit Ronin in the NICU every day since I was discharged from the hospital on Monday. It takes about 1 hour 15 minutes to drive one way, so the trip takes up a good chunk of the day. With the amount of gas we’ve been blowing through, I know that pretty soon I’ll have to start spacing out my visits. But for these first days, I’ve had to bring in milk for the nurses to feed Ronin. And for my own sake, I’ve been needing to be near him.
So far we’ve only been able to touch him while he’s in his isolette. I’ve also changed his diaper a few times while the nurses were checking on him. I haven’t been able to hold him yet, but hopefully that’ll change by early next week.
Most of the time when we’re there, he’ll be sleeping. But these last couple visits, when either Ray or I have talked to him he’s smiled and opened his eyes. Those little glimpses are what I hold on to at night when I’m missing him.
We don’t have an estimate for when Ronin will be able to leave the NICU, but we’re hopeful that he’ll be able to come home before his heart surgery. In our last talk with the cardiologist, they’re looking to do the surgery when he is between 4-6 months, but the exact timing will depend on how his heart continues to develop. They’ve already done two echocardiograms since he was born, and are planning to do another next week. The cardiologists’ goal weight would be for him to weigh 13-14 lbs at the time of surgery. He’s only 3lb, 7oz as of today, so that seems like it’s worlds away.
But just like while I was pregnant with him, we’re only taking things one day at a time. We’re thankful for each little bit of progress and all the good news we’ve received since his birthday.
As much as I dislike this time away from my baby, I do see God at work. Only He can bring good out of such a difficult thing. But what is good? I know my definition of good would mean health and comfort and things being easy; I know His plan for a good life includes struggles and storms – with the promise to put it all to use.
Trusting God to do what I can’t. Obeying God, and doing what I can.