These last few months have been both the l o n g e s t and shortest of my life. Ronin has now been in the NICU for 18 weeks. That’s four months. Nearly 130 days. Or 1/3 of a year.
And apparently it’s been a month since my last post – right now I can’t tell if I would have bet over-under on that.
After Ronin’s stent procedure, he developed pneumonia (infection in the lungs) and tracheitis (infection in the windpipe) that required him to stay on the ventilator for about three weeks. During that time I wasn’t able to hold him, so I spent a lot of my visits only holding his little hand.
A lot of the times I’d cry. It’s hard to describe the juxtaposition of distress and peace. Thankfulness. Absence. Suffering. Abundance.
On one occasion when I had just finished praying over Ronin and about to leave, I found myself standing in the doorway, mesmerized by the beeping machines, racks of medications, and monitoring wires all attached to my baby. My lactation consultant, a sweet & southern grandma-type, happened to notice me. She walked over to give me a hug and the encouragement that “other people just don’t get what it’s like in the NICU.”
It’s A LOT.
Ms. Sheryl also let me know she’s been praying for Ronin and me. It’s those little kindnesses that make all the difference.
Two weeks ago Ronin had a gastrostomy tube (sometimes also called a “G-button”) placed, as well as a Nissen fundoplication surgery. A couple days after surgery, he was finally able to be weaned off the ventilator. Ronin’s bacterial infections have cleared up, and he’s been so much happier since being extubated. Lately when I’ve been visiting him, I’ve been able to hold him again and he hasn’t cried once! It’s just been all smiles and snuggles.
The neonatologists and cardiologists are still working to pin down a date for Ronin’s open-heart repair surgery, but it’s sounding like it may be happening sometime in November (next month). The doctors are hopeful that Ronin will be able to come home for a short while before that surgery; it’s all depending on how Ronin handles weaning down on oxygen support and certain medications.
It’d be amazing if over the next couple weeks he could come home safely, so I wouldn’t have to split my days between home and hospital. But whether they seem painfully long or unbelievably short, I’m still just looking at this one day at a time.
Craft organization & project starts
At home, I’ve been spending my free time organizing my crafting supplies and cleaning up my work areas. I’ve finished up a couple WIPs, and started on some new projects.
I started a new crocheted blanket for Ronin that we’ve been calling the “Starshine” blanket. (I made a blanket for Hope that’s waves of mustard gold, light pink, tan, and cream that she’s always called her “Sunshine.” So Ronin’s blanket will be the flip version.)
I wanted one to be bright and unique, so I went with a tertiary color palette with shades of teal, amber, and violet; black was the choice for high contrast.
Leilani’s been learning how to crochet, too. Previously I only had her working on scraps for practice; this is the first project she’s actually worked on and she’s doing amazing!
I’m sure there are hundreds of similar patterns available, but I’m planning to share what I’ve come up with to make this blanket. After the first few rows it’s pretty simple, and only uses HDC and HDC2TOG stitches.
We’re using a total of nine colors, three of each of the teal/amber/violet variations. Every other wavy stripe is black.
Lani and I are about half-way done with the crocheting part. Then we get to have a party weaving in all the loose ends!
I’m thinking that we’ll be able to finish it up before Ronin might come home, but we’ll see.