Where does the time go? How is it possible that the longest six months of my life have flown by in the blink of an eye? How did my fragile, fetal two-pound baby grow into an amazing 13-pound bundle of chub and love before my very eyes?
She’s six months old today, and Don and I are finally—for real this time—seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Her g-tube surgery is scheduled for Tuesday morning and if all goes according to plan, we should, hopefully, be home by the end of April or the beginning of May. It’s unreal to think that we’re finally standing at the brink of the next chapter, that this roller coaster we’ve been riding actually has an end that is finally approaching; at the same time, it’s downright absurd to think that it’s taken us six months to get to “almost there”.
I know it’s a word that’s been thrown around a lot in Nyanaland but she really is nothing short of amazing. Her personality shines through in everything she does; even through the monstrous bipap mask on her face you can see her beaming smile radiate from both her mouth and her eyes. She loves when we tickle her chin or wipe the drool from her lips—she grins the hugest smile and makes a guttural attempt at giggling. For as rough a start as she had in life, she’s a generally happy baby, smiling at nearly any ridiculous face you can make at her.
She’s discovering her hands and the physical therapist is slowly pointing her towards discovering her toes, too. She’s talking up a storm these days, mostly to her mobile but more and more frequently to Don and me as well. And while I’m not entirely convinced yet that her recent behaviour is teething, the drooly, fist-eating monster has been making appearances from time to time, and I’m certain inconsolable fussiness and rosy cheeks aren’t too far behind.
We had a good visit at the hospital today; while Nyana slept in her jumbo-sized crib, Don sorted her closet and pulled out a number of outfits that she’s either outgrown, or just can’t really wear, given the impracticality of the nursery. I just now glanced at the corner of our living room and realized that we’re already filling our second box of outfits that Nyana has outgrown. We’ve tucked away some her smallest items in my hope chest for safekeeping, but most of them have just been packed away in hopes that we have another daughter who can look just as adorable in them. I can’t believe she outgrew so many outfits so quickly.
Don and I are not at all naive—we know that we’re not at the end of our adventure but rather, we’re at the very beginning of a brand new one, and that our adventures with her at home will certainly be more taxing and more frustrating than our 182-days-and-counting in the NICU. We know we’re bringing home a sick baby, and that we’re bringing home the equipment and the monitors and the stress and the uncertainty that comes with a sick baby at home. But we’ll have her at home. And right now, we’re ready for a change of scenery, and we think Nyana is, too.
Happy six months, Babygirl. We’ll bring you home soon, I promise.