Kris and I spent most of the day, every day at the hospital. I was still on maternity leave, but he went back to both work and school. Sometimes he would drive from Coral Gables to Fort Lauderdale for school, and I would ride back with him to spend a few hours in our home. We were staying at Devonshire Apartments, which Miami Children's Hospital owns and rents out to families with children in their care for a very low cost.
It was strange leaving Jonas every night. Most parents aren't separated from their children overnight for months, sometimes years, after they are born. But we didn't have a choice. We had to rest, and being cooped up in a hospital eating three meals a day there gets really old rather quickly.
On the bright side, Jonas was making progress. Every day or two, the doctors would make their rounds and decide what would happen next. One day, sedation medication would be decreased. The next day, another medicine would be shut off completely. Then the ventilator and breathing tube came out. Then, we were down to just a nose tube. Soon, we were starting to bottle-feed him breast milk. First an ounce, then a little more. He had to be fed from a bottle so the doctors could measure exactly how much he was eating before being released from the hospital. The goal was to get as close to two ounces as possible.
It was estimated that it would take at least two weeks for him to recover from surgery, and possibly more. But Jonas had other plans. It was time to see the world, and just ten days after surgery, he was ready to do exactly that.