Both of our daughters are gifts from God. I was blessed to even get pregnant. We had no way of figuring a due date for DD#2, so guessed at it from the ultrasound. When I went into labor (at the faculty lunch on the last day of school- I didn’t even get to eat my chicken) we thought I was two weeks early. That would have been okay. I got to hold my little blue baby for less than a minute before they whisked her away to put her under an oxygen tent. A few hours later, she was moved to the NICU across town. Her lungs weren’t developed, and the doctors then said she was closer to four weeks early. She was full term in size and so much bigger than the other babies in the unit, but wearing the same loose diaper, monitors, and IVs as all the others. We could touch her, but we weren’t able to hold her for several days.
The first night we went home to spend some time with our first daughter. I sent Mom to Roses to buy yarn, and I stayed up that night until I finished knitting a pair of booties. They turned out too big, but they stayed on her feet until she came home. They made her look more normal and that was comforting. So was being able to do something.
Six years ago, I was home recuperating from surgery. I finished up a baby blanket for my nephew, then got online to search for knitting patterns. I found a whole new culture. There were groups of women who knit for hospitals and orphanages and homeless shelters. Patterns were posted everywhere. Why didn’t I know about this before? I joined a group and soon joined another. I called the hospital NICU where my daughter lived the first two weeks of her life. They didn’t receive many donations at the time, and were thrilled to have someone knit for them. So I started knitting every day.
Every once in awhile, my knitting gets so scattered and out of focus that nothing gets finished. I know I’ve been knitting, but I have no idea what. At times like this I go back to the roots of my knitting obsession. Knitting for others, people I’ll never meet who will never know me or why I do this. This week I dug through my knitting bags and baskets and finished a sweater for Guidepost’s Knit for Kids program, a sweater set for Little Life Crisis Pregnancy Center, and a hat and scarf for Stand Up for Kids. I knit a prayer into each one for the recipient. I can’t work any more- some days I can’t get out of bed- but I can knit, and I do every day. I knit at home, in the car, in movie theaters, restaurants, and waiting rooms. I’ve knit at a NASCAR race, a motocross event, on a mountain, at the beach, and even in hospital rooms still hooked up to my morphine drip. Because that’s what I do. I knit.