october 10th, 2012 (part 2)

Every Thursday I look back at a specific day and time that was spent with my daughter Matilda as she waited for, received, and recovered from a liver transplant. She was in the hospital for 72 days and we remained in NYC until she turned four months old.

October 10th, 2012 - part 2

Our day with Matilda was so peaceful and full of love. Our little corner of the PICU seemed quiet as we took turns holding Matilda and showing her a lifetime of love with the time we had. The nurses seemed busy preparing for something and as the day went on, it became clear that something big was about to happen.

There was a baby girl across the hall from us. We had not met the parents as everyone tended to keep to themselves. But it was hard not to notice that Matilda was not the only tiny one in the PICU. And during rounds it felt like there was no coincidence that the two babies were always spoken about, parallel to each other. Or that the social worker dedicated to liver and liver transplants would always wander over to her room right after speaking with us. And even more so, that that day we had seen the the entire transplant team coming and going but never stopping to check on Matilda. There was a clear focus that was pieced together right before our eyes, as they wheeled the Matilda-sized baby away around 8pm. She was getting a transplant.

My heart began pounding faster and faster and my stomach sank. The look on the parent's faces pierced my soul. I posted this on Facebook:
I am worried sick tonight. The baby from across the hall went for a liver transplant. The look on the mother's face as they wheeled her daughter away shook me to the core. The parents are wandering in the hall like ghosts as they wait the 12+ hours to know if their little girl made it through the surgery. I have so many selfish questions I wish I could ask. Did they try a transfusion? How long has she been here? How sick was she when she arrived? What are her liver function numbers? Please pray with me that the baby from across the hall makes it back into her mother's arms tonight.
At this point I was terrified by the idea of a transplant. Anyone who has faced that decision knows the weight of it. You are given the opportunity to save your child's life, but you are also given the opportunity to say goodbye knowing that the decision you made can just as easily end your child's life.

With Matilda in my arms, I cried for that family. I cried for myself. I let the fear seep in a little too deep. I let questions of doubt and uncertainty linger a little too long. I felt thankful that she was there to recieve the transplant in turn giving Matilda more time. I thought about the statistics until my head hurt.

Just then, Matilda woke up and smiled at me. She reminded me what it was really about. And I prayed. I prayed until I fell asleep, I prayed when they brought her back to the PICU in the middle of the night. I prayed when I woke up the next morning and she was still there. That night I was able to let go of the details, let go of the weight that fear and doubt had burden my shoulders with. I let go and began to really trust the path that was before me.

From that moment forward Tyler and I decided that we needed to never look back. The decisions that we are/were required to make needed to be made in confidence and trust. We were not going to let this destroy us. We were not going to be swallowed up by regret. We were going to move forward.

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