october 19th, 2012 (part 4)

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 19th, 2012 - part 4

If you have ever camped out at the hospital you know that on any given day there are a million things to think about because so much is going on at once. I remember my sister asking me how I was occupying my time while we waited. It made me laugh. I had no time.

On this day, October 19th, 2012, so much was happening, so much was changing. It was confirmed that Matilda needed a liver transplant as soon as possible and that I would not be able to nurse her because of the diagnosis she was given. While all this was happening, Matilda was hacking up large mucus bubbles, which meant an even larger group of doctors and nurses visiting Matilda in an attempt to figure out what was going on. Matilda needed constant care to stay alive. It was absolutely exhausting.

Our brother-in-law Josh happened to be around that day. He is an orthopedic surgeon so the environment was nothing new, but what was new was seeing Matilda gag followed by a bubble the size of her head roll out of her mouth and onto her lap resulting in an explosion of mucus everywhere. His eyes told me he had never seen or imagined anything like that before. The rest of us, who had been experiencing this for a few days, jumped into our routine. Tyler got new towels, the nurse started undressing Matilda, I picked out a new outfit and cleared her bed for changing. We worked effortlessly together, while Josh stared in shock.

I was thankful that the busy kept me moving. I literally took in one thing at a time and dealt with what needed in each moment. If I found myself wondering if this would be a lifelong stuggle, if she would have to eat through a tube or IV forever, if she would be able to grow appropriately, I was too overwhelmed. My thoughts would quickly snowball into a big heap of despair. And that did not do anyone any good. My solution was to not think. I would pray with a clear mind. I would allow one thing at a time, I would cry, mourn, or worry about that one thing for a few minutes and then it was on to something new. But I avoided letting everything in at once. Everything all together was too much to handle. After all, the only thing that mattered was the gift of life. Because without that gift, I knew there would be nothing to worry about.

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