a calm before the storm

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 23rd, 2012 - a calm before the storm

After days of avoiding taking out the expired line in Matilda's leg in the hope that a donor liver would be offered, we went ahead and insisted that the line be pulled and a new one placed. After the line was pulled, Matilda was bathed and let me tell you. She looked good. The best she had ever looked.

Our room was full of beautiful sun. We were laughing and dancing to Matilda by Harry Belafonte and life felt really good. I learned to soak up these moments like they were my last. Sometimes you just have to forget about all the medical crap and live.

Matilda was so alert and lively. Tyler and I stood on each side of her isolette talking and playing simple games with her. She was smiling at us and we loaded up on every bit of love that we could get from her. She looked like a real baby, which I said out loud and was scolded by our nurse. Of course she is real, but I meant real in the way of normal. And I mean normal as in a baby you take home and ogle over as they lay on the floor doing baby things - things that somehow seem like the greatest that have ever graced the earth.

It was a good day. The kind of day that carries you through a storm. That gives you that bit of hope that lets you feel into the future.

I talked with my best friend Melanie on the phone that day. It was nice to give an update and, for the first time in forever, I was able to hold back most of my tears. Mel told me that every time she spoke of Matilda, her son Beck smiled. And she saw that as a sign that they once knew each other and will know each other again in this life. I told her I believed it - that, as scared as I am most days, I could never imagine actually losing Matilda. I could feel the future and it felt okay. I hadn't told myself before this conversation, that I felt that, and yet, there I was, declaring it out loud. But I felt that good, that day.

Yes, we were going to be okay. Matilda was going to be okay. We just had to get through the next storm.

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