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.
November 1st, 2012 - to the moon and back
The transplant surgeon walked out of Matilda's room and our nurses closed the curtain behind him. We had just been told that a liver was offered to Matilda. Stunned, Tyler and I rushed in for a hug and were both overtaken with tears. The kind of tears that take your breath away. That fill you with relief.
We stood over Matilda and we each took one hand. Smiling from ear to ear, we looked at her, and looked at each other, and looked at her again. "Matilda (my voice trembling but filled with life), you are getting a liver tomorrow." I told her, as if to say tomorrow is your birthday and we are taking you to the moon and back. To the moon and back. I kissed her on the head and we spent the most beautiful moment together as a family soaking up the good news. The hope.
We opened the curtain to see a few of our favorites waiting on the other side. To be honest, I wanted to sit down and talk about it, to relive that moment from everyone's perspective. Who heard what, how did it all happen, what was everyone thinking. I wanted to capture every bit of what everyone was feeling and savor it - bottle it up if I could.
A moment as important as that - everything came together so perfectly, everything felt so perfect. I was terrified for that moment to fade. I didn't want to move past it because I knew what followed would be filled with worry. And this moment, this feeling of gratitude and complete hope - I hadn't felt anything like it, anything but heartache for five long weeks.
But reality is reality. Everyone had so much to do to prepare and so we had to move on. I had to go finish pumping. Paperwork needed to be reviewed. Matilda's body needed to be prepped. So, there I was, just 30 minutes earlier I was sitting in the same pumping station when my life was changed forever. My life changed forever. Everything was different, but my prayers were the same. They were for strength, acceptance, and the opportunity to hold Matilda in my arms.
We made the choice to take Matilda to the moon, but it wasn't up to us to bring her back.