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 2nd, 2012 - she came back
A call from the operating room came early. We had been told that Matilda's liver transplant should take between 6-12 hours, but to expect 12 hours. Matilda was the third pediatric liver transplant scheduled that day. I tried not to think about what that meant for the surgeons, but I assumed it would take the maximum amount of time. After all, it took five hours to get a complete MRI of Matilda - transplanting a body part would surely take longer than that.
So when the phone rang and our nurse rushed over to the nurse's station (that we couldn't see), my chest pounded. It pounded so hard that I felt like I could see myself trying to stare through the wall that separated us.
She was fine. Everything was perfect and they were bringing her back early. Only five hours had gone by and the room still needed to be prepared for her return. Nobody anticipated this. The excitement was immediate and exhausting. The relief was extraordinary. She was alive. My baby was still alive and they were bringing her back to me.
She had gone to the moon and now they were bringing her back. She was coming back.
Everyone rushed this way and that preparing the room. All hands were on deck and the PICU attending was called.
Tyler and I sat still in the middle of it all. Everyone was moving quickly, but - for us - time stood still. We held our breath and we held our hands.
And she came back.