matilda post- liver transplant

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 - matilda post- liver transplant

The medical side of things.

** warning, this post is a bit graphic and not for the squeamish **
When they brought Matilda back from the operating room, I knew a little of what to expect. I knew that she would remain “open” for a few days while everything settled into place. I knew that she would be paralyzed and full of new IVs.

I knew all of that.

But I didn’t know what her skin would already be much lighter than the hours before her transplant. Covered in blood and as messy as anything – she was the most beautiful that I had ever seen her. She glowed with a new light and I felt like I was seeing her for the first time. And really, I was. This was the new Matilda. Inside her little body there was a piece of a different baby. A piece of someone that now lived on through her. And that was beautiful.

So as Dr. Satchel went through piece by piece, explaining so carefully what everything was, how it worked, and whatever else – none of it seemed scary or gory or sad. Instead, all of it seemed beautiful, magnificent, and magical.

My six-week-old baby laid before me with her abdomen wide open, covered in a surgical wrap and bleeding into little drains placed deep inside of her. She had several new IVs, one in her neck with two ports and another in her forearm. She was hooked up to 20 some machines, pumping her with medicine, fluids, and nutrients. And of course – she remained on life support (a respirator), rhythmically pumping her lungs with air.

She was beautiful and so full of life – literally.

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