Last week Matilda and I made a girl's trip to Syracuse to have her adenoids and tonsils removed. While we were waiting in our pre-op room, time began to slow. That feeling is all too familiar and I was reminded to enjoy the moment for what it was.
I had been up late the night before cleaning the rental house and packing up the last few things left at the house. The kitchen seemed like this never ending project. I thought I was done several times before discovering something new to clean, or pack up, or throw away. The night turned to morning, but I was happy to shut that door for the last time and move on.
I took a three hour rest and then got up early to shower and tend to a few last minute work emails, write a blog post, and pack for our hospital stay.
So there I stood, already exhausted, trying to entertain a very active and hungry Matilda for hours before her surgery. And just like that I remembered what if felt like those first four months of her life. The worry and headache was more profound, but the physical exhaustion was much less. It made me feel for all the friends I have made staying at the RMH in NYC with young children experiencing cancer. Having a newborn in the hospital is absolutely tragic, but a young child is painful in a whole different set of ways.
The next few days were really hard. Holding Matilda in the recovery room after her surgery was all too familiar. The juggling of wires, the lost look in her eyes, the smells, the beeps and alarms. All of a sudden, I felt like time had stood still - like we were still waiting to know if she would survive.
She was as brave and mighty as ever, but she was also hurting, confused, and wanting her brother. We FaceTimed later that day and her eyes filled with big crocodile tears as she tried to speak, telling him that she was at the doctor's. Parker's sweet little voice continues to echo in my mind, "It's okay Sister, I know you are there and you are going to be just fine. We will come and get you when the doctors say you can come home. It's okay Sister, don't cry, Mom is with you."
All the emotions, all the exhaustion, and it never ended - it hasn't ended.
Matilda fought the pain that first day and night with all her might, but she needed to be held, to be rocked, to be sung to, and to be reassured. The feeling of helplessness brought back so much pain, but it also brought back my strength and determination get her through it all.
We got back late Wednesday night and things seem to be going well. Matilda is slowly gaining her appetite back, but still wants to be held and snuggled nearly constantly. It doesn't help that her lab numbers are still a little off, so getting poked is a regular occurrence.
Thank you for all the love, prayers, and support. I know that this was a simple procedure that happens all the time, but nothing is simple when it comes to Matilda. Each of those well wishes really did mean so much to us.
At the end of the day, it was a huge reminder of how lucky we are to have Matilda and a reminder of what it took to keep her with us.