Monday July 22nd was our pre-op. It was a bit overwhelming, as they tend to be when there’s more than one stop. We first met with the surgeon and his assistant. They told us roughly what to expect and complimented her progress so far. I guess if there was a poster child for NAM molding, Ondine would be it.
Next up was the social worker, I think to best judge our mental state. Since Ondine is such a chill baby 90% of the time, we passed with flying colors. Though I can’t help but feel an ant under a microscope during them. I talk too much trying to show how awesome we are at parenting. It’s exhausting but I know what kind of power a social worker, even a friendly one, can wield so I ‘m not taking any chances. Finally the nurses, to go over the Post-Op process and feeding. They ask us to feed her without her device in.
Ondine has become so accustomed to her device that it’s essentially become a part of her mouth. Think about it. You’ve had tape on your face since you were two weeks old and a retainer in your mouth covering a hole since you were 3 weeks. 4 months later the adults in their infinite wisdom decide it’s time to take this away. She screamed, she couldn’t eat, she’d smack the bottle away. She wanted nothing to do with it but she wanted her device back in. I’m so glad the nurse came AFTER the social worker.
Dejected and exhausted, we’re sent home with instructions to leave the device out as often as possible. This lasts until she wakes up again. Half a bottle of spilt milk and hysterical tears later my husband and I both decide that’s enough. Tape, device, bottle. And silence. The sounds of a happy baby getting enough to eat without any trouble. I’ll risk the trouble later.
Next night was the blessing of our first feature film. It was only appropriate to bring short stuff with us, she did after all make her presences known one week into production. And while we celebrated with our cast and crew, Ondine journeyed with us. A few people commented on how lucky we were to have her with us. Many of our film friends have been following her journey and it was their first opportunity to meet her. I think it surprised a few that we included her but having grown up on film sets myself it was only logical. Ondine’s journey is our journey. For the last year we’ve been making a movie. During that time we’ve also brought a child into this world. Post production for both has been a nightmare with taping, editing, surgery consults and very little sleep for both. But at the end of the evening we realized that the one prepared us for the other. So with two days left until surgery we celebrate the completion of our first feature and anticipate the next step in the journey for both Ondine and us.