Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pre Op Count Down

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.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Now & Then

Two weeks. It’s crazy to think there was time in my life when I didn’t know how to change a diaper, much less change the medical tape that molds her tender tissue day by day. But in two weeks my precious Ondine will have her first surgery.
A lot of folks see her, and her device that looks like different things to different people. some ask if its oxygen, some recognize it on sight. nearly everyone assumes I can’t wait for surgery. That’s not entirely true.  I’m a little scared.
When she was first born I asked “can you see her face?” I must have asked multiple times, I honestly don’t remember. But I asked enough for my mom to bring it up one night when I broke down. She looked at me, telling her in tears how beautiful I thought my daughter was and gently reminded me I asked. And when the answer was yes and then the follow up was “does she have it?” The answer was yes. Then my mom asked me if my heart didn’t break a little. The answer was yes.
And then I saw her face. Her perfect little lip shaped beautifully like a heart. Strong legs that fully extended and pressed against my belly.
Her neck was so strong she lifted her head to look around moments out of the womb. She was perfect. I know I’ve said that before. I’ve written a lot on it. And I realize that all parents find their own children to be perfect. But in that moment I was challenged.
Now, 3 months later- hours of sleepless nights, days of frustration followed by moments of perfect glee we are just about there. So of course as our new journey begins I look back to where it all began. I’m shocked to see the changes. Because I’m with her everyday I hardly noticed them. Her whole face transformed. Her eyes became more clear, her nose formed a real structure and her perfect little lips got even closer together.
So we wait. Patiently for the OR to open its doors. A whole new set of challenges await us. But I’m ready. I think :)