Dear Henry, can you see me now?
When I first went into labor at 23 weeks 1 day and we were given the statistics of survival and everything that could come along with his life as a micro preemie, we were terrified1. "If he does survive he has an 80% chance of having some major complications in his life. The top 3 possibilities for a problem involve hearing, seeing and respiratory issues".
So when we found out that the eye test was at 31 weeks we were nervous. His eyes have been open and looking around for weeks now, and while I feel like he looks at me you never really know what and if he sees.
Matt laid his head down at the side of Henry's bed and they stared at each other, and just a few days ago the light was bright and I shielded him and I swear we shared a 30 second eye contact.
We are reminded every day that every sense is a gift and I wouldn't get too excited until someone confirmed that he had the gift of sight.
Theres a thing called retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), it's a disease that effects the retina and can cause blindness. Most of the eye maturing happens in the last 12 weeks in a pregnancy, well Henry missed that time. Babies born before 31 weeks, that need oxygen and are under 2 1/2 pounds are at biggest risk for developing this disease. The only way to detect this is with an eye exam.
We have been told by quite a few people not to watch the eye exam, it looks tortuous and while it's uncomfortable for the baby is horrifying for the parents to watch. The doctor uses an instrument that basically pulls the lid open and somehow exams the back of the eye. I didn't watch this.... Matt did.
The nurse dilated his eyes at 7am, then again at 7:15. The eye doctor showed up around 9 with his scary contraption. I sat down and listened to Henry's little whimper and watched Matts face while the doctor dug around looking for problems. it only took a total of 3 minutes, and the doctor stepped back....
All looks good so far no problems to report, no ROP (yet), yippee! So my question had to be asked out loud "Can you tell if he is blind? Can he see?".... He answered with a little chuckle and a "Yes, he can see" No better then any other baby but no worse!
Another obstacle bites the dusk.... eat that statistics!