My last post spoke of the baby we learned in the fall of 1996 that we would be welcoming into our tiny family. She was joyfully greeted in August of 1997!
We enjoyed getting to know each other and learning on the fly how to be parents (we’d never done anything like this before!). I’m a “learn on my own” kind of person so I read a lot. I was reading the baby books, and happy that our daughter was meeting her milestones on time. Except one. She should have around 6 weeks of age, or so, be tracking objects with her eyes when the objects were moved in a linear path within her eyesight. She didn’t do this consistently. So I brought this up to her pediatrician at her 2 month well-baby visit.
At this visit, her doctor also couldn’t get her to track objects. So he proceeded to investigate a little with an exam of her eyes. He was unsure of what he was encountering, and wanted us to take our daughter to a specialist. This well-baby visit was on a Friday; our appointment with the pediatric ophthalmologist wasn’t until Monday. Which is logical and reasonable. But that was two whole days to worry and wonder what was going on!
When Monday finally came, my husband and I took our daughter to the appointment with the specialist. There are details I may expound on another day, but what I’ll share now changed our lives forever. After a gut-wrenching, thorough eye exam on a two month old (it wasn’t pretty, I’m here to tell ya), the ophthalmologist informed us that our daughter had an eye condition called coloboma. He explained that when they eyes are being formed in utero, at about 6 weeks gestation, hers didn’t fully form. The retina didn’t grow the way it should have, and she had big holes in her retina. He further explained that where there’s no retina, there’s no vision. He gave us a pretty bleak prognosis. The doctor didn’t give us much room to get our hopes up for her to have much vision, if any at all.
That felt like a swift kick to the midriff. Gasping for air.
Way more questions than answers. We’d have to wait and see how it would all play out for her.
And so, we had a lot to learn about how to care for a vision impaired child. We had just barely figured out how to care for an infant, period. Now we had one with special needs.
But God wasn’t done yet. No. In fact, He had just begun.