Monday, October 16, 2006

Nothing cuter than a baby wearing glasses

There was a post recently over at The Egret's Nest describing her daughter's new glasses. I commented about Isabelle, and thought I would tell the tale of a baby who needed glasses.
(Thanks to Jim, aka The Yak Herder, for sending this photo from the dim past)
To begin, we must start at Isabelle's birth, October 30, 2001. After laboring for 38 hours (that's not a misprint...38 hours) Isabelle came into the world with a bruise in the shape of my pelvic bone on her face, but otherwise was okay. Later that day, a pediatrician came to check her over. He noticed something on her left eye, and told me to get her to an ophthalmologist. Now, after all I had been through, a doctor telling me that something might be wrong with my newborn seemed like a cruel joke.
At Isabelle's first check up with her new pediatrician, he recommended a good pediatric ophthalmologist. And off we went.
Diagnosis: A dermoid tumor. Imagine a beautiful blue eye, with a white oval straddling the iris and white of the eye. That's what my baby had.
The doctor told me that it could be removed later, if it bothered her. Sometimes these tumors grow hair, which is of course very irritating to the eye every time you blink.
At six months, we had a check up again.
After he examined the tumor, he also checked her vision. Now, many people have asked me how in the world could you check a six-month old's vision, if she can't read a chart? Answer: The same way they check an adult's eyes...that little light they shine in there, makes a bar of light across the retina. If the bar is fuzzy, they adjust it until it's clear. That tells them to what degree the near-or-far sightedness is.
Isabelle was three times more farsighted than a typical baby her age.
I went home and cried into Geoff's shoulder. The tumor I could live with, somehow. But the idea of glasses on my child just messed me up.
So, her first pair of glasses came when she was six months old, and she has gone through I don't know how many frames. They began with hooks on the earpieces, to keep them on her face (thank goodness no goofy headbands). And she accepted them easier than most adults would.
And here she is, a little older, showing off those brilliant blue eyes, encased in glass.

Post script: She had the tumor removed when she was a year old. The terror I felt as I held her down while they administered anesthesia is for another post.
(I will dig up the intra-op photos to show just how wild these tumors can be...it contained fat cells and three hairs.)

7 comments:

LauraHinNJ said...

Gosh that must have been scary for you both!

She's just as cute behind those glasses, wouldn't you say?

Anonymous said...

It IS scary to hand your child over for surgery, but I doubt you regret it. What a lovely baby and beautiful little lady is Isabelle!

-llm. said...

Utterly adorable! I'll post photos of Ruthie in her glasses as soon as they come in.

Oh, and uh, 40 hours of labor and THEN an emergency C-section. :) It was FUN!

(But, totally worth it!)

And, I'm not really sure I want to see intro-op photos of an eye tumor that has hair in it. Hey, you could have done a Birdchick style contest out of it -- "Guess what this is . . . "

Mary said...

Susan,

The first time I saw photos of your girls I remember saying out loud, "beautiful little girls". Thanks for sharing Isabelle's story and I look forward reading your follow-up.

Eyeglasses enhance loveliness!

Susan Gets Native said...

Laura:
Scary, scary, acary! But we survived.

Lynne:
I have never regretted the surgery. Her eyes look 100% normal now.

-llm:
Okay, you win the labor contest. Good Lord. Can't wait to see Ruthie's new specs! And I wish I had thought of an ID contest! I love Sharon's contests. She's so off center, I just love that in a person.

Mary:
Follow up to come when I have the energy. Thanks...I think they are beautiful, too!

LauraHinNJ said...

I had eye issues as a baby (something like being cross-eyed) and my parents were too afraid to allow the surgery, so instead decided for me to wear a patch and then glasses.

The problem more or less corrected itself, although I can still see the cross when I see myself in photos. Anyway - I hated glasses as a kid and really need them now, but hate to think of wearing them again.

NatureWoman said...

What a little cutie-pie! I feel really bad for what you all had to go through though. I'm glad everything is good now!