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.)