Tuesday, March 5, 2013
mommy confession: scared to pieces
two weeks after our perfect daughter was born, the doctor told us she wasn't quite perfect. her left eye that hadn't yet opened all the way wasn't just a temporary effect of delivery—it was permanent. congenital ptosis, the doctor called it. a teeny tiny muscle in evelyn's teeny tiny eyelid hadn't developed completely before birth, leaving her with a moderate droop that covered part of her pupil. the only way to fix it was surgery, the pediatrician said. she gave us a business card for one of just two pediatric ophthalmologists in our city.
the ophthalmologist told us not to worry. that it's not uncommon. that evelyn can see fine, it's just cosmetic, and that she likely won't need surgery until age four or five, before it becomes a social problem.
a social problem.
as i cradled my weeks-old baby in the ophthalmologist's office, strings cinched tight around my aching heart. the thought of anyone teasing my perfect girl because of a 3mm eyelid droop made me sad and furious and irritated all at once. i wanted to protect her forever.
from then on, we had appointments with the eye doctor every six months so evie could have her eyes dilated and the doctor could ensure she was still making an effort to see out from under that low lid: lifting her chin, raising her eyebrows, things like that.
all was well until last wednesday.
last wednesday, the ophthalmologist told us it was time to schedule the surgery. evie wasn't working as hard to use her left eye anymore, and it was obvious she couldn't see as well out of it.
i almost didn't believe it. i thought i'd have years to prepare. as the doctor's words sank in, i was overwhelmed with every emotion from terror to relief. i'd done my research. i knew the benefits and risks of having this surgery at such a young age.
we were handed another business card and told to meet with another doctor—an oculoplastic surgeon—this monday for a consultation.
crossing our fingers he's extraordinarily skilled and well reviewed, because we wouldn't leave our perfect girl in the hands of anyone less.