I have been reading a lot of other micro-preemie blogs lately… they all seem to have similar posts that begin with “there’s good news and bad news.” I think it’s so common because that’s exactly what it’s like… all the time. Good news – you have a beautiful child. Bad news – he’s in the NICU. Good news – he’s hit some milestone. Bad news – something bad showed up on a test. And so on.
That said – what do you want first? We’ll start off with the good news – Benjamin is now 3 lbs 10 oz – and growing fast. He is slowly weaning off of the temperature controlled isolette and he has started his physical therapy (his first session was today and it went very well – the therapist was pleased).
Bad news – Benjamin had another eye exam today and they found severe ROP in both eyes (follow link to get a full explanation). Since it is aggressive they want to do laser surgery tomorrow if it advances any more it could lead to the retina detaching and could cause blindness. We were hoping this would be one chapter in the preemie handbook we’d be able to skip, but here we are. Hopefully the laser surgery works – if not they have other treatment options and are monitoring him closely. So fingers crossed.
The other thing about reading preemie blogs, especially the ones that have gone on for a while is that you see yourself in the early posts – you think, “Oh, I remember being where that parent was – praying for kidney function, celebrating 2 lbs, getting off the ventilator…” But then you read the later posts and see possible futures. Returns to the hospitals, being terrified of the flu, surgeries, deafness, blindness, cerebral palsy, wheelchairs. And I tell you what – I know I try to keep posts brave and light, but I am really scared for Ben. Yes – I am so happy we’ve come this far and we will love Benjamin no matter what, but I pray so hard that he will come out of this problem-free. And at the same time I know that is really unlikely.
That said – if you read further in those other blogs – even with the kids with all the problems I listed and more – and you see their smiling faces in all the photos posted on their 3rd birthdays and playing in the park and just being a kid and growing up. It’s hard then to worry too much about it.