Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I've heard a couple doctors say that over the years about S. "Well for a 25 weeker, he's the picture of health and there are not problems we see right now". That's what they say. I do find myself watching him, I've always been aware that I'm watching his milestones, his hand-eye coordination, his upper body strength, watching his eyes, trying to read his mind as he is concentrating on something. Always watching, always waiting for that other shoe to drop.
So far it hasn't. He is talking like crazy. Eats things just fine. Plays like any other kid on the playground. And if you didn't know him personally, you wouldn't know he was born 15 weeks early. Sure, he's thin and tall, but so was I when I was his age. He's very outgoing, will introduce himself to anyone and loves to make friends. I hope he makes friends as easily as he grows.
We've been wondering if we should tell his Pre-K teachers that he was a preemie. I don't want him to be unfairly judged before he has a chance to show what he can do. If the doctor says that he's not in need for any intervention or physical therapy or anything like that, then I guess we will "forget" to add that on his Pre-K application. But if something does come up, then I will go into full mommy mode and tell them about his birth.
For a 25 weeker, he really didn't have that hard of a time in the NICU. He was vented for 8 days, Cpap for a few weeks, and then regular nasal cannula giving him a tiny bit of O2. There was one time that they thought he had NEC (a sometimes deadly infection of the intestines), but that ended up just being some trapped gas and everything went back to normal. Then we found out he had to have surgery for his ROP (Retinopathy of prematurity). ROP is where the blood vessels in the eyes don't grow and instead start to form scars behind the eyes. ROP can lead to blindness, retinal detachment, and is the leading cause of vision problems for preemies. So we knew that we were in big trouble when they said S needed laser surgery to repair his eyes and make sure he doesn't go blind. I knew he would have problems coming off that stupid vent after his eye surgery. And he did. It took another 8 days for him to come off that thing. He had a partially collapsed lung, and bronchial spasms where he clamped down and his O2 levels would plummet and they would have to bag him manually. That happened 3 times. I lost it every time it happened. I went from having a frail baby, to a much healthier baby back to a frail baby again. When he did finally come off the vent, he had stridor, feeding problems and had to re-learn everything he had down pat before surgery.
He has to go to the eye doc for his 4 year check up, but as of right now, his eyes look fine. He might not have much peripheral vision after all is said and done, but if that's all he'll lose. Then we'll take it and be happy.
I just tend to think that he should be allowed to show people who he is and what he can do before anyone makes a judgement about him based on his sketchy start to life. Most people want to think that just because they were born early and small then there is "something wrong with them". That's just not a fair judgement. Even if there was "something wrong with them", these are still kids, still adults that are going to lead this world one day, and make productive members of society, and even if they don't due to major things being wrong, then they are still the light in someone's life.
That's all that should ever count anyway!