July 10, 2006

Here she was around 4 lbs (probably 2.5 months old) and she had already been moved to a room for less critically ill babies. She was pretty stable at this point, mostly on the nasal canula but every once in a while she would need to go back on the CPAP or even the ventilator which reminds me of one of the scariest moments in her hospital stay. She was I think about 2 months and doing well but all of a sudden she needed to be on the ventilator again and at the highest settings was still not responding well. One of her lungs collapsed and it looked like there was not much more they could do. I was visiting her at that point and than returned home and sent Dominic to go see her. When he got there, there were all these doctors and nurses doing a kind of CPR on her (manually pumping oxygen with a bag or something like that) and things looked bad, bad. They finally saw on the ultrasound that a tube was inserted wrong in her lung and they reinserted it and she started doing well again. The nurses had warned me from the begining that it would be a long road for her and for us until she was ready to come home and that every preemie's first weeks or months are like a rollercoaster ride, when things look like they just got better something else happens.
Another scary moment was when she was diagnosed with Retinopathy of Prematurity (an eye disease many preemies develop that can lead to retinal detachment and blindness). Her ROP started at stage 0, than every time she had a new eye exam it was worse and worse: stage1, than 2 than 3. At stage 3 doctors are already considering laser surgery to decrease the chances of retinal detachment. Stage 4 is the beginning of detachment (babies who get there might end up with a very bad case of Myopia) and stage 5 is basically total retinal detachment and blindness. When babies get to stage 3 advanced, as I said, they are considered for surgery. Even then it is not guaranteed that it will save their vision and all kids who had surgery end up with a bad myopia in the best case.
So when Cecilia got to stage 3 I remember spending a few sleepless nights researching on the internet for any info about blindness in children. Dominic and I were preparing for the possibility of having a blind child. It was a real posibillity.
The next exam showed no progress, so the ophtalmologist decided that there was no need for laser surgery and after that the ROP kept regressing until we got to the point (in January after Cecilia came home) when the ophtalmologist told me to bring her in for her next eye control when she's 5 and ready for Kindergarten...really...no Myopia, no eyeglasses, perfect vision.
Did I mention that ever since she was born tons of people were praying for her, even people we never met. That must have helped. Posted by Picasa

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