Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Babe in Glasses

We have been on quite a journey with Eloise over the past month.

It all started at her 15 month appointment, when- after doing the flashlight-in-the-eyes exam- our doctor mentioned that Eloise had an 'abnormal red eye reflex" in her left eye.


I stopped the doctor right there and asked her to repeat what she had said as I feverishly wrote it down. She didn't act like it was a big deal, but then handed me the card to a pediatric opthamologist should we want to investigate it further.

When I called into the opthamologist's office, they got us an appointment within a week, saying that when kids got this diagnosis they wanted to get them in 'as soon as possible.'

Cue me getting on Google and FREAKING OUT about all of the possible dire outcomes this could result in, the scariest of which was a rare form of cancer called Retinblastinoma.

Of course the only appointment time the specialist had was at Eloise's nap time, and I knew the appointment was going to be extremely challenging. BC couldn't join me because he had a day of golf planned with the boys, and so it was I went solo with an overtired baby to the appointment. We drove 25 minutes to get there, waited another 20 to initially be seen, then had drops put in Eloise's eyes to dilate them for the exam. We then had to wait another 30 minutes for the drops to go into effect, at which time I had an overtired partially blind child running rampant throughout the exam room.

When the exam itself started, I had to hold Eloise's arms down as the doctor looked in detail at her eyes. That kid was NOT HAPPY.

The good, relieving news was that the diagnosis wasn't anything tragic or life threatening (thank GOD). The bad news was that Eloise's left eye has pretty bad vision, +4 on the farsightedness scale (meaning things up close aren't seen well with that eye). She has what is called anisometropic amblyopia, which means one eye sees drastically differently than the other. The risk there is that the brain will tend to use the 'good' eye and forget about the bad one, causing that bad eye's vision to worsen and sometimes causing the bad eye to go lazy and start crossing (which is often when parents first notice a problem).

What this meant for Eloise is that she needed corrective glasses ASAP to "wake up" her brain and have it start using the 'bad' eye in equal amounts to the 'good' eye. Her left eye will never get better, as this is something she was born with and has to do with the left eye actually being shorter in length.

I am so grateful this was caught early, but admittedly the diagnosis sent BC and I into mourning. Our beautiful little girl with the most beautiful big blue eyes would have to be in glasses all of her life (until she was old enough to wear a contact or eventually get surgery). We worried about her being teased by other kids or perceived as having something wrong with her by other adults. I started scanning the playgrounds at Iyla's school for kids in glasses, and would find maaaaaybe one in the crowd, and usually a boy at that.

I spent a few days in mourning before entering into my Mama Bear proactive research mode. I joined a FB group for parents of kids in glasses and started to learn all I could about kids' glasses brands, where to find them, how to get them fit correctly, etc.

It took a few weeks for me to finally get to a store with Eloise to try frames on, as I'd been waiting for the perfect time when BC could go as well. However, time was of the essence so I ended up going during that Week from Hell when BC was out of town.

Eloise was mostly a trooper trying on the frames, distracted by trying to eat all of the crayons she found in the store.

Here's the pair that was my favorite- frames that didn't compete with her beautiful eyes:

We also tried on some librarian-esque varieties:

As well as the most popular brand of baby glasses, Miraflex (due to their indestructibility):

These were a big NO for my baby! Cute on some kids, just not for Eloise.

There was a $300 price tag attached to ordering my favorite frames with prescription lenses, so I bit the bullet and put in an order.

I then discovered discount online frame sites! Several of these sites actually had a brand I was VERY interested in that no local stores carried- Dilli Dalli- in sizes small enough for Eloise. And free returns if they didn't fit! So I went about ordering up a pair of frames, and LOVED them when they came in:

Dilli Dalli Sprout frames (not yet with corrective lenses)

I then found out I could order frames WITH the prescription lenses (also with free returns!) for a fraction of the in-store price, to the tune of $90-$120 all in. Our first full set arrived just after Thanksgiving, Dilli Dalli Munchkin frames:

We LOVE them! They seem to tilt down a little to the left, which I hope can be fixed with an in-store adjustment (which I'll ask to be done when I go pick up the $300 glasses- least the guy can do, amIright?!).

The new challenge quickly became getting Eloise to KEEP THE GLASSES ON. She is in the height of toddler-hood and stubborn by nature, so Day 1 of glasses saw her continually pulling them off and trying to eat them.

However, yesterday on Day 2 she did MUCH better. I did ALL THE BRIBES to get her to keep them on, mostly telling her that once glasses were on she could watch her beloved Super Simple Songs videos.

And it WORKED.

She was still pulling them off every now and again, but we got through the majority of the day in glasses.

 Watching videos. She did get called "handsome" when out on a walk, which quickly saw me changing her into a pink shirt. ; )

This morning when I sat her on her potty I said we needed to say "good morning" to her glasses and she put them on her with NO FUSS.


And so it is- my baby girl is now a glasses wearing baby, and darn it if we don't think she is the cutest glasses wearing baby there ever was!

Onward we go.....

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