With last night’s sad events still weighing heavily on our shoulders, we couldn’t have been more excited today to hear and then see with our own eyes that our baby boys have FINALLY been moved out of their isolettes and into a crib TOGETHER!! What an absolutely heartwarming and comforting sight for us to see our boys snuggling together out in an open crib. I’ve become so accustomed to asking a nurse for permission to take them out of their isolettes when I want to hold them, it seems surreal to me that we can now talk to, touch, or pick them up whenever we want to. The nurses swaddled them together so their body heat would help to keep both of them warm and they seemed to love it. Of course they were occasionally batting each other in the eyes and mouth and one of them would get mad and turn bright red, which provided a nice laugh for Mommy. I was absolutely exhausted today and had a terrible day at work but as soon as I walked into that NICU and saw them together, it was like nothing else in the world mattered. They continue to sustain and carry me through this awful nightmare.
Earlier this week, our little men had yet another important eye exam as they are now getting to the age where the damage caused by their prematurity will become evident. This disease is called Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and virtually all micro preemies born at the age and weight that our boys were will suffer some degree of it. When babies are born prematurely, the blood vessels of the retina are underdeveloped and this can lead to the development and growth of abnormal blood vessels which thereby cause bleeding and scar tissue. This scar tissue can eventually attach to the retina and pull it to the point of detachment, thus causing blindness. The boys have been receiving bi-monthly eye exams for the past few weeks and the only diagnosis they’ve received has been that their eyes are still “too immature” to determine anything. However, on Tuesday Logan was diagnosed with Stage 1, Zone 2 (no plus disease) in his right eye and his left eye is still “immature.” ROP is classified using 5 stages, with stages 1 & 2 being mild and usually resolving on its own without the need for further treatment while stages 3 & 4 are much more severe and require the need for laser therapy. Stage 5 usually leads to blindness. There are three zones which are used to describe the areas of the retina that can be affected by ROP – Zone I refers to the most anterior zone of the retina while Zone III is the posterior zone. In general, ROP that involves a more posterior zone of the eye is more severe than ROP that involves a more anterior zone (e.g. Zone I disease is generally worse than Zone II). So Logan’s ROP is still at the mildest stage but has moved from the back of the retina into the middle zone. The disease is progressive so they will both have another exam in 2 weeks and we can only hope and pray that Logan’s eyes will remain relatively stable. I can’t bear to watch him struggle and fight through yet another terrible consequence of his prematurity. I’m hoping we can be spared on this one.