Having just gone through all of the routine newborn exams with Grace who is now just 17 months old, one of the most eye-opening (pun intended) things about bringing home a preemie is how many eye exams they face.
While in the NICU, Emerson underwent weekly exams for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) . Typically the exams progress until 50 weeks, but we were fortunate enough to work with Dr. Moshfeghi at Stanford's Byers Eye Institute to rule out ROP at just 40 weeks. This came as a huge relief as many premature babies have difficulty with their vision...and having a close up of her baby blues was an added bonus.
While it seems we have graduated from the ROP screenings (fortunately as the dilation + exams + wait time equated to about 2 hours) we now have been referred to Lucille Packard Children's Hospital (where we were admitted this weekend) to work with opthamologists to see if she will need glasses immediately to correct her vision and to look for lazy eye (amblyopia/strabismus). Again, as Emme has had well over a dozen eye exams in her short 11 weeks, I find fascinating that Grace still hasn't had one!