Saturday, September 4, 2010

Wesley's eyes...

...are a deep, beautiful blue, and they gaze with wonder at the world around him. However, after this week we finally have an answer regarding whether or not he has ocular albinism like Timothy, and it wasn't the answer we wanted to hear.

At almost eight weeks, he developed significant nystagmus (wiggly eyes, for lack of a better explanation) and we were pretty sure he did indeed have the disorder. A trip to the pediatric ophthalmologist confirmed our fears.

So what does this mean for our family, and especially for Wesley? Those of you who know Timothy will agree with me that he hardly "suffers" from ocular albinism. He's a very normal 5-year-old boy in many ways, and well above average in terms of intelligence. I know I'm his mom and I would say that if he were a dull-witted little twit, but trust me, he isn't. He's a sharp-witted little twit, in fact! When we compare Timothy's babyhood with Wesley's, there are a lot of significant differences. For one thing, Wesley's eyes are responsive to light. His pupils dilate and contract normally, and he flinches at bright lights. Timothy had extremely slow and reduced dilation and contraction of his pupils, and did not respond at all to bright lights when he was an infant. For another thing, the nystagmus developed much later in Wesley than it did in Timothy. Finally, Wesley smiles. Timothy didn't smile until he was much older because babies who don't see don't know to mirror their parents' smiles.

We think, and our doctors agree, that Wesley is seeing objects, if only roughly. He can follow toys or people with his eyes somewhat, and his smiles tell us that he does see us. We're hoping this means that he will be even less affected by his abnormal genes than Timothy is, and may have near-normal vision in time. And really, it is only time that will tell. We are full of hope for his future, full of joy at being given such a sweet, wonderful baby, and full of thankfulness for every single smile.