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Numb

We are now eight days in and I can't even begin to describe the emotional ups and downs that we have been through.

Two Fridays ago, Misty started having contractions at about 6:00am. We called the doctor and she said that we should head to the hospital. We got to the hospital at 8:00am and Misty got hooked up to all the monitors and the nurse said it wasn't going to be too much longer. Misty was in labor for about three more hours before she started pushing. She pushed for about 45 minutes before the doctor came in. One push later, Isabella was here and laying on Misty's tummy. We were both amazed at how quickly the process took. When the nurse took Isabella away to start the process of weighing and measuring, I can still remember her making a comment about how her right eye looked swollen shut. At that point, they handed her to me and I started my mental checklist...

Ten fingers. Check.
Ten toes. Check.
So far, so good.

It wasn't too much later that Isabella opened her left eye and I remember looking it and thinking that it looked a little strange, but I also knew that she had just had one of the most difficult journeys that she was ever going to make. A little bit later, the nurse came in and said it was time for her first bath. I went in with her and I mentioned something to the nurse and she looked and said that she had seen strange things with newborn eyes in the past and that we shouldn't worry about it. For some reason, though, it just didn't set right with me. When we made it back into the room, I continued my mental checklist...

Two ears. Check.
Two eyes...

She still hadn't opened her right eye and I already had some concerns over her left eye. I tried to get her to open her right eye and I couldn't get her to do it. I felt the eye lid and didn't feel anything substantial underneath and that is when I started to get concerned. I mentioned it to the nurse again and she said she would ask one of the nursery nurses to come in and check it out. She came in and took a look and very quickly told me that we needed to talk to a specialist. They called Dr. Grin and she said that she would be there in about an hour and a half and we started the countdown. That was one of the longest 90 minutes I have ever experienced.

Dr Grin examined Isabella and came in and told us the news... Microphthalmia in her left eye and Peter's Anomaly, Coloboma and a cataract in her right. Since that time, I don't think Misty and I have rested at all. We have been running on pure adrenaline and caffeine.

Shortly thereafter, they took Isabella down for a CT scan of her brain and eyes. Other than what they had seen already, they didn't find anything out of the ordinary.

On Saturday, they took Isabella for an ultrasound of her abdomen to see if there was anything out of order. Once again, everything was good.

We got to go home on Sunday and actually had a free day on Monday.

On Tuesday, we went to Children's Mercy Hospital for an MRI. That made for a long day and we didn't get the results right away, but when we did, the news was good.

On Wednesday, we had to go back to Children's Mercy for an echocardiogram. That was rather disconcerting to me because as we sat there, it looked like the tech was going over the same areas repeatedly, but I couldn't tell at all what I was looking at. Later that afternoon, we went to the pediatricain's office and got the results of the echocardiogram. She has a small hole between two chambers of her heart, but that isn't uncommon and usually closes up on its own.

On Thursday, we met with Dr. Grin again and she examined Isabella and said that she still hadn't seen any clearing of the cornea and that she would try to pull some strings and get us seen at the University of Iowa Eye Center while we were down for her fist conformer fitting. She said that it would be an initial screening and that they would make other arrangements at that point for Isabella to be seen again. That night, we drove to Des Moines and stayed there.

On Friday, we headed in to Corallville, IA to meet with the ocularist and get her first conformer fitting. On the way there, we got a call from the university and said that they had time for us. Since I didn't know how long the appointment at the ocularist was going to take, I told them I'd call back and let them know. The conformer fitting itself was somewhat anticlimactic. It took 15 minutes and she had it in. We grabbed lunch and went over to the university.

We only expected to be there an hour or so and figured that we would be back home by 8:00 or so. We were very wrong.

One doctor called another doctor and they called even more doctors. They moved Isabella between rooms and did more tests. The next thing we knew, we were talking to a surgeon about the risks and rewards of a corneal transplant. I'm sure that the entire time, I looked like a gaping fish... I haven't been walking into these appointments without a list of questions and I wasn't ready for what he was asking. The doctor gave us all the details and then gave us a date.

On May 15, Isabella is going to have a corneal transplant.

After some paperwork, Misty and I got in the car and drove home feeling more hopeful than we had since the doctor had first mentioned that there were issues.

The numbness is slowly wearing off.

More to come...

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