In addition to having follow-ups with cardiology, all premature infants have their eyes examined several times during their NICU stay and then additional follow-ups after they are discharged because eye and lung development are some of the last things that occur while the babe is in the womb growing and growing.
The eye exams are rather invasive and test to see if the blood vessels have fully developed in the eyes. When June was in the unit, they would always ask parents to leave when it was time for the eye exam.
June had two eye exams while in the unit and then we had two exams after discharge where we took her into the eye clinic. Lew asked the first time if we needed to leave and the doc said if it was his kid he would leave but his wife would definitely stay. So not really knowing how to take that we stayed. I won’t go into the details, but I totally see why he left. They had us bundle her up in a swaddle blanket and the aide held sat in the exam chair you normally would sit in and held june in her lab. The doc then came around and performed the exam which was excruciating for June and she screamed the entire time. Thankfully Lew was with me that time. The blood vessels were not fully developed so we had to go back. I was solo the second time and it was rough, but thankfully she got the all clear.
This year we were grateful that her appointment went amazingly well and she doesn’t have to have another exam until before she goes to Kindergarten. This is definitely not the norm as many Premature babies deal with eye issues. Just another thing we are extra thankful for.