Misfortune. It can come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it is something slight, a misunderstanding that gets blown out of proportion. Other times it is a whole lot more serious. Usually when it is the latter, you never see it coming. A curve-ball right out of left field juts it way in your direction and before you have a chance to react it beams you in the head. This was pretty much the story of my life right?
Wrong. I had gone through misfortunes in my life sure, but this… This was more than all of those combined. How cruel the fates could be. I never saw it coming. Maybe I should have, but I didn’t.
To look at her, my darling Miracle was the most perfect baby you had ever seen. Her fingers were long and lovely. Her feet had just the right amount of arch, her hair was starting to grow in a lovely shade of teal, but those eyes. There was something about her eyes that were…different.
1 week earlier
Cello and I had decided to make an appointment with the pediatrician, not long after our dear Miracle was home with us. Something was very odd about her behavior. Being new to parenting and just wanting to be on the safe side, we made the appointment to discuss it further with a professional.
I was a nervous wreck as we waited. I kept eying Cello and then Tranquil. Finally Cello noticed my erratic movements and gave me a smile. “She’s gonna be fine.”
“Ah lets see here Mr. and Mrs. Chiffon and little Tranquil?”
“Yes. That’s us.”
“Wonderful. Welcome. Welcome. I am Dr. Bell Pepper.”
“Nice to meet you.”
“Yes. Now what seems to be the problem?”
“Well Doctor. She is not focusing on anything.”
“What I mean is. She never seems to look at us or anything that we put in front of her. I thought it just had to do with her age, but my Mom said she be much more aware by now. So we decided to bring her in to ask you.”
“Hmm I see. Well lets have a look. Hello beautiful.”
Cello and I watched as the doctor did a few tests. It took only a few minutes for him to turn back to us with his findings.
“Mr. and Mrs. Chiffon, I am afraid that your daughter may be blind. Her visual responses are non existent. Your mother was right she should be quite aware of her surroundings, and actually she is… just not visually.”
The room started to spin and everything started to go black. All I could feel was a strong hand on my shoulder. “But her eyes are perfect. They look fine. Wouldn’t they look…not fine?” Apparently my ability to create cohesive sentences had gone right out the window.
“Sometimes you can see it in the eyes, but not always. This is probably why the hospital failed to notice. There are so many other tests and observations going on while they are in NICU that sometimes things are unfortunately overlooked.”
“But it can’t be. She is perfect. She is perfect!”
I felt like a petulant child as I turned my back to the doctor and Miracle. “Please!! Don’t do this to me! To her! It’s not fair! She’s just a baby!!!”
“Shhh sweetheart it’s ok. It’s gonna be-”
Cello didn’t even finish his sentence before started to lose it too. Our emotions flip flopped from anger to pain and back again probably a couple dozen times. We did our best to offer the other support when a moment of clarity would allow it.
“This is a very natural response you two. It’s very upsetting to learn that there is something wrong with your child. But I can assure you, other than her eyesight, she is perfectly healthy.”
“What are we supposed to do now?”
“Just keep on doing what you have been doing. I can get you some information on a few classes that we offer here at the office. It’s a support group for families living with a blind infant. But basically her stimulus is going to be very audible and physical. So talk to her, sing to her, hold her hands, tickle her feet. She is going to be just fine.”
“Thank you doctor.”
“I will set you up with another appointment in a few weeks, so we can monitor her development, but as far as I can see she is an average little girl with one special difference. Take care you three.”
Once we returned home, I took Miracle to her room and carefully placed her in her crib. I kissed her gently on the forehead and held her hand close. She cooed softly and squeezed my finger. Such a sweet angel, how could someone so innocent be burdened with something so hard. I could feel the anger rising again, so I quietly left the room. As I wandered down the hallway, I noticed our bedroom door was slightly ajar. I stepped inside to find Cello standing at the window.
“I just can’t believe it. She seemed fine. I thought she was fine. What her life going to be like now? Liv I’m so scared.”
“Me too love. Me too.”
As I started to cry into his shoulder, all the anguish that had started to surface at the office suddenly erupted. “Why is this happening?! Is she being punished for something I did? Is this my fault? I just wanted her to live a normal happy life. Now what!?”
“I don’t know sweetheart, but what I do know, is this isn’t your fault. It’s no ones fault. Please don’t try to put this on yourself. We can do this. I have no idea how, but we can. You are a strong beautiful woman and an amazing mother. We will make this work somehow.”
I tried to stop the tears but they just kept falling. The bitter anger stormed my body for almost an hour before I was able to gain control. Cello held me until I finally was able to speak again. “I better go and check on her.” I sniffed.
I made my way to her crib and carefully scooped her into my arms. She was so very tiny. Her dark almost black eyes blankly staring into the great unknown. “Hello my little Miracle. It’s your mommy.” I whispered.
She was quiet for a couple of minutes, but then all of a sudden she started to cry.
I tried everything I could think of to get her to settle out, but nothing was working. She cried and cried, her little voice shaking from the force of it all. “Oh please little one. Its ok. Shh shh.” I tried rocking her, but it only seemed to make things worse. I was just about to call my mother for reinforcements, when I remembered something the doctor had said.
“So talk to her, sing to her.”
It was the only thing I hadn’t tried. So I started to sing the first song that came to my head.
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray.”
“You’ll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.”
The moment the music hit her ears she immediately started to calm down. I continued to rock and hum to her until she finally fell asleep.
I took a seat at the window and Tranquil and I watched the setting sun. I knew in that moment, holding her in my arms that we were going to make this work. Cello was right. There was nothing wrong with our little Miracle, and I vowed to always keep her safe and protected. Her life would be much different than mine, I would see to that. Nothing would ever harm her.