Did You Make Her Blind?

9 Feb

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness immobilized by the gravity of my loss or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have- life itself.” -Walter Anderson

We ended up not having to wait as long as was predicted to see the geneticist. It turned out that the nurse practitioner I worked with was able to pull some strings and get us in a few weeks after Oli’s second conformer appointment.

After visiting with the geneticist we actually began to ponder the absurd questions that she asked us. Questions that I’m sure have to be asked when a child is born with a birth defect.

“Was there any possibility that Seth and I were related? ”

Was there?

How silly, but in that moment we paused and had to wonder.

I was from Iowa and Seth’s father was from Iowa.

Was it possible?

After thinking about it for a second we realized how crazy that was. Of course we were not related.

“Is it possible that I contracted some sort of disease very early in my pregnancy?”

A few people at work in the NICU had also asked me this. Was it possible that I picked up a bug at work and it made Oli the way she was?

That was an awful question to be asked.

Did I somehow “make” her blind?

I honestly didn’t know. I didn’t think that I had unknowingly transported some kind of harmful virus to my unborn child, but I couldn’t be sure.

Was it my fault?

I was supposed to provide a nurturing environment for her to grow and develop properly. I had obviously failed to do this. Maybe it was my fault?

“Did we have any history of blindness or any other birth defects in our family?”

“No. Not really.”

“Not really? Can you please list everyone in your family who was born different in any way.”

We gave her our family history. Let me tell you, after Oli was born I was looking at everything and everyone as a possible explanation to what had gone wrong. We were listing absolutely everyone with any kind of odd feature, behavior, or characteristic. I was thinking about second cousins who I remembered chewed their food weird at the dinner table, or a distant uncle who talked just a little bit too loud for normal conversation.

My family has a history of bad eyesight. I actually had the thought,

Well, maybe my genes deteriorated to the point that her eyes were so bad they just couldn’t develop.
(Yeah, sometimes my mind went a little nuts.)

Family members also gave us their opinion as to what might have happened.

My step daughter, who was 9 when Oli was born, wondered if her eyes didn’t develop because she was born early. We assured her that wasn’t the reason.

My mother thought maybe it was because her family had decided not to donate my grandmothers corneas when she passed away.

Some people in my husband’s family wondered if it was because I had named her Oliana. Oliana is translated to “oleander” in Hawaiian.

Maybe I had destined her to be blind by naming her after a poisonous flower.

Of course, all of these theories were completely ridiculous. Everyone was just looking for an explanation. That’s what happens when tragedy strikes. People start questioning why?

Why did this happen?
Sometimes there are no answers.

In my heart I knew that I had not caused this. I knew that I hadn’t married a distant relative, contracted a disease, passed it on through bad eyesight, pissed off God, or destined her to blindness with a name.

I knew that it had just happened.

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4 Responses to “Did You Make Her Blind?”

  1. Valerie February 9, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Though reasons (medical or otherwise) may be unknown, you can be assured that her little life and how SHE was specifically made, was not an Oops on God’s part. He can use her , HOW SHE IS, for His glory. It always amazes me how persons with the seemingly “hardest” physical conditions, are the ones to do the biggest things, and can therefore give glory to God! ❤

    • mommyhasissues February 10, 2013 at 12:10 am #

      That is such a very very nice thing to say. I agree:) She touches everyone she meets.

  2. My Dance in the Rain February 15, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    We got the same reel of questions too. I felt as if it was my fault until we were told both of our genetic testing was normal. Sometimes there is just no answer as to why, sometimes as horrible as it may be it’s just nature.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. This One’s Broken « I'm fine, but my Mommy has issues! - February 10, 2013

    […] geneticist we saw was a large, friendly woman with a warm smile and a gentle nature. I was not quite as nervous […]

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