Little Oaklyn's Eye

Friday, April 15, 2016

My little Oaklyn girl is perfect to me. In every way.
I seriously look at her at least 5 times a day and wonder how she is so beautiful and perfect. 
She tests and tries my patience a whole lot, but her sweet little laugh makes me forget about every single hard moment.

Now I'll get into the story telling...

When Oaklyn was about 4 months old, I took a picture of her in her car seat. I was sitting next to her and couldn't stand how cute she looked with her hair in pigtails for the first time. Later, when I looked at the picture a little deeper, I noticed her left eye looked a little different. It seemed like she wasn't really looking at me. However, her right eye seemed perfectly normal. I brought it up to Hunter but we both brushed it off remembering that at that age babies grow and develop like crazy. However, I did notice it in a few pictures from there on out.

Fast forward a few months...
Oaklyn is now around 7 or 8 months old. We went to Hunter's brother's house because we were staying the night to watch their kids. My sister in law, mentioned that she noticed something different about Oaklyn's eye and wondered if I had noticed. Not in a rude way at all, in a curious, understanding way. We talked about some of the other eye issues from my husband's side of the family and went about the night. However, that moment stuck with me. This is where the first paragraph comes into play... I was happy that my sister in law brought it up because it helped me understand that it was a little bigger deal than I was making it and I needed to get it checked. However, it also tugged at my heart strings pretty hard. My Oaklyn girl is so perfect to me. Now something might be wrong with her? It's a feeling you can't explain until you have children of your own. 

So, I waited until her 9 month appointment to talk to the pediatrician about it. He mentioned that it did look a little off and that we should schedule an appointment with an eye doctor. He gave us a recommendation and sent us on our way. I called the second we got home and scheduled the soonest available appointment. It was about a week after the one with the pediatrician so it gave me a little time to process that there was something wrong with her eye and that I needed to understand that no matter the outcome, she is still my perfect little baby. 

We got to the appointment and I walked in thinking my baby would be sent home with a little eye patch. I figured she probably had a lazy eye and that we would have her wear a little patch for a little bit and all would be well. I started planning out responses to people's questions and felt okay with the situation. We got called back and the doctor began to examine her eye. He started whispering numbers and letters to the other guy in the room and i just sat in the chair with my confused little baby on my lap. He looked at me and said "We're not 100% sure yet, we'll need to dilate her eye." I laid Oaks on my lap and had to hold her little arms down as the doctor put eye drops in. She was terrified and the second he was done she clung to me so I could rescue her. We came back 30 minutes later and they did the same tests. Only this time, the doctor was sighing and mentioning technical terms I hadn't heard. I was confused and Oaklyn was tired and the emotions in the room were running high. The doctor looks at me and says "From the looks of it, she has Brown's Syndrome." My mind started racing... "syndrome?" He looked at me again to explain that she was born with the tendon behind her right eye pulled too tight. When she tries to look up or to the side, her eye falls short because the tendon hurts when stretched." I had never heard of this condition and he could see my confusion and probably the fear in my eyes. He then proceeds to tell me that the way to treat  Brown's Syndrome is by performing surgery. "So, she has to be put under?" I asked holding back tears. He looked down, then back up and said yes. "It's a fairly simple surgery and it will benefit her in the long run." I knew what he was saying was only going to help her in the end but I had expected to hear that we would be sent home with a patch... not a surgery date. We began to discuss it a little more and he informed me that we would give it three months to see if anything looks better when she is a year old.

I got to the car and put Oaklyn in her car seat. She was eating a teething cracker and all I could hear were her sweet little baby noises between bites. I called Hunter before even leaving the parking lot and he answered on the first ring "Hi babe" He says. I could feel the tears coming so I just said "Can I pick something up for dinner tonight? I'm not in the mood to cook." If you know me at all, you know I love to cook so he knew something was wrong. "Did the appointment go okay?" I tried to say "no" between sobs and really wanted to explain but all I could say was "She needs surgery." There was a silence on the other end of the phone for quite some time before he asked why. Long story short, I picked up In n Out and we ate our food as we talked about our sweet little girl's eye. 

I remember going to bed that night and pleading with my Father in Heaven that he would perform a miracle. That he would help her eye get better in those three months and that this would just be a quick trial of our faith. I made that same prayer every night for the next few months. I made the choice to only tell close friends and family about her eye and they said they would pray as well. I felt good about the support we had behind us and other than praying every night, just tried to ignore the whole situation. About a month ago, I thought back to something my sister in law, Aubrie had told me when she was going through the biggest trial in her life. She was close to delivering her sweet little girl at 24 weeks and had spent most of her pregnancy throwing up. She had been through more than I can imagine handling and I asked her if her and her husband were okay. She looked at me and in the most sincere way said something along the lines of, "We have faith that everything will be okay. We know that the Lord will help us through this no matter the outcome. We trust that even if the end result isn't what we had hoped for, that He will soothe our hearts. We have been praying that he will help us be okay with whatever happens." I'm so glad I thought back to that moment because it was exactly what I needed to remember. I began to change my prayer every night. I stopped praying for a huge miracle and began praying that He would help me be okay with the outcome. I prayed that sweet Oaklyn wouldn't be in too much pain and that I would know how to be the best mother to her. 

Now we're here, today. We had Oaklyn's appointment this morning at 11am. I walked in with Oaks in my arms. She was playing with my earrings, happily, and giggling when I would pull my head back. I laughed with her and smiled at her knowing she had no idea what was going on. I was trying to be strong but had to wipe back a tear in the waiting room when I saw her eye do the same thing I noticed when she was only 4 months old. I whispered the same prayer in my mind that I had the past month. "Lord, please help me to be strong. Please help me to be okay with what they say..." They called us back and we sat in the same chair as the last time. He checked her eyes again and mentioned that it hadn't gotten any better. My heart sank just as it did last time. Only this time, I felt better about what he was saying. "However, I don't want to rush into surgery yet. Her brain has trained her eyes to only use the right eye because it is stronger. She still has Brown's, but it has caused a different problem at this point." I sat there confused but listened intently. "She isn't using her right eye the way she would use her leftt eye. So, we need to strengthen her right eye. We're going to have you put a patch on her left eye for the next two months for an hour every day to restrengthen her right eye. Then, come back in about 2 months and we'll go from there." He smiled and left the room and we gathered our belongings. I put Oaklyn in the car seat and then got in my seat. I started the car and looked in the mirror to see her smiling at me in her mirror. I knew it was Heavenly Father's way of telling me that everything will be okay. I felt strengthened and called Hunter, my mom, and his mom and didn't even cry when I talked to them. I understood that this is part of His plan, not mine. 

So, here we are now. Tonight we will try out the patch and just hope that she doesn't immediately rip it off haha. I'm going to continue praying that same prayer I have been for the past month. Say we do go to the doctor in two months and we end up needing the surgery... I'll be sad but I know that it will make us stronger in the end. I know that He will help us all through these next few months and I trust that all will be well. I know that He would never give us a trial we can't handle. My daughter is still perfect to me in every sense of the word. I love her like crazy and will always do what is best for her. So, if you want to add our little family to your prayers... we would very much appreciate it! I'm sorry for the lengthy post, I just felt the need to write it all out at this point and explain what we are going through. If you've made it this far, thank you for reading!

Have any of your children had to have surgery? 
If so, what did you do to ease your worry?

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


  1. Oh my goodness how nerve wracking for you :( you guys are most definitely in our thoughts and prayers. When grant was born he didn't have a soft spot so they had to do surgery on his skull. It would be so so scary to see your baby go through a hard time but grant turned out great and Oaklyn will too! :) I'm so grateful for your posts and thoughts. We haven't had our baby girl yet but she had a little problem at the anatomy scan that the doctors are going to keep an eye on. At first I was terrified but I just keep reminding myself all will be well. Your post really helped me, thank you for sharing :) you're awesome


  2. Aleigh, I will keep you and your little family in my personal prayers. I strongly recommend to read old past General Conference talks (topics based on worries, challenges, fears, etc) such as Meeting Life’s Challenges Thomas S. Monson, Do Not Fear by Boyd K. Packer, Trust in the Lord by Richard G. Scott, etc. I hope those General Conference talks will help you and bring comfort to you. I encourage you to try to look at positive side of things.

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