With Kate's birthday fast-approaching, I am doing a lot of reminiscing about the past year, looking back over all the pictures we took and memories we recorded. There are so many things that I want to remember about this year--little things that make Kate unique and that entertained or touched us in this amazing first year of parenthood.
One of the little things that was ever-present for most of Kate's first year--and yet something we are likely to forget--was Kate's "schmutzy eye."
Within Kate's first couple weeks, even as she had a burst blood vessel (from the pressure of birth) still visible in her right eye, we noticed her left eye often had some gooky or crusty mucus around it. We asked the doctor about it at her two-week appointment. He said that her tear duct was probably just late in opening, and that it should open up on its own by the time she's a year old, "and if it doesn't, we'll just send her to an opthamologist for surgery." (This was the pediatrician without a great bedside manner.) Ahem...what? We weren't too worried about it, but still, for first-time parents of a newborn, you don't want to hear the word "surgery," whether it's minor or not.
It didn't clear up by her two month or even her six month appointment. It wasn't a huge deal, but it was noticeable, they way her eyelashes clumped together. People often asked "what's wrong with her eye?" Sometimes, when she woke up, her eye would be sealed shut. When that happened, I would call her "Cyclops Baby."
For months, I wanted to get a picture of "Cyclops Baby," but since it typically happened as she was waking up in the morning or from a nap, the eye had often peeled open by the time we'd gotten up and about enough to grab the camera.
I finally managed to snap this picture when Kate was with me on the church women's retreat in October (though at least one woman thought I was crazy and/or cruel for wanting a picture of this).
Wouldn't you know, the very next day, Kate came down with the swine flu. Her schmutzy eye got really bad for a day or two while she was sick, and then---nothing. It totally cleared up! Ever since her bout with the flu, her eye has been ungoopy, her lashes clean and distinct. Whaddayaknow?
It's silly little details like this that I always want to remember about my sweet baby's first year.