Saturday, October 23, 2010

no. 23: your eyes, your eyes

dear little leah, 

when i caught my first glimpse of you that rainy february evening in 2007 {let's remember i was drugged, okay?}, my first thought was, "oh, she's perfect, but who is that baby?" with your fair skin and your light eyes and somewhat bald head, surely you couldn't be my daughter. i was olive toned and had a head full or dark hair ready for a ribbon on day one. and then i realized your dad had a part in your creation too - and you looked just like him. if it weren't for your nose, i might not have believed you'd just been not-so-gently ripped from my abdomen. 

i wasn't able to see you for about a day as they whisked you off to the NICU to monitor a potential heart issue, and i stayed a floor below, unable to walk. when i did finally go up to hold and kiss and cuddle you, one of the first things i noticed was your eye. it looked as if your left pupil was longer than the other. of course, the first few weeks of your life, you didn't give us many chances to actually look at your eyes, but when you did, i noticed. i wasn't sure if this was a dangerous thing or not, so we had it checked when you were about one month old. 

turns out, you have a congenital birth defect called coloboma, a "hole" in, your case, the iris. It's caused when a gap called the choroid fissure fails to completely close up in development before birth. the doctor explained it as a zipper and the zipper on your iris never zipped up completely. luckily, yours is cosmetic. only the iris was affected, not any of the muscles or other structures in your eye. you can see just fine and get a cool cat eye to boot.

your coloboma is one of my favorite features about you. i really, truly think it is beautiful, and so uniquely you. it's quite noticeable set against your brilliantly blue eyes and you get comments on it all the time. most everyone who sees it thinks it is super cool. and it is, just like you. 
i recently learned that the word "coloboma" in Greek means "unfinished." i'm not sure why, but this really struck me. in a way, i think we all have coloboma in one form or another. we are here on earth to learn and to grow and to better ourselves - to "finish" ourselves and return to our heavenly father as better and more pure and perfect beings. more than anyone in this world, you have helped me on that path. oh, i know i'm far from being perfect, but you've helped me to see a lot of my inadequacies and rough edges. and hopefully, with your help, i can continue to sand them down and finish myself off - and become as perfect as you were the day you were born. 

i love you, little leah. 


  1. I love this. I remember you saying before you had Leah that you hoped you're girls would look like Ryan. She is adorable. And awesome (as are you :))

  2. oh mare, these posts make me cry...good cries for the most part. i love bean's eyes as well. definitely uniquely leah.