Well, today we found out that Kaitlyn does indeed have level 3 ROP (level 5 is the worst)
Read below for info on ROP:
A disease that occurs in some premature babies, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), also known as Retrolental Fibroplasia, is the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina that generally begins during the first few days of life and may progress rapidly to blindness over a period of weeks. This happens because the eye is rapidly developing during gestational weeks 28-40. The blood supply to the retina starts at the optic nerve at about 16 weeks and blood vessels grow out from there toward the edges of the retina until the time of birth. When a baby is born prematurely, this normal vessel growth stops and new abnormal vessels begin to grow. Over time this vessel growth produces a fibrous scar tissue which attaches to the retina and the vitreous gel that gives the eyeball its shape. This ring may extend 360 degrees around the inside of the eye. If enough scar tissue forms, it can begin to pull the retina, detaching it, and, in some cases,causing blindness.
Not all babies who are premature will have ROP. Many of the babies who are born with ROP will improve spontaneously. However, since ROP is "responsible for more blindness among children in this country than all other causes combined" (Watson, 1997), it is important that premature babies are screened for ROP.
Although there has been a correlation made between premies who receive high levels of oxygen and ROP, there appear to be a variety of factors that may account for development of ROP. These include, in addition to birth weightKaitly was very low weight) and gestational age (K was very early 27 weeks): elevated blood carbon dioxide levels (K had this), anemia (K had this), blood transfusions (K had many transfusuions), intraventricular hemorrhage (K did not have this), respiratory distress syndrome(K has this - Chronic Lung disease), chronic hypoxia in utero, multiple spells of apnea or bradycardia, mechanical ventilation(K was on a vent for 1 month), and seizures. (Ophthalmology Associates Homepage, 1997) There are some who feel that exposure to bright fluorescent lighting in hospitals contributes to the development of ROP (Prevent Blindness in Premature Babies, 1997), but to date this has not been proven and many ophthalmologists strongly disagree with this theory (Ophthalmology Associates Homepage, 1997). The current thinking is that probably it is a combination of factors, some occurring in utero and some occurring after the baby is born, that lead to this outcome.
Kaitlyn will be having eye surgery tomorow morning. Her ROP was just discovered today. The feeling is to try to treat it as soon as possible.
This, on top of the fact that I haven't been able to see her for 1.5 weeks is killing me! She's 2 ounces shy of 4 pounds, I haven't seen her since she just turned 3 pounds. She's feeding from the bottle more often now (about 2-3 times a day) and is actually taking almost the whole bottle. She's up to 33 cc's of milk, still every 3 hours.
I still have a cough, that's why I can't go see her.
Send us your prayers and wishes for her surgery to go well tomororw morning (12/8) at 9am.