Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fleeting Light (And Sound)

First of all, let me open with saying that I am a mom, a witness and definitely not an ophthalmologist.

Orion responded to at least strong light.

Very few, were the events that I thought Orion may have seen light. I doubted it because it was not definite, not consistent and naturally I was biased, hoping Orion would be able to recognize light and darkness. One bright day, maybe when Orion was 1 or 2 months old, I had him in his infant carrier in the shopping cart coming out of Target. I thought I'd see what happens if I let the sun shine in Orion's face. He was peering out of his barely open eyelids with the sun shining directly in them, no reaction, but a few moments later he squeezed his eyes shut tightly. Later on I figured his eyes became dry, thus the shutting of his eyes.

On Thursday, Dec 9th, Orion (20 weeks old), Tasia and I went to Johns Hopkins to get his cool new hearing aids. The audiologist put the blue hearing aids in and hadn't turned them on yet, I took a picture of Orion as she stepped away. Orion flinched dramatically as if somebody thumped him on his stomach because his arms and legs came up in a reflex. I couldn't tell if it was the camera flash or if there was a beep that is part of starting to turn on the aids. Nothing definite. After the audiologist turned on Orion's hearing aids and made noises to see if he responded (he didn't seem to notice) but after a while Orion's eyes opened a little. (He tends to open them when he is curious.) I wondered if he was actually peering or listening. He's wearing only his left side hearing aid because he turns his head to his right and that'd make his right aid whistle. Orion seems to respond to sound, but at this time nothing consistent. Things I would notice is him moving his eyes underneath his eyelids, and he'd smile (his priceless smile) sometimes. For now, we'll have him wear the aids when its comfortable for him and see the audiologist at Johns Hopkins in 3 months to evaluate.

On Sunday, I was being Orion's 'mama'razzi photographer when I saw him flinch. Flash, flinch. Flash again, flinch. I took him upstairs to Thomas. Flash, nothing. Flash, flash, nothing. Flash, flinch. OK, we're seeing something definite now. Flash, flinch. Flash, flinch. I didn't take too many pictures of him as I didn't want to possibly upset or scare Orion with the flashes. He remained tolerant.

I find it ironic because we're watching him for signs that he hears something, we find out he sees a little something. I think Orion has a 'seeing' spot, for at least strong light; opposed to sighted people having blind spots. I am very curious how Orion does with clear shells on after the ocularist is to put them in on Monday the 20th. Will he be able to control his eyelids better? Open them wider? More opportunities to see if he looks for light/darkness? Anyway, I hope the weather doesn't get in the way.

Orion is 20 weeks old in this video (1 m 34 sec). I had so much fun with iMovie!


  1. I liked watching that beep-boop-beeep finger game at the end!!! - ESScott

  2. Fabulous clip. Now I want to see the full- length movie version. That was too short! Heather, you're a great director, videographer, splice 'n dicer, film put together-er. Terrific choice of actors, too, I must say. Awesomely photogenic and talented,too. ILY, Mom

  3. Loved that you're his mother.. Couldn't ask for a better mother for Orion. You're opening all the doors for this bright little boy. He might not say it yet, but Thank you! Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

  4. Love your clip! Made me smile :)


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