Your stories: Her First and Won’t be Her Last

Tara from Happy Soul Project kindly sent in this post reflecting on a year since her little girl had eye surgery.  She describes the fears and uncertainty that we all felt when we first learned our child or children had vision issues.  This was originally posted on her blog, Happy Soul Project, and is reposted here with her permission.  Oh, and if her daughter looks familiar, you may have seen her featured in the Huffington Post article about what makes you different is what makes you beautiful.  – Ann Z

Her first and won’t be her last

This time last year I was on night 1 of at least 4 or 5 of absolutely no sleep…This time tomorrow I was desperately trying to look into my 5 week old baby girl’s eyes still kinda hoping for a miraculous miracle…This time the following day I was handing my tiny baby to a surgeon and literally collapsing and choking in fear…This time the day after I was learning to put in and care for a minuscule contact and instructed to patch my daughter’s “good eye” half her waking hours – Awesome to decipher for a newborn right?

This time last year was just filled with the unknown…

Would the surgery be successful? Would she survive the post surgery complications? Would the plan of care after even work? Would her other eye need surgery? Would she need glasses?


Nothing in the world prepares you for hearing the news that your child, let alone your newborn needs surgery…And no matter how many parents you seek out who have been there before, articles you read or sit down chats with the surgeons, the absolute feeling of helplessness is bound to overtake you…

I’ve been sitting here this morning reading blogs from last year, sobbing if really you must know…Remembering how very terrified I was…With each surgery she’s had since, those feelings return but the first one will be forever etched in my mind…

It was the first time I had to see her in one of those ridiculous hospital gowns, way too big to fit any 5 week old baby…It was the first time the clock absolutely dragged & I watched my husband pound donut after donut, nervously waiting for an update…And it was the first time I felt nothing but utter gratefulness, when she was finally put back into my arms…It was her first and it won’t be her last but the feelings surrounding this surgery will be with me always…

I wonder if every year around the time of her surgeries I will reflect on them as I have these last few days…I wonder if the tears will still come like they have while writing this…I wonder if the fear will still kinda get caught in my throat when I think back to how desperately I was begging God to keep her here with us…And I wonder if I will always be as awed with how far she’s come…

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I wrote this a year ago before her surgery,

“So, as I learn to let go of what I can’t control- I realized that all that really matters is how I live my life & teach my babies to live theirs…I can’t control that Noal is a busy boy, has my short little legs & has my sassy personality…I can’t control that Reid was born with Down Syndrome, had a hole in her heart or needs eye surgery…I can only control how I handle what has been given to me- How I hope to raise Noal & Reid to be loving, kind, open minded, grateful & Happy Little Souls…At the end of the day this is what I truly believe to be important.”

And let’s just say it’s been one hell of a year learning to let go and realize what’s important & I truly think I have been a pretty damn good student of just that…

To read about my thoughts hours before Pip’s first surgery Click HERE
and to read about Pip’s Eye Surgery/Complications & the Outcome Click HERE

Tara is a quirky wanna-be Writer/Blogger, adoring/annoyed wife, minivan mum to 2 hooligans, one who just happens to have Down syndrome & most importantly a Happy Soul…She is the founder of Happy Soul Project {} & is currently working on her first book. You can reach Tara at

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