Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The "Eyes" Have It!

When Anna was first born, one of the nurses came in and was talking to us about Anna.  She told us that she could see in Anna's eyes that she was something special.

This nurse was speaking from experience...she has a daughter with Down syndrome.

What she saw in Anna's eyes were some of the physical characteristics common to individuals with Down syndrome, including upward slanting of the lids and prominent folds of skin between the eye and nose.

A few hours after being born

When Anna was a baby, we didn't see a lot of her eyes.  She was a sleeper, that one!  Don't get me wrong - I am not complaining. I was the luckiest new mother in the world to have a baby that slept through the night from about 2 weeks, and napped a good portion of her day away.  I am not sure if being a good sleeper is a trait of Ds, but I have heard from a number of mothers who say their child with Ds was an awesome sleeper from the start.


Sleeping with Grandpa -- look how tiny!

Sleeping on the beach

But, when she did finally open her eyes, we were treated to these beautiful, denim blue eyes that sparkled.

picture take by Carissa Marks for Inspiration Through Art

Another characteristic common to individuals with Down syndrome are Brushfield spots.   You can see them quite clearly in the pictures below.  They are the little white specks and spots in the iris.  Brushfield spots are areas where the connective tissue of the eyes is a bit thicker, so the colored layer over it is thinner (this is why they are in a ring, rather than all over the eye - it's a structural thing.).  About 10% of the general population has them, vs. (supposedly) about 90% of people with Ds.  In brown eyes, the brushfield spots will show up as light brown, rather than white, and the the darker your eyes, the less likely they will be visible.

Click pictures to enlarge for a better view.

If eyes are the windows to a person's soul, then Anna's soul is the most captivating, if not the most beautiful, I have ever seen.  No wonder people are drawn to her.

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