Eye check and what it led to….

Xi En had a scheduled eye check (for preemies) last week and it became quite a roller coaster week for us in the end. The doctor did warn us to be prepared for him to be sedated during the eye check, thus we had to make him fast for 3 hours prior to the eye check. Fasting for a baby at his age is really not easy! Thank God we tried our best to time his feeds and entertained him throughout the long queue at KKH so that he won’t start thinking that he was hungry!!

 Kim trying to entertain Xi En with cartoon network. But obviously it wasn’t working… :

eye check 1



In between the wait, Wai Jia came visiting! It had been some time since we last caught up. She finally got to carry Xi En for the first time. 🙂


eye check 2



So anyway, the doctor “ordered” for sedation, said that it is perfectly normal for sedation and they have done it many times. No known serious side effects. So – off we go. But prior to that, Xi En had to endure 3 rounds of 3 types of eye drops to dilate his eyes. This was probably the most horrible part of the eye check. Personally, having my eyes dilated by eye drops before, I can fully comprehend the stinging feeling! Poor boy.. that he had to go through this 3 times (this is his 3rd eye check at KKH).

After force-feeding him the sedation medicine, Xi En calmly fell asleep (Kim said we probably should ask for more of such medicine to give it to him when he refuses to sleep at night!). Thereafter the doctors/nurses proceeded to check if his eyes were dilated enough. No not enough – administrate more of the horrible stinging eye drops. 😦

Ok – eyes dilated. One of the doctors used a long probe thing and started poking his eyes! Of course, that was after she reassured us that the baby won’t feel anything and it won’t hurt his eyes. Xi En was still calm throughout the poking. Can you imagined that the first time he had this test (at just 2+ months)– he wasn’t sedated. He was crying the house down and his mummy cried buckets helplessly too. 😦


Xi En being sedated and his heartbeat being monitored:

eye check 3

We can definitely do with some good news after all these poking and drama, ya? Thank God, the doctor said that Xi En’s eyes are cleared! i.e. no problem with the back of his eyes (which can be an issue for some preemies). We just need to bring him for routine eye checks again when he is 4 years old. It is such a relief to tick the box off one of his many checks! Thank God for a good report! 🙂 🙂


What happened after the eye check…..? Xi En suddenly came down with a mid-grade fever when he got home and it persisted for 2 days before we decided not to take the chance and brought him back to KKH A&E at daybreak. According to them, neither the sedation medicine nor eye check is supposed to cause any fever. It could just be a viral fever. But to be on the safe side, they did blood and urine tests. Thankfully, nothing abnormal in the results. So we went home with more medicine. Xi En’s fever kept up for another day before it finally subsided. And then….. the next day – his whole face, neck, body, groin and etc broke up in red rashes! Arrrgghhh!! When it rains, it really pours huh?!



A really unhappy-full-of-rashes baby:



Mum was saying that this is probably the body’s way of dispelling the heat/toxic from within. Really not sure if this is true. Now we are just hoping that the rashes will fade soon so we don’t need to go back to the oh-so-familiar KKH……………………..


A phone call at 6:30am

Yesterday early in the morning at 6:30am, I heard Kim’s mobile ringing. My heart skipped a beat. NO ONE WILL CALL SO EARLY IN THE MORNING! Intuitively, I knew it must be the hospital. Kim picked up the phone and I listened with trepidation at the side.

It is from the hospital. The nurse said that they have done a haemoglobin test on Ethen and found it to be on the lower end. Thus he was given a blood transfusion at 3am. We understand that premature babies might not be able to produce enough red blood cells necessary to bring adequate oxygen to the body. As such, they tend to require red blood cells transfusion.

This is already Ethen’s 3rd blood transfusion ever since birth. It is heart wrenching to see his hand inserted with a plug and tapped down. Personally having 5 iv drips done on me during my stay in the hospital, I know it can be painful and very uncomfortable. This is so for an adult; what more an infant less than 4 weeks old….

We are praying he will react well to the blood transfusion and do not require more in the future. The good news is Ethen is still gaining weight; at 1.74kg yesterday. 🙂


Here’s looking at you, babe!

Latest update – Ethen’s weight is currently 1.57kg and he has “graduated” to the special care nursery (SCN). He is off all drips and caffeine (no more coffee addict! haa..). Right now, he only has a feeding tube for milk to flow direct into his tummy and some monitoring devices. His cheeks have also grown rosier and chubbier! And….. for the first time, Daddy and Mummy could carry him as he is no longer in an incubator. 🙂

For most parents, it is beyond describable words when you get to hold your little one for the first time. And the feeling of being able to cuddle your baby only weeks after he is born is packed with emotions which probably not all understand….

It is right to say pictures paint a thousand words. Look at the 3 happy faces! 🙂



Carrying Ethen


Xi En drinking milk