At first he just did what other babies did, but then when he got to three months old, we started to notice that he wasn’t developing like other babies were.
It was at his 12 week check when the doctor noticed that Zachariah wasn’t very alert nor was he fixing or following.
Straight away she referred us to the eye specialist team at the hospital.
A few weeks later his appointment came round. I remember it very clearly, they carried him into a very dark room, spun him around then stopped, turned on the light and watched his reaction.
With very few words they then put some solution into his eyes and guided us to the waiting room for a very long, uncomfortable wait until a lady came out and called him into her room.
She had a huge piece of equipment that she used to look through, into his eyes.
The next part of the story was a huge shock and it changed our lives forever!
The result showed that at just four months old, Zachariah was severely visually impaired!
The report read that his eyes were in perfect condition, however there was a technical issue where the nerves don’t get the messages from the eyes to the brain.
Although I didn't really know what this meant, I was devastated that my little boy may never see mine or his Daddy's face.
I was confused and lost.
I cried all the way home from the hospital, wondering how my little boy could see the world the way I do.
I would get frustrated that I couldn’t get a reaction from him or that I couldn’t play ‘peek-a-boo’ with him.
I would get upset that he didn’t follow me round the room and look at me in awe like I had seen other babies do with their mummies.
It wasn’t until we met a lady from Blind Children UK that I really started to understand what this diagnosis meant and that it wasn’t such sad news after all. She showed us a way!
She taught me how to play games with Zachariah, and showed me how to bring the world to him rather than him trying to find the world himself.
Through sensory stimulation and the amazing tool of my own voice, I very quickly became my son’s eyes.
I started to really get to know my boy and see the incredible little genius he was.
We now own every flashing toy, disco ball, and fairy lights in the shops; own various baby sensory DVDs; have the best light parties in town and have the most musical boy in the world!
We don’t really know what Zachariah can see, but we take comfort in how far he has come, and how happy he is.
He is on a journey of finding his world and now attends a group with other little friends who also have visual impairments on a similar journey.
I love my boy and everything he teaches me.
Rochelle, mummy to Zachariah xx