The day started out like any other day. We woke up, I sang silly songs while I got James changed and dressed, we giggled and then had tummy time. It just seemed like an ordinary day.
We had a 1:30 appointment at the audiologist that day because James failed his hospital hearing test. We were told that failing the test was not that uncommon, so I figured everything was going to be fine. I mean honestly, MY baby wasn’t actually going to have any issues. What are the odds that James would have any issues with no family history.
“Your baby has significant permanent hearing loss. His results didn’t show a consistent response to any of the tests we performed and for the one test showed no movement at all.”
This can’t be right. My baby is the happiest baby in the world. He smiles and giggles whenever he sees me!
This just can’t be true.
“Okay”, I say with tears streaming down my face. “What does this mean? What do we need to do next.”
“We will refer to you a ears nose and throat doctor at CHOP. There, they will run more tests to check the severity of the hearing loss and hopefully fit him for hearing aids or, if he qualifies, a cochlear implant. There is a chance there is fluid in there that would be blocking some noise but even if that is the case there is still significant impairment. So no matter what he will need some hearing assistance”
“Okay” I said.
As I leave the doctors office in a complete haze I struggle to understand what was just said to me. Did the doctor just tell me my son is deaf?
Oh my gosh. My son is deaf.
My mom and I drive home and Just before we get to my house I start to have a panic attack that left me lifeless on the floor of the car. How is it possible that my sweet sweet baby James can’t hear my voice? How has he not heard a single thing we’ve said to him? How has He not heard his own precious laugh? His own name? Ugh worst of all He hasn’t heard me say how much I love him? Why? Why my baby? Why can’t my baby hear me say, “I love you”?!
Oh my heart. It feels so broken.
After I pulled myself together, I got out of the car. I went inside and, like most mothers of this generation do, immediately went to google to do some research on hearing aids, cochlear implants, speech therapy, and sign language.
My research showed there’s a ton of options that have great success, especially for someone as young as James. This is good news. This is where I am keeping my heart right now.
Also! To see the positive, this does explain why he hates riding in the car so much when I’m driving. The poor little guy can’t hear me when I say, “it’s okay sweetie. Mommy is just right up here”.
In spite of this life changing news I’m trying to stay positive. Just like I always do. And the one thing that is keeping me strong is knowing one simple thing.
James doesn’t need to hear the words “I love you” to know he is loved. He can see my love through our giggles, hugs, and gazes.
So as we adjust to this new life change I ask for prayers for James that he will be able to respond well to the treatment the ETN doctor recommends. And for me. I ask that you help me stay positive. If any of you know someone else who has a child with permanent hearing loss I’d love to be connected. Or if you just have an encouraging word I’d really appreciate the positivity.
Yesterday James was a happy perfect baby boy, and today, even with this news, James is a perfect happy baby boy. For that I am thankful.