My bionic baby

11 Nov

My baby boy has bionic ears. Three weeks after being diagnosed as deaf, he is the proud owner of two tiny clear plastic hearing aids. I’d like to say I hardly know they’re there but whenever his ear brushes against anything feedback reverberates around the room. When I breastfeed, I always knock one of them off and I have to remove them when he’s having a bath which must confuse him by plunging him again into a world of silence.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what he can hear with them in. The intention is to enhance his hearing to enable him to hear speech but having convinced myself (wrongly) that he could hear me before the diagnosis, I’m nervous to assume he can hear me now. If he can, he’ll be shocked that the beatific mother who he thought took his sisters to school every morning is in fact a screaming banshee.

He can definitely hear loud noises. He’s always been very good at napping on the hoof but now he wakes up as soon as a loud bus trundles past, and in the playground he cried the first time he heard the school bell. The fact that we have to take the aids out at night means that he still isn’t woken by my husband stumbling around in the middle of the night or the girls bounding in in the morning, but I’m painfully aware that when he wakes for his 4 am feed he can’t hear me soothing him back to sleep again.

I can’t believe it’s only 3 weeks.  The first week we were in total shock, unable to eat or sleep and torturing ourselves worrying about his future; the second week we started gathering information and making plans for dealing with the present, and now it honestly seems relatively normal. If it’s possible, I love him more than I loved him before – I think everyone does. I desperately hope that the hearing aids are working so that speech isn’t a problem but even if they aren’t and it is, we’ll love him to bits and do everything we possibly can to look after him.

I’ve been astonished by the speed with which the NHS have moved since the official diagnosis. Admittedly, I hated the original audiologist for delivering the news that our baby was deaf but by the time we saw the paediatrician, we were just grateful for someone who could answer all our questions and reassure us.  Since then we have seen another audiologist who took the moulds and another who showed us how to fit the hearing aids. A teacher for the deaf sat in on that appointment and is coming to our home this week with a teacher who will be assigned to us permanently.  Given that I’ve never been very good at hot-housing my children to ensure they reach their milestones, this baby could be beating them to it with such one-to-one care.

My bionic baby is going to be just fine and looking on the bright side, he’ll probably be the only baby not to be woken up by the fireworks this Bonfire Night.

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12 Responses to “My bionic baby”

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  1. …and the new blog emerged from it’s shell and waddled down to the sea. « Sleepless in silence in suburbia - March 24, 2012

    […] have included ‘silence’ in the blog title to reflect the fact that our baby boy is deaf. There is no getting away from ‘the deaf issue’ but now that I have the freedom to […]

  2. A Mouse in the House « Sleepless in silence in suburbia - May 6, 2012

    […] out for the school run, baby already in buggy I noticed him looking even more animated than usual. Following his gaze I smiled when I saw he was […]

  3. National Deaf Awareness Week? How did I not hear about that? « Sleepless in silence in suburbia - May 9, 2012

    […] his other ones), visited hospital to get new hearing moulds, visited hospital to get more temporary hearing aids (he chewed the replacement ones!) and spent the last two Saturdays at sign language classes […]

  4. Empire State of Mind « Sleepless in silence in suburbia - June 15, 2012

    […] ears don’t work can actually get ear ache but it transpires it’s even worse as the hearing aids provide a moist warm environment for bacteria to flourish. Yesterday I was caught between two […]

  5. Let’s go to the beach, each, let’s go get away « Sleepless in silence in suburbia - July 7, 2012

    […] no to a baby who can’t hear is fairly ineffective. I know the sign for no but given that when he’s sinking his 8 sharp […]

  6. One Year On – We really ARE copying with the deaf diagnosis. Yay! « Sleepless in silence in suburbia - September 25, 2012

    […] and to my astonishment he started clapping. On holiday in Islay he didn’t even have his hearing aids in when we asked him to ‘wave bye bye’ and he did it. It was the first time we’d realised he […]

  7. A Walk in the Park or a Cage in the Zoo? « Sleepless in silence in suburbia - November 14, 2012

    […] can’t hear the banshee he has for a mother.  At toddler group he is universally adored, the hearing aids make him seem vulnerable and cute when in fact he is anything but. It is only people who have to […]

  8. From severely deaf to profound in two tests « Sleepless in silence in suburbia - January 26, 2013

    […] controls just add another complication into our hearing aid maintenance regime. However they do seem to be helping a bit. For the first time in weeks he is responding to our […]

  9. The baby spoke « Sleepless in silence in suburbia - February 19, 2013

    […] made him show off even more.  Perhaps all my deaf baby needs is an audience and he’ll be speaking fluently by the time he’s […]

  10. Sleepless on the Sleeper | Sleepless in silence in suburbia - April 17, 2013

    […] into action and I had no way of switching it off.  I could see my deaf baby pulling at his hearing aids, perplexed that the strange noise was being caused by them. I removed them and alarm still […]

  11. Disability is not a box to be ticked it’s a day to day reality | Sleepless in silence in suburbia - May 20, 2013

    […] of day to development I can’t see any difference between him and his friends other than the two little hearing aids hooked round his ears.  That can cause anxiety at soft play. Whereas most parents are worrying […]

  12. Our deaf toddler is 70% Deaf. 100% Boy! | Sleepless in silence in suburbia - August 15, 2013

    […] never thought I’d say this but I love hearing aids. I love them. The difference when he has them in is astonishing. He can hear a little bit without […]

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