Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hearing Loss Reversed in Animal Study Using Cord Blood

I checked my email this morning and had a newsletter from Cord Blood Registry where we banked Jake's Cord Blood. Apparently there might be a chance to use the cord blood to restore hearing. Obviously we still wont know what is going on and what steps are necessary but this is a remarkable to me. Cord blood stem cells have the ability to help restore hearing, according to a study published last month in Cell Transplantation. In the study, which used animal models, subjects treated with cord blood stem cells showed significant healing to the damaged portion of the sensory hair cells and neurons in the inner ear, while non-treated subjects continued to show serious damage. According to David Eve, Ph.D. at the University of South Florida, "This study provides hope for a potential treatment for the repair of hearing impairments." Hearing loss is the most prevalent birth defect in America today, affecting 2-3 infants per 1,000 births http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/120350.php

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Changes and Perspective…

Rebecca gave me the password to this site to allow me to jot down my thoughts. The truth is that I am not much of a blogger, I simply do not have the stamina to write continuous entries to keep people coming back, and a semiannual blog post would be pretty boring to the readers. Plus the English language and punctuation baffle me, it is a wonder how I skated through college level English much less high school! I have to admit that this whole situation with Jacob has caught me off guard. When he failed his first 2-3 hearing screenings while in the hospital after delivery I thought nothing of it as the nurses assured us that is was most likely due to fluid in his ears. Then when he went back a week later for a follow up hearing screening and failed I felt the same way. Jake and Rebecca went to the audiologist twice, the first time Jacob needed to sleep through the tests to get a good reading and he was bright eyed and fussy. The second time was last Thursday when we received this latest prognosis. When Rebecca called me after the test I was completely baffled as to what she was telling me. I never allowed myself to think that the earlier tests were nothing more than fluid or simply Jake being fussy. My initial denial was to question the validity of the audiologists test results or maybe its still just fluid, no way could Jake have any issues. When Rebecca called me that day she could barely converse with me as she was so beat up by the news. I was simply in shock and just kind of sat at my desk after our conversation (as I was at the office when she called) and thought, alright what do we have to do now? The only time I got visible upset was when I drove home that day pondering the situation. Is it possible that our son could miss out on the joys that we all associate with hearing? One of my favorite things to do is to sit on the back porch during a thunderstorm and listen to the thunder and rain beat down, will Jake miss out on this? I am an avid hunter and can not wait until Jake gets old enough to join me, will he ever get to hear that Buck rubbing against a tree in the brush or perhaps a dove cooing in a distance? More importantly will he be able to react to the dangers that sound alerts you to like a police/ambulance siren, horn honking, or to go back to the hunting scenario that bear growling behind him. I know the bear scenario is over the top and I am being lighthearted but hey it could happen. The situation that deeply sadden me the most was to think if he can’t hear he might not be able to develop the ability to speak properly. Would this mean the Rebecca and I would miss out on the treasured parent moment of hearing their child say “Dada or Momma” for the first time, might he not be able to speak at all? I must say that the outpouring of support we have received via this blog from family and friends is overwhelming. It is so great to have such a strong support group to get through this. I have gotten many messages to give a unique perspective on the situation and it really helps Rebecca and I cope with the situation. After a day or so of research it appears that with the cochlear implants or perhaps hearing aids Jacob may be able to hear that bear growling at him after all and lead a relatively normal life. We simply will not have much information until we meet with the Ear, Nose, and Throat Doc on November 5th but I can say I am becoming more optimistic as I educate myself to this change. We love you all who have provided words of encouragement; you all mean the world to our family! Vince

Thursday, October 23, 2008

God only gives us what we can handle...

Today was not a good day for Vince and me. It was one of many doctor's visits for our little baby Jacob. We went to the doctor for our scheduled hearing test at the Cook's Children's Pediatric Rehabilitation center. Jacob and I were there for over two hours and walked out with not so good news. For those of you that don't know, since birth Jacob has had many hearing tests to determine if he has any hearing loss. Some of the tests he has passed and some he has failed. Unfortunately today we received bad news for both ears. Right now it has been determined that he has moderate to severe hearing loss in both ears and it looks like it could possibly be permanent. We don't know the exact extent of his hearing loss, but it looks like our little man will have to either live with hearing aids for the rest of his life or as a family we will all have to learn sign language. He has another doctor's appointment on Nov. 5 that will give us the final determination of his diagnosis. So the next two weeks are going to be agony for Vince and me because things are still too early to determine which path God is going to have us travel. As I type this letter, my eyes are filled with tears. As a mommy, I only want the best for my baby and I don't want anything bad to ever happen to him. I only wish I could take on this burden myself and Jacob doesn't have to go through this. I recall the day he was born and remember the old saying, "I never knew I could love someone so much without knowing them." Well I am here to tell you that your love only grows deeper and deeper and more meaningful in more ways than you will ever know. So when I heard the news all I could do was hold my baby as tight as I could to keep my heart from breaking. I love him so much. So for now until we determine what path our little man will be taking, Vince and I ask for you to pray your hearts out for the best possible diagnosis, whatever that might be. We love our little baby so much and it’s all in the hands of God and we have complete faith in him. He only gives us what we can handle and the strength to handle it. I just try to remember all the wonderful things God has given us and smile. So I leave you with this small little video of one of the most precious things God has blessed Vince and I with, our miracle baby. video

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sunglasses

My future is so bright, I've got to wear shades...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Smile...

Well it's official, it finally happened!!! Jacob smiled!!! He actually smiled all by himself and it wasn't gas because he kept doing it over and over. I had just finished feeding him his afternoon meal and he was ready to play. I starting making funny noises at him as he stared up at me with those beautiful blue eyes. And he broke out the most amazing smile. Unfortunately I didn't have the camera ready because it was completely unexpected. I did however have to call his daddy to tell him the good news. Vince demanded to see this smile in person and couldn't wait to get home from work to witness it personally. So when he walked in the door, Jacob and I were ready to show him our huge accomplishment. And he did it again. SMILE!!! Here is a picture of one of his smiles the next day. Sorry I couldn't get him to smile that much. guess he was having an off day or maybe I just wasn't as funny anymore.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

1 month

Okay I know this is over a week old, but figured better late than never. Jacob is (1) month old. It is unbelievable how much he has grown in just one month. He is doing great. He has learned to hold his own head up without much help. His legs are getting so strong. I think he will probably start walking pretty soon. He is great at tummy time and loves to cuddle with Mommy and Daddy. So far he is getting pretty good at sleeping through the night. We finally got him use to sleeping in his crib and not in bed with Vince and I. We are so enjoying that part. Vince and I can't wait until he gets older and recognizes us and squeals with excitement!!! We can't wait for Halloween because Jacob has the cutest little outfit to wear. He is going to be a tiger. I hope the outfit will fit him by then, but if not we will at least get a few pictures of him in it. We are so excited about the upcoming holidays because he will be getting more of a personality as he gets older. We just can't wait.

First Post

So I decided to go ahead and switch to this website because it just seemed logical and easier. I will try to keep this website updated as much as possible with all wonderful events that are going on in the Porter House. Check back often to find out what we are up too!!!