Thursday, December 4, 2008

Can you hear me NOW!!!

Okay this is going to be a long blog, but I wanted to share with everyone one of the most amazing days of my life. Today was probably the most exciting and thrilling day for Jacob, Vince and myself. Hooray!!! Jacob got his new hearing aids today and it was the perfect gift for Christmas.
As most of you all know Vince and I have been dealing with the recent hearing diagonsis of our son, Jacob. He has Auditory Neuropathy, which is a hearing impairment that means he can still hear sounds at certain levels, but the sounds don't quite synchronize with his brain. The first step of treatment to help minimize his hearing loss is to fit him with hearing aids. The aids are meant to allow for sound to travel directly to his ear and to continue stimulating the auditory nerve that transmits sound signals to the brain. Getting the hearing aids today was such a blessing. The appointment took about 2 and half hours of testing and learning all about how the aids work and to properly care for them. Trust me they are expensive so we want to know exactly how to take care of them. Right now Jacob currently has two aids, one for each ear. One is a loaner aid provided by Cooks Children's Hospital and the other we purchased ourselves.
At the beginning of the appointment we tested Jacob's hearing using a sealed sound booth. It is pretty much the same kind of test we all received when we were in elementary school. Now don't laugh because even though I think my baby is a genius, he didn't raise his hands when we turned on the sounds. I think that might have freaked me out a little because he can't even roll over by himself. The main difference with this test is that small tube micorphones were placed in both of his ears and we looked for body responses from Jacob while he was sucking on his bottle. Basically when babies are sucking on a bottle or paci when they hear sounds it causes them to stop the sucking motion in order to respond. Sometimes they raise their eyebrows, their pupils can widen or their head my flinch. Jacob's audiologist said that he was the poster child for the test because he showed great results. She was able to determine that Jacob has a mild hearing loss, which means he can hear sounds at a conversational level and that quite whispers are where his hearing gets a little fuzzy. Still great news, because it means that this whole time that Vince and I have been playing, singing and talking to him he has been able to hear us. All that hard work paid off. Just kidding!!! Being with our baby is the most precious and exciting thing for us to do, so it's not really work, just awesome play time.
After the appointment was over, Jacob and I headed back home, while Vince went to work. Jacob was awake for about an hour after we got home, so he wore his aids the whole time and then he quickly fell asleep. His poor little brain was on over drive and he needed a break, so he slept for about 3 hours. And believe me he needed it, because we have been sleep training for the past week because he doesn't really like to take naps. But he went down with really no problems. He woke up a little bit before 5pm and it was time to put his aids back on his ears. He is only suppose to wear the aids during all waking hours of the day and not really during his sleep. It's not that the aids would do anything to him during his sleep, it's just that they can be uncomfortable on his ears while pressing down on the mattress and his head.
So we started to put the aids back on and they look easy enough to mess with, but try dealing with a moving target. It does get easier, it just takes practice. And they fit perfectly. Once we got the aids back on and he had a refreshing nap, it was like a whole new baby. I have never seen him so excited and giddy over all the toy sounds that we started playing with. He was laughing and smilling the entire time and was so intrigued by the toy piano keys. I know this might sound corny, but I pretty much cried a little to myself because it was the most touching and amazing thing I have seen so far. Vince and I have been truly blessed with this miracle baby boy. The one thing that I wished could have happened is that Vince didn't get to see much of Jacob in action. By the time Vince got home from work Jacob was winding down and it was getting pretty close to bedtime and he started to get a little cranky. I guess babies will be babies.
So to wrap up this whole experience, I would have to say it was eye opening and awe-inspiring. Learning all about Jacob's condition has made me so aware of all the wonderful things God has given me. I have a wonderful and caring husband. A beautiful home that I take so much pride and enjoyment in decorating. An awesome family and circle of friends. And of course a healthy and extraordinary baby boy that has touched my life in so many ways he will never know how much. I couldn't ask for more. So I want to say thank you to everyone for taking the time to read this blog and caring so much. All the wonderful words of encouragment and prayers have gotten us to where we are now. I've said it before and I will say it again, Vince and I have been truly blessed.

Jacob with his first pair of hearing aids. Isn't he too cute for words. Pardon all the drool on the bib, this child just can't keep it in his mouth.

This is the right ear hearing aid that is on loan from Cooks Children's Hospital.

And this is the left hearing aid that we purchased. Notice that it is nude colored. We figured when he gets older and if he is still wearing a hearing aid he can choose his own color next time. I figured nude went everything, I am such a girl.


Jill said...

This is wonderful news! What a blessing. Jacob is so lucky to have such great parents.

Kellie Pringle said...

Oh what wonderful news! I am so happy that you were able to see such an immediate positive response to the hearing aids. It really makes all of that struggle kind of melt away when you see things improving! I am also so glad to know that he has been able to hear you guys this whole time. What a blessing indeed! I can't wait to see him again so I can see his excited playing! :)

Raegan & Caleb said...

Happy News!

Caleb said...

Awesome! :)

Erin said...

Yay! Zack and I think about Jacob all the time and cant wait to meet him in person. What an amazing Christmas gift!