Today I am reminded about how lucky I am to have been given a 2nd chance at hearing. Before I had my daughter, I accepted that my hearing was getting worse & I think I had acknowledged the fact that i'd just 'be deaf'. At that time (before being pregnant, so early 2009), I was under the assumption that I wasn't a candidate for the Cochlear Implant. I had testing for it years ago & wasn't eligible. To be honest, I can't even remember why. Whether it was because my hearing loss wasn't severe enough, i'm not sure. It was pretty bad at the time still, but I was getting by with BTE hearing aids.
Part of me wonders if I had not had a child, whether I would have even bothered to return to the possibility of getting a Cochlear Implant or whether I would like as I said before, just be deaf & accept it for what it is & go about my everyday life. Lived as a recluse perhaps, I don't know. The good thing is now that I don't have to think about that!
I had major depression & depressing thoughts about being a deaf Mum. It just wasn't what I thought I would be. I have the most respect for anyone who has gone through this longer than I have. Each person is different, but for me, as someone who has had hearing before - I know what a bird sounds like & all those things most people take for granted. I couldn't bare the thought of not hearing my daughter ever, so each day since her birth, it dragged me down each & every day. Especially when I knew she was crying her eyes out as a baby & I could see the look of frustration on my hubbys face. I could see how bad the crying was & not being able to settle her etc. But at the same time, I felt out of the loop, coz I wasn't hearing her. Her crying was silent to me. Her screaming, her wailing, her shrieking etc. All meant nothing. I couldn't tell if she was crying unless I could see her face & even then, unless her face was bright red or tears falling down her face, I really didn't understand whether she was crying or laughing.
So all this sort of stuff, analysing her face. Trying to work out what she was doing at each moment of the day, it was so exhausting. Then to top off the exhausting days, I had to try & comfort myself. I felt so alone in a silent world. My hubby could talk to his parents over the phone & maybe get some advice about things or just blurt things out. But for me, being deaf & not having that option, it was very overwhelming at times & I would cry myself to sleep. Not knowing where I fitted into this world. Maybe this world of motherhood wasn't for me. Was I selfish for having a baby when I knew that I wouldn't be able to hear her? She deserves better than me - someone who can hear her without staring at her all the time to SEE a response.
So anyway, today I was reminded of how lucky I am that my Cochlear implant surgery went so incredibly well & today - only 3months after my switch on date. I have almost forgotten all those times of self hate, the feeling of being so alone & depressed because I can't hear my daughter giggle & laugh.
Because now I can! I am loving waking up each day knowing that I get to HEAR her. Even on the grumpy frumpy days ;) And today, as I was changing her nappy (yes, still can't get her toilet trained ARGHH), I got the pleasure of listening to her sing the alphabet song which she seems to have adjusted to suit herself lol.
"ABCDEFGHIJK LMNOP QRS TUV WX Y Zed, now I know my ABCD EFGHIJK LMNOP ... "
You get the idea ;) it goes over & over & over apparently ;) Its a neverending song, rather than "now I know my ABC, next time won't you sing with me!" lol.
Another song shes singing lots of Ram Sam Sam - this was sung at her Kindy Concert on Tuesday & shes been singing it for the past month or so. But it brings back so many happy memories of me singing it at Brownie & Girl Guide camps etc when I was little, over in NZ. So I get to reminisce as well as enjoy my daughter sing :)
Words cannot express how much I am loving it right now :) I cry so often now ... but this time, its tears of joy, amazement, surreal feeling of being able to hear better than I have for the past 12 years or so!
I know there is still a long long road ahead of me, learning to undo all these little habits that i've gathered during my bad hearing & deaf period. Things like looking down at the ground while walking. Ive been doing that for so many years now that I need to physically remind myself not to do it & I probably need some sort of physio to help correct my posture etc now too.
Many things have changed, but I know they can be changed back to "before" as well. The most important thing in the world to me, is my lil girl, my pride & joy, the best thing in my life - & the fact that I can experience life with her now & get excited as her at hearing things.
Even yesterday, when we walked home from the bus stop, we walked past a house that has a chicken coop. A Rooster crowed! And we both heard it at the same time & looked at each other, but lil miss not having heard one before, didn't know what it was. And that was my defining moment! I was able to tell her "that is a rooster". Because I had heard it too. Before now, i've always had to say "I don't know" or "Ask Daddy" coz I can't hear anything. NOW I get to be Mum & teach her sounds! Not just look completely clueless at what shes hearing.
Happy Days! :D