Monday, July 9, 2012

this isn't just going to go away.

I haven't been blogging as frequently as I had planned to. One reason is because of how busy we've been these last couple of months. In May we spent time running errands and taking Liam to the park. We got the kids pictures taken professionally for the first time since Liam turned one (so Evelyn's very first time - at six months old!) and of course celebrated Mother's Day. Evelyn had an audiologist appointment where she got new ear molds and started sound booth testing and then at the end of the month I picked up a horrible case of pink eye. Not a fun way to begin the summer, let me tell you! At the beginning of June we traveled to Florida to visit my husband's family and the kids went to the beach for the first time. A few days after returning from our trip my husband left for AT (annual training with the National Guard) for two weeks and unfortunately missed both Father's Day and Liam's third birthday. He's home now and we have a decent summer routine going for our family. Next month we plan on taking the kids on a day trip to the beach and then Dan will be starting school again. Whew! What a busy (and not to mention HOT!) summer!

Another reason why I haven't blogged recently is the fact that I'm having a hard time dealing with Evelyn's hearing loss and aids. I hate to admit it but I want to be honest with myself and with others on this blog. I would love for my blog to help other parents who are going through similar situations or are just starting this journey. I love sharing our experience through blogging and in order to continue to do so I have to be honest.

We're so fortunate in that our area has quite a few organizations that specifically reach out to babies and children with hearing loss and their families. In addition to Early Invention (Evelyn's "teacher" is so nice and helpful; she works only with kids with hearing loss) there is a large non-profit group throughout our whole state called Beginnings. We have someone who has been assigned to us that met with me early on and provided a ton of information. She has a son who is profoundly deaf so she can relate on a personal level. One of the amazing things about Beginnings is that they follow hard of hearing children and their families up until age 21! Many services for Evelyn will have phased out way before she turns 21 or even 18 so it's great to know that there will still be someone to turn to for support or advice. Evelyn's hearing loss could possibly be progressive (meaning it will get worse as time goes on) so we will definitely need support if that's the case.

Another group that is local to our area is called Hitch Up - Hearing Impaired Toddlers and Children Have Unlimited Potential. Way back in February, during our very first trip to the pediatric audiologist at UNC, we met a sweet woman and her adorable daughter in the waiting room. She mentioned the support group and invited us to a meeting; they meet once a month at a church and even provide childcare. I'm looking foward to attending a meeting within the next couple of months. I really think it would help me to talk with other parents and of course see all of their thriving children!

I don't think many parents anticipate having children with special needs. I know I didn't. The last thing I expected after having my daughter was to be learning about audiograms and picking out ear mold colors. The newborn hearing screening at the hospital before discharge is one of the last things that come between birth and being able to take your little one home. I never knew it would have such an impact on us but man, am I thankful for it!

Now it's time to charge onward and see what else this first year with Evelyn has in store for us. I'm determined to be strong for my girl and the rest of my family. I need to redirect my focus from trying to sweep this hearing loss diagnosis under the rug (and I shamefully have been; I know that Evelyn's hearing aids are so important to her developing speech skills on time. However, it's easier to not even try to wrestle an 8 month old and a set of hearing aids that cost more than your car when you're already juggling SO MUCH else!) to being the biggest supporter my daughter will ever have. She needs her hearing aids on as much as possible so that she can learn to be a big chatterbox like her big brother! We will continue with her early invention twice a month and in just a couple weeks she'll be heading back to the audiologist!

Hopefully my next blog post won't be two months from now :). I have a few ideas for posts; some are about Evelyn and hearing loss and some will be about one of my favorite subjects (besides my kids of course) - FOOD!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment, ask me a question, or link my blog to someone else you know in the hearing loss world!