I remember the day so vividly that we found out about Ollie’s hearing loss.
When he was a newborn, he didn’t pass his hearing screening but the nurse sounded really confident that it was probably because he still had fluid in his ears from the birth. And we just so happened to have a friend whose son didn’t pass his test either, but he could hear! So we went on our merry way and appreciated all of the ways he responded to us. That was NOT the day that we found out. It really seemed like he could hear.
At six months, we went to an audiologist. By that time we realized Ollie had so many needs that we should just go down the list and see every single specialist under the sun!
I watched him as he peacefully slept in a crib in the sound booth. I had timed his nap perfectly so that he’d sleep with the little ear buds in his ears and we wouldn’t have to sedate him. My mommy tricks worked like a charm that day and I felt such pride as my beautiful baby quietly enjoyed his nap.
When the audiologist came back with her results I honestly couldn’t comprehend what she was saying.
“Your son has severe to profound hearing loss,” she explained. I just sat there with my furrowed brow. What? How? That doesn’t make any sense. And how dare you use those words! Why not say ‘he has hearing loss’. Slow down there lady… severe, profound? You might as well say horrible, awful, intense hearing loss. (I didn’t understand at that time that those big words were actual medical lingo). I couldn’t make any sense that Ollie couldn’t hear. He woke up when we went into his room. He turned to the door when someone knocked. He even danced when we all were enjoying music together.
She explained that when one loses a sense, the others are heightened. He had learned to communicate and pick up on social cues. And as I looked back at every instance, I slooooooowly began to see it.
But I still questioned her. “Are you sure? Because I kind of think he can hear….” She responded with, “do you see him there? Sleeping peacefully?…..” I nodded.
“Well, right now it’s as if he’s sleeping with the sound of a freight train in his ears.”
I looked at my sweet boy. He was completely passed out, dreaming of wonderful things I’m sure….with a freight train going through his ears.
And thus began our journey with hearing loss.