Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hear This

When you're expecting a baby, you always hope for the best - a happy, HEALTHY baby. For the most part, that's exactly what N is. (Although, I definitely do NOT think that for the four straight hours she keeps me up, screaming and hitting me in the middle of the night because of the four top front teeth all deciding to try to make their appearance at once... But that's another story.) Before being released from the hospital where N was born, she managed to fail her hearing screening three times. We returned later that week where she failed again.

The nurses didn't seem overly concerned, so I wasn't. They said the testing can often return a false reading this early on because of the excess fluids in a newborn's ear canal. About a month or so later, we received a letter from DHS (Department of Human Services). The hospital had been required to report the failed hearing test and we were now being asked to take N to a bigger city for an ABR - a type of hearing test that measures brainstem activity in response to sound. This test literally took hours. Imagine trying to keep a baby asleep while hooked up to monitors and having various tones and frequencies blasted directly into their ears. We had to make multiple trips to complete the testing.

When it was all said and done, N qualified for hearing aids in both ears. It's only considered a mild hearing loss, but we don't know if it will get worse. She's missing higher frequencies, which includes some general speech sounds.

As far as disabilities go, hers is not bad. In fact, without the early hearing tests, we probably wouldn't have even suspected there was a problem before she turns 2 or 3.

We've been waiting since November for her insurance to approve the hearing aids. At the end of February, they approved ONE. The audiologist battled with them for about a month and got nowhere. Tomorrow, N will finally get her first hearing aid. In two months, we hope she'll have two.
having ear molds done in November for her hearing aids