Thursday, February 21, 2013

splish splash!

m has been talking a lot about being deaf lately,
and her comments range all over the place:

"mom, i don't like having implants because it's just hard sometimes and no one else has them."

"this girl at dance asked me five times what my implants were and i said, 'i'm deaf so that's how i hear.' but she kept asking and then finally she just said she'd have to ask her mom about that."

on valentine's day we each shared someone we loved and one reason why: "i love mommy and daddy because you got me implant surgery."

"mom, i love my implants. did you know that i like when i take them off i can just be calm and hear nothing?"

"are any of the other babies deaf like me? 
did they have to take a hearing test too like when i was born?"
 (she just had two new cousins born in the last month)

"i'm doing cochlear implant surgery on my baby doll because she's deaf just like me. these are her hospital tags (and she wrapped washi tape around her wrist and ankle)"

"can i go to PS (her deaf school) for kindergarten? there's lots of kids with implants there."

i think she's growing into recognizing who she is as a person (including having hearing loss.) part of that is realizing when her friends or new kids notice her implants 
or when she has to stop playing to get her wig tape fixed 
or to get her fm system during school storytime 
or when it's a raining and other kids can go play but she has to make sure she's covered up.

this is the model of implant that m wears. 
it's the same ones she's always had, 
and they are not waterproof or water resistant, 
so bathtime and swimtime are either silent for m, or we do a time-consuming waterproofing method that involves a swim cap and lots of patience (and the risk of damaging her implants).
suffice it to say, water activities are not my favorite.

enter, the opportunity for m to try out a new waterproofing method that would mean less drama and so much less stress! 
and for m, less feeling like she is different from all the other kids (which was reason enough for me)

her audiologist lent us a newer implant, which is water resistant
to be part of a study to see how effective these little plastic sleeves are in getting implants dry.
we had a great afternoon, meeting other families with deaf kids
and m got to swim in the pool without all the drama of what we usually do.
it was so much fun for her...
and here it is, a picture of the little sleeve that goes over the implant 
(i called it a implant condom since i'm so high class)
it worked amazingly well, and my girl had so, so much fun 
splashing around so happily with all the other kids.
i got kind of teary watching her soak up being around a bunch of kids like her (especially the big kids!) and getting to swim like any typical kid without a huge routine. she was slightly obsessed with this "big" girl with implants and it reminded me that although my daughter is thriving in the regular, hearing world, that it is important for her to spend time with other people with hearing loss. i guess for now i'm erring on the side of talking about identity stuff when and if i can, and we'll see what she wants as she gets older. 
i'm so proud of my girl, for so many reasons,
and watching her mature and more aware of who she is evolving into is such an honor.


  1. Oh my gosh, this post made me all weepy. How amazing that we have access to resources that can make such a big difference in our baby's lives!

  2. Oh, so glad you're getting to use those! I've heard great things about them. Ben has also been talking more about deafness lately, inspired by our weekly ASL lessons. Our ASL tutor is Deaf, and it's been both challenging and exciting to figure out how to communicate with him for a full hour at a time. When we first met him, his wife was there to help translate, and Ben didn't quite get that he was completely deaf and couldn't hear us at all. So then the first time he came to our house and Ben was confronted with the reality, he was a little intimidated and taken aback. He has since talked about different ways of being deaf, and I think it's been really helpful for him to be exposed to a deaf adult. He's never been around any other deaf people, so it's been very eye-opening for him.

    1. ha- doubling back to this. how is asl going? i want to do this too...

  3. I love the ability to hear in the water! I can't wait until hearing aids catch up - Siemen's has an IP 6/8 hearing aid (waterproof), but it is only for mild/moderate hearing losses so not appropriate for Nolan. I know when one area of technology improves, however, it soon spreads to other areas! There is no way for Nolan to hear when swimming or in the water, so we use sign language or a lot of running and chasing.... he loves the water, but it is a high-anxiety activity for the rest of us.

    I bet M loves swimming and hearing at the same time! Do you get to keep the sleeves and water-resistant processor?

    1. they are single use, so no :( but i bought a whole box!

  4. As the Anonymous posters point out, I too enjoyed reading about this, but for different reasons than them, I'm sure. Glad to be one of the touched "internet viewers" and his "good old room(space)mate."

    So, is the container essentially a heavy duty Ziploc? Yellow and blue make green!

  5. so cool. delsie loves her waterproof neptune from advanced bionics. makes such a difference for her. she recently gave a presentation on CI's and i made a video...hopefully i will post it soon.

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