Friday, February 27, 2015

that was then, this is now

i haven't posted much about monrovia's deafness lately, partly because i've been in a bit of a lull posting...and partly because life just rolls along, and her deafness is just part of our normal. i was thinking about it the other day, when i was texting with her deaf teacher about a couple of issues that have come up at school. overall? we couldn't ask for a better outcome. at the same time, we field little hearing loss related things every week that have just become part of our life rhythm as a family.

monrovia is completely mainstreamed, and thriving in her classroom. she has a speech therapist that works with her once a week, a deaf teacher that comes in twice a week to address any classroom issues, and her teacher wears an fm system so that her voice can go directly into monrovia's implants. most of the time things go smoothly. so much of what we think about with her implants and deafness is invisible to anyone outside of our family. she's learned to advocate for herself, and we've learned to choose when to speak up and when to let things work themselves out.

this week we celebrated the 6th anniversary of when monrovia got her surgery for her cochlear implants! i cannot believe it's been SIX years since this day happened.

i had so many fears when i wrote for the very first time about her potential diagnosis. then we moved on from grief to action, and life with a delightful baby! there was lots of this with very little results:

those powerful hearing aids just couldn't make the sound loud enough for our baby. remember those days? the little pilot hat snug on her head because she would pull those teensy hearing aids out to chew on them? therapy back then was really more to teach matt and i how to teach speech and language to a deaf child than it was helpful to her.

then, after those silly hearing aids and a very long and hard fight with insurance, we won! on february 24, 2009, our little bambino had her surgery. in retrospect she was so small! look at her snuggling up with that pacifier! i remember feeling so at peace as the surgeons worked on her for hours.

so much has happened since, of course. so many milestones and celebrations! our beautiful, smart, kind deaf girl loves these implants more than anything. in a few weeks we celebrate her hearing birthday: the day her implants got activated for the first time and she heard her first sounds, including her name, our voices, and the words "we love you." a pretty remarkable six years, i'd say; there's not much that could make me take back a day of it. proud and grateful for this journey, and somehow i become more proud as each year passes.
(someone was very excited to discover this week that her two implants 
make the shape of a heart when she puts them together)


  1. I can't believe it's been six years. Time goes so fast. I remember following your blog. I had never knew that could do implants. She's a beautiful girl, you must be so proud.

    1. i can't believe it either! yes- so very proud of her progress, and delighted that she's my daughter

  2. I'm so far behind on blogging - both reading and writing, but to see this and remembering walking this journey, through the years, together, brought tears to my eyes. It's crazy our sweet babies have been hearing for six years now, are mainstreamed, and doing simply amazing. She has grown up so much and is such a beautiful little girl! I hope Aiden and she can meet one day soon! PS Aiden is missing all his front teeth too ... LOVE this look! ; )

    1. me too tammy- can you believe our littles are so....big?! i hope they can too!

    2. I found your blog after finding out my 7 month old daughter is deaf. We found out when she was 6 weeks old. It is great to read about kids doing so well with cochlear implants! It gives me hope! She should be getting hers in the next 3 months.

    3. Thanks for your comment- please feel free to email me if you ever need anything. susannaheloyse(at)yahoo(dot)com It is an amazing journey and worth the emotional roller coaster! Good luck on the surgery and congrats on your baby!


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