Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Claire Bear Continued.....

Claire's hearing test, I remember it well. Even though it went unspoken between us, Stephanie and I were pretty nervous about Claire's test. I hadn't worried much about it throughout the pregnancy, but now that the time was finally here, it scared the crap out of me and I know that the fear had taken away a very tiny bit of joy from Claire's birth. The morning after Claire was born, the nurse came into our room and took her away for the hearing screening. We put on a brave face, but anyone that knew us well could tell what was on our mind.

A short time later, the audiologist on call came back with Claire's results. She had failed. I was numb and Stephanie was devastated. Both of us aged a couple of years in a couple of minutes. Knowing our family's background, the audiologist treated us with kid gloves. She implored us not to worry, citing the fact that Claire had fluid in her ears and that situation could easily have caused her to fail her screening. "Whatever." I thought. "I've heard that before." I knew in my heart that Claire was deaf. I wasn't devastated like I was with Max, but boy was I getting extremely tired of bad things happening to our family (and selfishly, bad things happening to me). The audiologist said that we could re-test the following day, after the fluid had time to drain from Claire's ears.

Stephanie prayed hard for a positive result. I prayed some, but I was pretty ticked at God and was beginning to think that He never listened to me anyway. The nurse came to get Claire the next day. I waited in the room for a few minutes. One of our friends came by and tried to comfort us while we were waiting for the results. I couldn't handle it and went to watch the test through the glass in the nursery. Not expecting anything positive, I was surprised to see the audiologist smile at me through the glass. She gave me the thumbs up! Claire had passed the test! I couldn't believe it. I sprinted back to the room and told Stephanie the wonderful news. Maybe all of our bad luck was behind us.

We happily took Claire home the next day. We were pretty relieved as you can imagine and we began our life with our second child. Life was pretty normal for the next few months. However, after Claire was around four or five months old, I started having doubts about her hearing. She was not babbling at all and she seemed to be a really heavy sleeper. I remember "parenting" one night when Stephanie was out with her friends. I think that Max was in bed and that Claire was asleep on the couch down stairs. The thought of Claire getting a false positive on her test was really starting to get to me, so I decided to conduct my own test. I turned my cell phone volume all the way up and placed the phone next to Claire's ear. It was a pretty pathetic sight. Anyway, I set off the ringer. Claire didn't budge. My fears began to grow, but I was not yet convinced. Stephanie and I would clap around Claire sometimes in order to get her attention. She seemed to respond to the claps most of the time. My fears were cemented when Claire was around ten months old. She was taking a nap in her crib upstairs when the smoke alarms went crazy and started to blear throughout the house. Claire didn't move a muscle. I knew she was deaf. Stephanie was not convinced. She recounted many stories to me about small children sleeping through smoke alarms. Evidently, it was some sort of phenomena.

We went through the next few months worrying and decided to have a conclusive test shortly after Christmas. We had to know the truth. At least the truth would help us move on and get some direction. We took Claire to the audiologist's office at Vanderbilt. She hooked Claire up to the machine and the test began. I could tell that it was not going well. With tears in her eyes, she gave us the bad news. Claire was deaf.

Like I said before, I promise that our story gets happier, so please hang in there. I'm really tired, so I'll try to pick this back up soon.

1 comment:

Adi said...

Hello, This is my first time visiting here. Your blog is a nice,I thought I would leave my first comment. :)

Greets from
Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang