It has been over a year since I last posted.
And, this year has been a healing year in so many ways.
My last post was a hard one for me. It was hard to share, hard to accept, hard to move forward. . .all while dragging my feet. But, I feel. . .now. . .it is SO IMPORTANT to share. To share how GOOD Heavenly Father is. To share the miracle of Vivienne with everyone!
Since that post, our life has consisted of regular Dr. appointments with an ENT, a few appointments with an Audiologist, Neonatal follow up care, Clinics, Regular Pediatric visits, MRI, Sound booth tests, and weekly visits with our Parent Infant Program Person (PIP) who helped us more than she knows. We got in a routine and the older that Vivienne got. . .the fewer appointments we had. As the appointments decreased, its like I started to feel a little bit of the old Heidi coming back. It was hard, and still is, almost like the old Heidi is looking at the new Heidi and wondering 'What just happened? Who is this "new" person and when is she leaving?'. I have struggled and have even had a lot of anxiety and panic attacks that I would never be 'me' again. But, through this, it has humbled me in ways that I am very grateful for, and I think prepared me to see Gods hand in my life again.
We started noticing that Vivienne responded to music better than anything else, and spent a lot of time recording her dancing!
It wasn't until beginning of this year, while sitting in our ENTs office with Vivi on my lap facing him and he brought up cochlear implants again that I said, "Are you sure she needs them?". I then asked Vivi if she wanted to dance and she started dancing, I asked her is she wanted to clap and she started clapping. That is when we scheduled the first sound booth test. She did great. . .and according to those results, they recommended hearing aids. We still had concerns. We continued learning sign language, and kept moving forward. In May we had another sound booth test. They scheduled 2 audiologists to do the test. I went to the appointment with Jillian and Vivienne. I sat in the booth holding Vivi on my lap and the audiologist on the other side of the glass with Jillian coloring by her side. It was at that moment, watching Jillian play happily through the glass and holding Vivi on my lap, that I remember saying a silent prayer. I prayed that Vivienne would respond to what she needed. And that I would be ok with whatever that meant. After the test, the audiologists, not knowing anything about our history, gave us the results.
She told me that 15 is normal for children and 25 is normal for adults. She told me that with these results they wouldn't recommend any form of hearing device. I am pretty sure she (and I) weren't ready for my reaction. I started sobbing. Full on can't catch your breath, crazy woman sobbing. After a quick 'uh, here's some tissue' moment. ..I left and called Jake. We felt an enormous amount of love from Heavenly Father and FOR Him! And continue to feel A LOT of gratitude!
After that, we still had Drs comment, "Well, she's not talking yet, and she should be. . .so you don't know WHAT she is hearing." And its true. We didn't know what she was hearing. And she was behind. But, I felt PEACE! It didn't matter anymore to me. I knew and was reminded that God was with us, guiding us! And I knew that I would help Vivienne thrive, no matter what she needed. Yes, it still is overwhelming at times. But, I don't throw my adult tantrums as often, so I feel like I am progressing!
This fall we had our new PIP person start coming. Our first one is out on Maternity leave and we hadn't been able to really catch up in a few months. Summer travels, and sickness in our family kept lots of distance before her baby came, so she hadn't seen Vivi and how much she had changed in the last few months. The new person came and asked a bunch of questions. At first, as Vivienne sat there quietly getting used to this new person, I could tell that I was getting the ANSD speech (a bit like I was unaware of what it was) and her feeling like I was in denial. Again, I said a prayer. That I would be OK with whatever Vivienne needed. And then Vivienne warmed up. She proceeded to start babbling EVERY WORD she knows! Up, Please, Happy, Mommy, Daddy, Jillsie, Jesus, More, Baby, Puppy, Blanky, Water (Which is Wa-Wa right now) and just kept on talking as we played with this new lady for her visit. She even said Night Night as she got tired towards the end of the visit. This new lady looked so confused. She looked at me and said (with a very confused look on her face), "I think you need to get her retested. I don't think she has ANSD anymore. You need to get another ABR done." I asked why she felt that and she proceeded to tell me that it is rare for those with ANSD to develop clear speech. Sound is jumbled for them and so it makes speaking very difficult. She looked at Vivienne. . .confused and went through her chart and said...'Ya, you need to get another ABR done.'
When she left I just had so much gratitude that Heavenly Father has blessed her with so many miracles. Her hearing yes. But, SO MANY MORE! That the bleeding in her brain didn't cause long term damage, that she sees from her eyes, that she is breathing on her own, that she hasn't needed surgery on the hole in her heart still, that she rolled over, crawled and started walking, that she is talking and understanding us more and more!!! I am so very grateful that I have been able to see so many things that we have been blessed with. I am grateful for all of the amazing people in our lives that have asked if they could learn sign language with us. For the nursery leader who asked as Vivienne was coming in to nursery if she should learn sign, for the Primary doing signing songs, for the family members who learned a few signs a day and taught their kids! The love of so many has truly been overwhelming!
Looking at my little family...I KNOW that God is a God of Miracles! And will forever be grateful for the miracles that He has blessed me to see!
|Photo credit: Valory Jean Photography|