Tuesday, October 9, 2007
One is FUN!
A few dozen new toys, and a million calories later, we survived the big First Birthday weekend. Baby J was in top form, and loved having all the attention, even if he did get a little overwhelmed and cry when we sang Happy Birthday! Ooops!
With all the worry that we've been through over his hearing lately, we decided that we had to have a big party to celebrate his birthday and focus on all the positives with him, and there are many. I want to look back on this stage in his life and remember it as a happy time, not an anxious time. A time full of the changes we're seeing in Baby J, and the excitement of each new milestone he reaches.
This little man is such a bundle of fun, and is really starting to come out of his shell and hold his own against his sister. Before now, due to Miss E being much more vocal and demanding of our attention, Baby J tended to be a bit of a passive observer really. I feel guilty periodically that I don't seem to give him the same amount of attention as Miss E got at that stage, and that I take advantage of his easy going nature and let him amuse himself perhaps too much. People assure me that this is the normal dynamic in a home with more than one child, but I still feel guilty.
These days, he's getting very vocal. Babbling away, and having full scale 'conversations' with himself every morning in his crib - I hear him over the monitor. I am focusing on these as very good signs that as of now his hearing is plenty good enough, and that he is definitely in line with normal speech development. He is even attempting 'Bye Bye' which sounds more like 'Buh Ba' accompanied by his waving arm.
Several people have asked for updates on our ongoing journey to get to the bottom of J's hearing tests. So far we have had CT scans come back clear, and blood testing reveal that he has a genetic cause for the already identified hearing loss. What we still do not know at this point is what exactly this means in practical terms for J, and what the prognosis is. He has to go through another sedated hearing test next week which will reveal if we are now dealing with hearing loss in his right ear, too. If this is the case it will be a very worrying development and I'm pretty anxious about it. We also meet with clinical geneticists and a pediatric neurologist this month. What exactly they will do, I have no idea. We are just going through with all of the audiologists recommendations in the hope that we get to the bottom of it, determine exactly what we are dealing with and we ask God for the grace to deal with the outcomes along the way. To be honest, I have no idea whether these visits with all these 'ologists' (count them - pediatric neurologist, audiologist, otolaryngologist, speech and language pathologist), is standard protocol following the diagnosis of sensorineuro hearing loss, or if they really suspect that J has issues in all of these areas! It's been a little overwhelming to say the least - but I am now armed with a folder, written questions for each doctor and a determination to leave no stone unturned in terms of finding out what's wrong and what we can do about it.
At this point, I am trying my best to focus on all these positives, and hope for the best - that is that this hearing issue remains as minor as it is now, and does not progressively deteriorate. At the same time, I have to try and prepare myself for news that I don't really want to hear in the hope that I can accept it and move forward positively for Baby J.
Above all, I do not want J to ever feel sad about this, or feel that he is or will be disadvantaged in any way. I want him to see me as a mother who will take on the world on his behalf, and later take it on with him, so that even later he can go out there and take it on himself!