I remember the day that I went into labor with my daughter, we were out celebrating my mother’s birthday and just as I was getting ready to crawl into bed. I heard a pop and knew instantly that my water had broke. Of course, I should have known better but I immediately ran to the bathroom and sat on the toilet. I know, I know, that I probably shouldn’t have sat on the toilet since I didn’t know how far into labor that I was. However, my immediate reaction to the situation was to try and contain the mess so that I didn’t have to worry about cleaning up amniotic fluid after I got home from the hospital.
Disclosure: This post is for informational purposes and shouldn’t replace appropriate medical advice from a doctor or audiologist regarding your child’s hearing. The information that I provided was based upon my own experience with my daughter’s hearing loss and the process that I went through.
I arrived at the hospital shortly after midnight and I was having very painful contractions. The nurse gave me some pain medication, which allowed me to get some sleep. After almost 12 hours of labor, I was blessed with a beautiful daughter. Before going home from the hospital, my daughter was taken by a nurse to have her newborn hearing screening done. A newborn hearing screening is a simple test to determine if your child has any hearing loss or problems. When the nurse brought her back to me. She told me that my daughter failed her hearing screening, my heart broke into a million pieces.
The nurse assured me that this happens occasionally and try not to worry about it too much. She said that sometimes there is fluid trapped in the ear and causes a baby to fail a newborn screening. I was instructed to bring my daughter back to the hospital in two weeks so that she could have a repeat hearing screening done. I handed my daughter over to the nurse and I remember that I was pacing back and forth in the hallway while waiting to hear the results. Her repeat hearing screening revealed the same results as the first hearing test.
My world crumbled around me. My perfect daughter was born deaf and all I could do was question myself. I remember going back through my pregnancy and remembering all the things that I could have done to cause my daughter to be born with a hearing loss.
After a few days of grilling myself, I finally accepted the fact that my daughter was born deaf for a reason and that I should embrace it; instead, of blaming myself for something that I had no control over. She was perfect in her own way.
My daughter had the eyes of a hawk and would study everything. When she was a baby, she loved looking at you and studying your lips as you spoke to her. It was as if she knew exactly what you were saying and telling her. Today she is still an avid lip reader and you have to be careful when you are talking in front of her, especially, if it is something that you don’t want her to hear. She is a brilliant and smart young lady.
A newborn hearing screening is a simple test that checks to determine if your child has any hearing loss. Most hospitals perform the test before you and your baby are discharged from the hospital. The test takes about 10-15 minutes and is usually down while your baby is sleeping. A newborn hearing screening can determine if your baby has any form of hearing loss so that parents can get immediate help to resolve any hearing issues. A newborn begins learning the moment they enter the world. Without adequate hearing your child will miss out on important speech and language development. The sooner that you can get your child’s hearing loss corrected, the sooner you can begin speech and language therapy to help your child catch up.
When my daughter was born, medical professionals didn’t want to surgically place a cochlear implant in a child’s ear until they were two years old (This was in 1997). My daughter began learning sign language around 6 months of age. Now medical professional realize that there are less speech and language gaps if a child receives medical help sooner. A child can receive a cochlear implant quicker today.
Continue Reading: “Failed Newborn Hearing Screening – My Daughter’s Story“.
Did your newborn have a newborn hearing screening?