Hear No Evil: Born Deaf

Hear No Evil: Born Deaf

Baby kisses for me, baby kisses for you!

I’m loving her starting to mimic! So far she shakes her head back and forth and now she is returning kisses. How lucky am I?! She amazes me ever day.

https://youtu.be/0xqzZTVydSA

Hear No Evil: Born Deaf

Hear No Evil: Born Deaf

Zoey is 5 months old today!

Yesterday she had her 4th audiology appointment at Dartmouth in Lebanon, NH. The results were the same as the prior tests…which was really no surprise.

The tests completed confirmed that she has very little hearing and that it will not “get better.” We also went through the options that are available to her, which are minimal due to her age and condition.

It didn’t take me long to agree with trying hearing aids. If they can help in any way, why not give them a try? Molds of her ears were completed and colors were picked out. I chose the strongest device available with the complete understanding that there may be very little improvement (if any at all) with her hearing.

I continue to practice ASL, I continue to research and find resources for learning and teaching. I want so desperately to be able to communicate and understand our new language, our new culture, our new world.

I feel so incredibly blessed to be Zoey’s mom. I can’t wait to experience this journey with her and the rest of our family. There are so many reasons why I am able to accept and embrace her diagnosis. So many reasons to not feel sorry for her or pity her or myself.

Zoey is my purpose. She is my miracle, my strength, my love, my life. She is beautiful and active and so incredibly happy! I am honored to be challenged in providing her with the best and happiest life possible.

Hear No Evil: Born Deaf

Hear No Evil: Born Deaf

Zoey just turned 4 months old! I can’t believe how fast time goes. Savoring every moment with her is my daily goal.

Zoey had another appointment with Early Interventions recently. We will start with home visits very soon! The 2 ladies who did her assessment were so kind, nonjudgmental and very knowledgeable. I am excited to be a part of it all.

Zoey watches me practice ASL daily. I know my ABCs with little hesitation now and she appears to be very intrigued and entertained when I practice sign language. She watches my hands most every time.

I have observed reactions with 2 different signs so far:

Milk and diaper.

After I make a bottle, and before I let her drink from it, I sign “milk.” Sometimes her crying calms. Other times she becomes eager with anticipation. Other times she is too upset and hungry to acknowledge my signing.

With the sing “diaper” I show her before a diaper change. I then show her a diaper and sign again. Typically, she becomes very excited. She smiles and starts to kick her feet happily.

I continue to label objects in our home with pictures of their signs. Her play area has pictures of signs for different animals and activities. I also have an area on the bathroom wall for when she has a bath:

Bath, soap, wash, shampoo, dry, towel etc.

The wall behind the couch has a quick reference guide for baby sign language, the alphabet and signs I try to use daily. Like mommy, daddy, milk, please, thank you and all done. I have so much more I want to do when it comes to labeling and learning ASL! I’d like to make small reference posters for certain places and activities. Posters that are within view so that I can simply look up and see the sign I’m looking for.

YouTube has become a huge learning tool for me. I watch songs and stories in sign language. I learned my alphabet from a very repetitive video. And I am learning more signs and short phrases from ASL YouTube videos for beginners.

I also started a group chat on my iPhone titled, “Family ASL” and invited family members and friends who are eager to learn ASL with me. Now we can all be on the same page when it comes to communicating with Zoey. It’s also a great way to share our resources and progress!

Hear No Evil: Born Deaf

Hear No Evil: Born Deaf

Today I got to spend the day with our beautiful daughter. We had an intake appointment at our local Family Resource Center for Family Centered Early Supports and Services. The second we walked through the door, we were met with smiles and friendly conversation. Everyone’s attention was drawn to baby Zoey. She was very interested by all of the new happy faces all around her.

The woman who conducted Zoey’s intake was kind, professional and knowledgeable. She asked many questions about my pregnancy, Zoey’s birth, family history, milestones and other developmental questions. She told me about the services and activities available to Zoey. And she emphasized that there would be no judgment about the personal information I had given her and that it would remain confidential.

I am very optimistic about our journey with Zoey and I look forward to connecting with other families and resources so that I can provide her with the best environment possible.