Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cochlear Implant Child

Being a mom of a child with cochlear implants is different. I can't really explain it any other way but just different. Now that I have a hearing child, it makes it even more relavant that my first time as a mom was...different. Ok, ill be honest, it was HORIFYING. Before Riley was able to hear I couldn't soothe her with my voice. She didn't hear the sounds of the television or vacuum cleaner to wake her up. She never turned to sounds or was startled when I walked in the door; this is all stuff I am learning right now with Emerson.

Cochlear implants parents experience different things that eventually seem "normal", whatever that is. Nothing surprises you and you are constantly aware of your surrounding. I have been thinking about how my life is different and thought I would make a list. You know you're a mom of a child with cochlear implants if:

  1. You use the word CI more than eat, sleep or bath.
  2. calendars do you no justice- I live day by day to make sure everyone (including daycare, grandma and dad) is on the same page with days we have therapy- which is three times per week.
  3. You will be amazed by how many times you can say "moo" or "quack" in an hour (200 to be exact).
  4. Everything is a teaching moment
  5. Troubleshooting a red light is like diagnosing a chronically ill patient
  6. you are terrified of plastic slides
  7. You are on a first name basis with you audiologist and the company that makes your implant- in our case Advanced Bionic.
  8. Fed Ex comes to your house about once a week
  9. People stare at you- and your child. It makes you sad but they do.
  10. When traveling anywhere, you grab extra cords, batteries, processors and anything else you can find.
  11. You constantly fear your child throwing their CI in the toilet- my worst nightmare
  12. You hear things- things you never really "heard" before, you hear. Cars driving by can be so exciting to someone who has never heard them
  13. When they are sleeping you can be as loud as you want; this is also good for bad storms in the middle of the night.
  14. The I love you sign is your family symbol; and we don't even use sign language
  15. When someone says "are you deaf" in public, I get nausaus in my stomach
  16. Brown Bear is your favorite book you read everynight
  17. You dread the day you have to have "the talk" and answer question on why she is different from her sister and everyone else.
  18. You know what "Ling 6" and "Learning to Listen" sounds are
  19. You can't understand why parents teach their kids the alphabet in the bathtub
  20. waterproof CI's are the best thing since sliced bread.
  21. You look at your child and still get an overwhelming sadness; you're still not over it.
  22. You realize your child's education is your responsibility; not the states or school systems
I sometimes wonder what life would be like if Riley wasn't born deaf or didn't have cochlear implants. The reality is I couldn't really imagine her without it. Its a big part of who she is and who we have become as a family. She will never know any different...and that's okay with us!

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