our little blessing

Our son Teak Joseph Head was born on October 28th, 2010. He has been a blessing in our lives even before he was born. We truly feel honored that the Lord chose both of us to be the parents of this special boy. Teak was born with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele and a minor hearing loss in both ears. Both un-related to each other. These are the curve balls of life. You never know when they are coming, you just keep your head up, step up and hit back with prayer, strength and love.
Welcome to our lives. Teak will one day change the world for the better just the way he has changed us.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ear oh ear...

Oh ear, oh ear! A lot of people don't know the facts about Teak's ears so here goes.

Teak failed his infant hearing screened when he was in the NICU. They did it 3 times! The third time before we left the hospital, his left ear passed but his right ear still didn't. They kept stating that it could be just because he had fluid in his ears from birth (c-section baby) so not to worry but that we would need to have an audiologist do a hearing test on him at Dell.

So in December we went into Dell Children's Hospital and met with Liz, the audiologist there, and she tried to test his ears. They told me to keep him hungry and tired. Let me tell you, that was a fun morning. I kept him as hungry as I could and he fell asleep in the car. Thank goodness, Dell is only 10 minutes away. Liz is actually happy that he is asleep so that she can start testing. She keeps him in his carrier, starts to attach electrode things to his head and begins the testing.

Side note: She asks why we are there, I explain that he basically failed his infant hearing screen except the left ear. We know he hears because he startles at sounds, etc. I also tell her that I must mention that my grandfather (mother's side) had to get hearing aids when he was around 20 years old and supposedly his mother had to get them around the same age. Also, grandpa had a sister who was born deaf. She nods her head. Then she ends up asking why he was in the NICU and I explain that he has Spina Bifida, etc.

Alright, so she is testing him and has her computer screen up with all these little graphs moving. I just kind of sit back and watch. He starts to stir and then eventually wakes up before she can finish. I am breastfeeding so brought a bottle of breastmilk to try to feed him and try to get him back to sleep. They have to be asleep in order to finish the because the stirring and even eating is too loud and makes the test inconsistent. He falls back to sleep in my arms so she decides to try the other ear and begins testing, he wakes up again before she can finish.

The results are inconclusive at this time and he is going to have to go back in for testing and they will have to sedate him the next time. Ugh, not so happy about that but it seems to be something they do all the time when necessary and I trust the people at Dell.
She does mention that our son hears but that there was a potential delay at lower levels on the left side and right side. She stated it could still be fluid in the ears so we had to go see a pediatric ENT doctor to have his ears checked.

We were talking while she was doing some of the tests and kept saying that she really loved how I was with Teak. She thought that I must have other children the way that I handled him and spoke to him. She said that I didn't act like a new mom but like an experienced mother. That meant a lot to me. I didn't know how else I would act but it felt good to hear that especially after the past month had been for me. She really felt impressed at my reaction to his SB diagnosis. He was doing so well and we were so thankful to the Lord. Ah-ha, she said. That is why you are this way. You have faith. No wonder.
How else can you be, I think.

So we go to the ENT doctor and she stated that Teak does not have fluid in his ears.

So back at Dell again for another hearing test in the beginning of March. This morning all I am doing is having little discussions with God. Yes, I have faith and believe that Teak is the most special little being in the world but he already has Spina Bifida, please Lord, don't give him hearing loss. He is special but people on this earth are mean and I don't want him to have to deal with anything else...
The most nerving about this test was that they had to sedate him. It was so sad, he had to drink this orange stuff then fussed a little and fell asleep. It was just sad and unnerving but I trusted the nurse who watched over him and trusted Liz. I couldn't stay in the room with him so I had to go to the waiting room. They give you a pager so you can walk around. I decided to walk around for a bit b/c she said it could take up to an hour and a half.

The diagnosis: Well, God had another plan. Teak was diagnosed with mild to moderate hearing loss. His left ear is better than his right ear. The audiologist explained it to us that he hears but he doesn't hear certain sounds very well unless they are louder. She recommended he get hearing aids before he was 6 months. She stated that we don't have to listen to her recommendation but that it could effect his speech. Then later on when he is not speaking correctly we will think we need to correct his speech but that wasn't the initial problem, it was because he was not hearing the words correctly. So in order for him to learn to speak words correctly the hearing aids would help. We may say THROW to him but he only hears ROW...

My initial thought was that it was crazy to think he needed hearing aids. What in the world was she talking about. He could hear so what was the use. He reacted to the sounds when they were louder so I could just speak louder or keep him by my side. He was already right next to me most of the day while I was holding him. While speaking with her I couldn't hold back the tears. I just hated that we were adding another disability to this beautiful perfect boy. Lord, he already had Spina Bifida, why did we need to tack this on? I truly believe it was not a result of his SB, that it was genetically from me. I must carry a passive gene from my grandfather. Those thoughts are scary as well because this could also happen to another child if we chose to have one. They could even be deaf like my great aunt.

I was angry with God for a couple days, yelling at him and just purely angry. Honestly, I have to say that I was felt a little more upset about this diagnosis than the SB. Maybe because I knew it was my fault where the SB we had no idea where it came from. I did get over it after a couple days. I apologized to God and felt comfort in the diagnosis.
I know that He specifically made Teak to be a special boy. More special than any of our friends' and families' babies. (Sorry guys!) But we were chosen and Teak was chosen and he is only going to be a better person because of it all.

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