Thursday, March 19, 2009
When I was pregnant for Lily, and we didn't know her hearing status, I often thought about how different life would be in our house if she was hearing. Christian was our first child, and as a first time Mom, I knew no different. I grew used to being able to go in and out of his room and have conversations on my phone while he napped. I would blast the radio in the car. I often joked with our friends and family that one blessing of having a Deaf child is that we could always host the evening get togethers at our house, and not worry about waking Christian. I could vacuum outside of his door and he would just soundly sleep.
So, here I am with my second child, who is 7 weeks old, and she is hearing. We certainly have had to adjust our family routine quite a bit to accommodate her "hearing" needs. Bedtime really DOES have to be quiet. Unloading and loading the dishwasher with all the clinking and clanking startles her. Mail dropping through our mail slot wakens her. And gone are the days of the parties in the evening and vacuuming outside of her door. I will never forget seeing her startle in the hospital for the first time, just 2 days after she was born, just as I will never forget seeing Christian startle for the first time, at 9 months old when he was finally aided.
One primary difference I've noticed is how responsive she is to our voices. We've been able to use our voices and soft gentle humming to soothe our little girl who suffers from quite the case of reflux. Christian never responded to our voices, and preferred vigorous bouncing and swaying to be soothed. While I got quite a workout, and can still find the creak that I created in our hardwood floor from swaying with him, it is comforting to me as a mother to know my newborn knows my voice. She smiles when I sing to her. She turns to my voice. It's SUCH a different experience this second time around. In some ways, I feel like a first time Mom.