Thursday, March 19, 2009

So different


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.

8 comments:

Lucas'Mommy said...

Nate and I talk about that often - how we'll have to make some serious changes if our next child is born hearing. My sister has a son 1-month younger than Lucas (and hearing), and we vacationed together last summer. She was ALWAYS telling me to be quiet, because I just wasn't used to it. We will have a severe wake-up call indeed.

Michelle said...

Interesting observations! :)

leah said...

It is quite a bit different! Even though Nolan's only HOH, he still sleeps through most noises (unless they're really loud). With Matt, we'd have to tiptoe around the house and with Nolan, we can pretty much carry on with our normal routine. Unless we mess with the lighting- passing shadows will wake him up!

Good luck with the tummy reflux. I've heard that can be quite trying, for both mommy AND baby!

Mom to Toes said...

I love this post. Your life pre-Lily sounds just like ours. I always wondered what it would be like to have a second child who could hear. Your description of being able to soothe her with your voice is so beautiful.

David said...

Actually, when our first was born Hearing, I played a radio in the room during nap time. This was to do two things. First, to help establish day-night rhythm (no radio at night). Second, so ouy baby would learn to sleep despite house noises. We were *not about* to tiptoe around because "the baby is sleeping".

All of our little Hearies slept just fine with house noises.


David

tammy said...

One of the hardest parts to deal with for me with Aiden was knowing how my voice soothed his older siblings ... but he didn't hear it, so I had to find new ways. Such a new experience for you! Btw ... we love that we can be loud at night now and know we're not waking the baby! haha

Paula Rosenthal said...

I had the same experience when my second and third children both had (have) normal hearing. We tiptoed around the house for the second child, but by the third, we realized that they learn to sleep with background noises. To this day though, I lower the volume on the tv at night and just use the closed captions! :) Congrats on your new little girl.

Clarissa Welsh said...

So True! Mine were the other way around, my oldest two are hearing and our 3rd was born with profound bilateral loss. I think I have the same creak in my floor now! It is amazing how different each one is, imparements aside! I do so love being able listen to my music when it's just the two of us in the car instead of kiddy bop :)