Friday, August 29, 2014

Under Water

In the last 6-12 months we've noticed issues with Emeline's hearing. It just didn't seem right. It was almost like she was ignoring us, and we were even told once by the pediatrician that, 'yea, selective hearing' (ha-ha-funny eyeroll) after she (seemed) to pass her hearing test with flying colors.

The issue kept on. We knew in our gut something wasn't right. I knew my girl wasn't a deliberately disobedient kid. She honestly just couldn't hear fully. It wasn't until the last few months the issue just got more and more noticeable. The TV would be up at a perfectly acceptable volume, and she'd be super upset that she just COULD NOT HEAR IT, frustrated with me, even.

We'd start to test her out, whispering from behind. Nothing. Back to the doctor and this time she failed the initial hearing test, so we called the ENT to get this show on the road. They got us in that day. I don't know if that's ever happened in my life for a specialist, but I didn't argue. We were ready for some answers for our girl.

After the full blown audiology exam it was determined. She definitely was not hearing fully, had about 50% hearing loss, and there was a lot of fluid back there that simply could not drain. But it could be fixed thanks to the simple tube surgery that lots of kids (and adults) benefit from. Once we realized how poor her hearing really was, 1) we felt justified and also a sigh of relief that we aren't crazy and 2) we wanted to do anything to get it fixed right away.

They were able to schedule her tubes surgery within a few weeks. And this morning was that day.

She was looking forward to it. She knew something was wrong with her hearing. She would say, "will my ears get fixed soon?" She was so ready for better quality of life. For less lip-reading. To just feel normal, I guess.

Everything went smooth as I expected. I was fully aware that this is a no-big-deal surgery and that it would only take a few minutes. Watching her get all woozy from the medication was amusing. She fought the sleepiness hardcore, and near the end she looked up with a silly grin and said to the nurse, "I see TWO of you!" It was great.

honestly, a hospital gown never looked so good :)

They wheeled her off and within no time they were calling us back to post-op. When we walked in she was hysterically crying. They warned us about this, but I admit I still had that initial gut mom-heartbreak feeling. I just couldn't wait to scoop her up. They put the guardrail down on the bed and told me to climb in with her. She was flopping and flipping and wailing. The poor kid was confused and exhausted, and coming off the medicine was rough on her little self. It was probably the most painful part of this thing. Declan and I just held her, told her it would be alright and tried to make her comfortable.

Before we knew it, we were dressing her and taking her home. Within 20 seconds she was asleep in the car. We went to pick up Lucy, who had stayed the night at my mom and dad's house, when Emeline finally woke up.

She had this cute little smile on her face and light in her eyes, and said, "Mom! I can hear now. Test me!" So I whispered from the front seat, "how old are you?" and she said excitedly, "I'm FOUR!!" I smiled at Declan. Something so simple meant a whole lot to us now.

I know, trust me I know that this isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But when your baby is having trouble with anything, you want to fix it. Knowing that she's struggled hearing for a while and knowing the way something so small even affected our lives, the way we had to communicate, how to parent her, even--it was actually a big thing.

So when afterwards she didn't need the iPad turned up loud to hear it, and when she thought her normal voice sounded 'so loud in my ears'--we smile. we are so glad she's not under water anymore. we are beyond grateful.

Cheers to fixed ears.


  1. So happy it was something that was fixable and so great to see Emeline happy with the results. Not being able to hear is no fun. That waking reaction is so heart wrenching. Our daughter had to have surgery on her tear duct at a year old and it was heart breaking when she was waking up. Such a relief too when everything is over. Going under anesthesia for anything is worrying, no matter what!

  2. Precious little Eme! So glad for her and so happy that everything went well. I can remember getting my glasses as a little girl and my mom just crying because I could actually see leaves on trees. It's the little things that matter the most! Yay for Eme!

  3. At 18 months my oldest daughter got tubes put in and her adenoids removed. Almost immediately she was a completely different child! So happy for Emeline that she can hear and things went well! What a great momma you are Katie!

  4. Thank you for sharing this post. My son recently got tubes and unfortunately we found out yesterday that it helped, but didn't resolve the issue. He is still showing mild hearing loss and we are headed for more tests next week. Next week can't get here soon enough because I want answers and to get him any help I can.

  5. Awe so glad she can hear properly now! That's so cute! I'm FOUR! :)

  6. Aww!! This made me teary!! And it is TOTALLY a big thing! I would have been beside myself with worry, thank God it was a quick and easy fix and your girl is back to her old self. Happy for her and for all of you! :-*

  7. So glad that she's ok! Glad they were able to get her patched up and hearing like new so quickly.

  8. So glad the tubes helped! You sound like you handled it better than I did. I was a mess. My son got tubes a year ago and it's made such a difference. He's had no ear infections at all since then and he hears us so much better now. He has a slight speech delay because his hearing was impaired for his first 2 years of life but we're so grateful he can hear!

  9. We love tubes - so glad they are working for Emeline, and it was a relatively easy process! Enjoy your long weekend.

    P.S. I can't comment from my new blog/email address because of the way you have the options set. Would you consider adding the URL option? Just wondering!

  10. linda from texas
    30 years ago when our son was 4, we had tubes put in his ears. a couple days later while sitting at the breakfast table he asked me what a certain noise was. I kept listening for a noise and the only thing I heard was the hum of the refrigerator as it was cooling. I was shocked at how much he was missing before the tubes.

  11. Our nephew had tubes in a few weeks ago (he's about 18 months), and it is amazing how much more rapidly his vocabulary is improving and how much better his pronunciation is. I know you guys will be thrilled with Eme's results and so will she.

  12. Yay! So glad she's all better. I'm sure the whole ordeal took a toll on your mommy-self, so I'm glad she's doing so well!

  13. So glad the tubes helped her! :)