May 1st, 2017

May 1st, 2017: A day that will forever be engraved into my mind. It’s not one of those days you love to remember either. It’s probably one of the saddest days I’ve endured in my lifetime.

When Adalynn was born, they did a hearing test (like they do all babies before they go home.) she kept “referring” in both ears, which basically meant we would just need to recheck them at her pediatrician’s office. “No big deal” they said. “Most likely just fluids in her ears, that would probably dry up in few weeks. Babies refer all the time.” Of course Brian and I were worried hearing she didn’t pass her hearing test, even though they assured us it was probably nothing! So, when we went back for her very first doctor visit at the pediatrician’s office they wanted us to recheck her ears soon. I was back in with Addy a week after her first appointment for a lactation visit, and since I was there, they went ahead and checked her ears again. Once again, they “referred.” At the time I was still not very concerned because I was pretty positive it was just fluids. She was pretty congested still from delivery, so I figured that was the cause. Her doctor gave us a name of a few specialists we could take her to for more extensive testing to rule out any hearing loss.

We brought Adalynn to her first ENT- audiology visit on May, 1st, at not even one month old, where they ran some testing. She had to be in a deep sleep for her test, with almost no movement. That was the hardest part since babies move constantly in their sleep. She only got through about half of the test before she woke up, and we were told she needed to come back to finish. At that time they did get enough testing done to let us know that she does, in fact, have hearing loss. And not just a little. It was pretty severe loss. In that moment I was in complete shock, honestly. I was not expecting any of this at all. It hit me like a TON OF BRICKS. I’m pretty sure Brian was a little bit more prepared than I was to get this news. (He tends to face reality a lot better than me.) It was immediate heart break to hear this about my newborn baby, that, from the outside looks and acts completely perfect. (Although, to me, she still is any ways!) the rest of her appointment was actually all a blur. I couldn’t tell you what was said the rest of the time. I just knew we were coming back to finish the testing. But at this time we did know, that she would, in fact need hearing aids to amplify her hearing to the normal decibel, and would need speech therapy in her future to get her up to speed with other children her age.

As the days, and next two weeks passed, I was still slightly convinced that this was all a mistake. That the machine was off, or the responses were false. 

May 22nd, 2017: So, we went back to finish up her testing. We were determined to keep her asleep this time so we brought everything we could think of that would soothe her. We swaddled her, fed her, and brought her dock a tot to sleep in. I was not ok with having to do the testing while she was sedated. If we couldn’t get her to stay asleep through the test that was what they suggested. 

Once the testing was done, they not only advised that she would absolutely need hearing aids to help her hearing through life, but that her hearing was so severe that she is most likely a candidate for cochlear implants. They call her type of loss Bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Once again, this is not what I expected. And once again my heart broke. For me, it wasn’t the fact that something was wrong with my baby. I will love her no matter what. It was the fact that she will have to go through life with implants in her head to be able to hear like everyone else, or that she may get picked on, or she may have confidence issues. It was breaking my heart because I don’t want my baby to think she is ANY different than anyone else that God put on this earth. This will be the hardest part for me to watch her go through.

I would relive every heartbreak I’ve ever had in my lifetime if I could just avoid this one for my baby girl. The crazy thing about life is that we can’t predict anything that comes our way. And the things we think we can change or avoid, end up being the things we need most in our life. We sometimes will never even know the purpose behind something that happens to us, but we have to get up every day and face it. That can be the hardest thing to do, until it becomes a part of you.

I will say, having to watch someone you love more than yourself, go through something you can’t explain to them, can be even harder on you than if it were you, yourself in their shoes. I wish more than life itself I could be taking on this burden that my sweet, innocent child is having to endure through her life. I know for certain that I deserve this more than her.

 I do know God has a purpose for everything and everyone in the world but I can’t help but wonder, why? Why my baby girl? Why not me, why not someone else?…I can ask these questions over and over but I’ll never know. I just know that what I have to do is, love Addy like I have from day one. Continue to show her that her daddy and I are her number ONE fans, and will ALWAYS be by her side. We will never fail to give her the things she needs in this life. What I live for is to make Adalynn and Payton’s  life the best it can possibly be. I think once you become a parent, putting yourself on the back burner isn’t even a question in life. I want my children to have the world at their fingertips. I want them to know that no matter what life throws their way, they are perfect in my eyes. No matter the mistakes they make, or the trials they go through, their parents will never turn their backs on them. 

I always knew being a parent wouldn’t be easy. I’ve never been good with any kind of heartbreak in life. I shut down, I want to be alone, and I want to cry! But being a mom makes you even more vulnerable to the world. You want to be the best you can be for your children in their eyes, and when you’re hit with a heartbreak, you can’t help but want to break down and hide in your little shell. But you can’t. You have to be strong. Your babies are watching you, your little girls that see everything you do, are seeing you at your lowest and at your highest. You have to show them how to be positive when all is dark, how to stand tall when you want to shrink to bottom of the oceans. 

My goal is to make my girls feel confident in their skin. To never depend on anyone else for anything. To know their worth. And that they are worthy of all that God has to offer in this world. Most of all I want my children to know that God has created them just how they are meant to be. I pray that my babies know how to treat others, they know how love others, and they know how to pray for the ones that need help the most. I am confident that one day I can look to my kids with the biggest tears of joy and be so incredibly proud of them that my heart is bursting with happiness. When that day comes, I will be the happiest woman alive.

For now, we are going through the motions of this. We are trying to stay positive and surround ourselves with our amazing family and friends, who have already shown a huge amount of support. We’re so blessed to have so many people that love our girls, and would do all they could for them! 

I will try to keep everyone posted as new things come up and we continue on this hard road ahead of us. If anyone has questions about any of this, I will answer to the best of my knowledge. Like I said, a lot of it has been a blur for me, but I am learning as much about this disability as I can. We love our little girl so very much, and we are trying to do everything in our power to give her a normal life! I don’t like to ask people for things normally. But I ask that you please pray for Adalynn. And to please, please, please pray for Brian and I, so that we can stay strong though this hard time. We are putting all of our trust in God!

**this was extremely difficult for me to write, let alone post on social media, but the other day I came across another mom blog that happened to be a girl that lived in Atlanta. She is pregnant and going through something I could never imagine, having her child diagnosed with trisomy 18, and being told to terminate her pregnancy. She is going through with having her child and letting the Lord take the reigns on this. It’s people like that who inspire me to just lay it all out on the table, in hopes that I have someone else that can relate.

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8 thoughts on “May 1st, 2017

  1. I know that this was not easy to write for you, but your courage is inspiring! We love you all so much and are always here. Addy is perfect and I can’t wait to see what amazing things God has in store for her

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shannon and Bryan we are praying for your family and hope everything turns out well for Baby Addy.
    Let us know if you need anything we love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. She is going to be just as a amazing at everything she does as every other kid she grows up with! She is going to be beautiful, smart and tough just like her mommy!! And guess what?! She gets to be smarter than everyone else because she will get to learn a new language. ASL! And she will have her own way of fitting in with others that speak ASL. I’m confident that Addy will have family and friends that will do nothing but speak life into her pure little soul and she’s going to turn around and speak life into every soul she meets. How do I know that? Because her parents and her entire family have beautiful souls too. You all will get through this! You have so many people supporting you, including the Rutherfords ❤️ I love you guys. Praying that God brings peace, understanding and guidance during this tough situation. Just know you’re not alone. We are currently waiting to hear if Lily needs surgery for the hole in her heart which hasn’t closed up and it has us worried sick. We have to be strong for them!

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement Brooke. Thankfully we caught this as early as we did. She will not need ASL although I think I will teach her some, and Payton..with her implants she will hear normal like us but she can’t get them until she’s at least 1. I’m keeping Lily in my prayers too. Let me know if I can do anything!!!

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  4. Shannon, I’m in tears reading this. Unfortunately we know many of the fears you wrote about. We will be praying for you all and for the other mom you wrote about. Trisomy 18 is what my first nephew was diagnosed with and my sister was brave enough to not listen to the Dr’s either. You are one strong mama, God will give you the strength and grace you need in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shannon and Bryan, you and your perfect little baby girl are in my prayers. This is a big challenge for you, but not one impossible to overcome. It will be harder for you to learn to sign than it will be for her, but when you learn, you will be able to actually communicate with her sooner than if you waited for the words. I will never forget my cousin’s little girl signing “help help” when she was being taken out of church, before she could say it with words. Your baby girl will be fine. She will be beautiful and smart and will be blessed with a wonderful supportive family who love her. And, thank God, there are hearing aids and cochlear implants around today. All of you are in my prayers

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