Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another day of speech

Harper had speech therapy again yesterday. Usually she is great at participating and seems to enjoy it. Yesterday she wouldn't repeat most of what we were saying to her. I had noticed this pattern when we had practiced her "Learning to Listens" this past week. She has begun to default to her usual "bye bye or ba ba" as an answer to everything. Also, instead of saying "uh oh" very plainly, she has been saying "uh uh". I just chalked it up to a bad week, teething (3 or 4 new teeth this week for a total of 13), stubbornness, or laziness.
When I explained this to the speech therapist and she witnessed her behavior yesterday, she had cause for concern. Supposedly, this is a sign of progressive hearing loss. She will go see the audiologist tomorrow for further testing. I just don't think I am prepared for the hearing loss to get worse.
On a happy note, I am currently listening to Harper play "Peep-Eye" with herself when she is supposed to be napping. It sounds like "P-Pie P-Pie P-Pie". Hilarious.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I read a blog today that said "I don't want a life that requires much faith." This is SOOO the way I feel. I want things to just roll along without a hitch. He unpacked the thought further and said:"Here’s the thing I’ve realized, though. My natural inclination to have a secure life that needs little faith ends up being a life that needs very little God, either. That’s the deadly part of security and safety, we get used to living without God. There’s no need for God to show up. “All set, Lord,” becomes our silent, unconscious prayer." Boy, do I need to keep that in mind.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lots of shots

Harper had her 12 month visit at the new pediatrician yesterday. His name is Dr. Johnston at Birmingham Pediatrics. I had asked around in some of my offices and to some of my friends, and his name kept popping up. Supposedly, he has a lot of experience with developmental delays. Although Harper didn't want much to do with him, I really liked his approach. She especially didn't care for the four immunizations!
He was very impressed with Harper's speech at 12 months. As you can see on the sidebar, Harper is up to around 12 words. He said that just 2 words at this age is within the normal limits. Yea!! He said this is phenomenal given her hearing impairment.

I also want to wish Luke a late "Happy Anniversary"! We've been married four years on May 16th and still honeymooning :) I'm so lucky to have a husband like him. He is so honest and trustworthy and really does have a desire to please God. Men like him are rare.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Harper's Birthday

Harper's first birthday is tomorrow. I can't believe it has already been a year since she was born! Last year at this time, I was in the hospital trying to watch Grey's Anatomy while the nurse was putting the IV in my arm and getting geared up for the cervadil.

What I wasn't expecting was the strange feeling I have at the one year mark. While I am happy that she is growing and learning more every day, I also feel sad that I am losing my baby. It is like every day there is a new step toward her independence--no more bottles, no more formula, self-feeding, etc. I just can't imagine never being able to witness again the amazing things that happen in the first year of a baby's life. God knows the desires of my heart, and I pray that He will let us have another child in His time.

By the way, this blog has been WAY too serious for my liking. I promise I will try to lighten it up soon!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Our Story

After months of dealing with constant ear infections, Harper went in to Children's Hospital on February 26 to have tubes and her tongue clipped. Before, the ENT had told us that she had mild hearing loss due to the infections and when the fluid was drained she would go back to normal hearing. The audiologist had suggested that she have an auditory brainstem response (ABR) done while she was under the anesthesia just to check things out. Luke and I thought this was common procedure. We were actually pretty excited about her surgery because we thought she would start making more speech progress when the infection was gone.

The doctor came in after the tubes were in place to tell us that the surgery was a success, but she had no fluid after all. He said the audiologist was performing the ABR and would be in to give us the results after it was complete. He said have a nice day, blah, blah, see you in a year.

In a few minutes the audiologist came in accompanied by the doctor. At that point I knew something wasn't right. She told us that the ABR showed a sensorineural hearing loss--moderate in the right ear, severe to profound in the left. I asked her to clarify what that meant, and she said that Harper could hear around 90 decibels in here left ear and a rock concert is 100 decibels. She recommended hearing aids in both ears. I asked, " How long will she have to wear them?" The audiologist said, "For life". There is no cure, no surgical fix. That is the point that reality set in, and I didn't hear much that was said after that.

The past two months have been life changing for Luke and me. We have dealt with the reality that things will be different for Harper, and things will be different for us as well. Of course, we still have a hard time dealing with this news, but God has allowed us to grieve quickly so we can spend our time focusing on helping Harper's development.

Today is my first Mother's Day. I am thankful for the blessing that Harper has been in my life. We are thankful for every single improvement. This situation has made us slow down enough to recognize the miracles that happen every day.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

First Day at Speech Therapy

Yesterday was Harper's first day of speech therapy at Children's Hospital. They have a special clinic called the HEAR Center specifically for children with hearing loss. After we found out that Harper had hearing loss, we decided to proceed with a plan called Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT). This will allow Harper to be mainstreamed in school and live the most "normal" life possible. This approach teaches the child to learn to listen rather than lipread or use sign language. It seems that AVT is pretty rigid. We have to cover our mouth while talking to Harper because she is already such a great lipreader. This week we are working on Ahhhhhhh (airplane), Bu bu bu (bus), *raspberry sound* beep beep (car), and choo choo (train). We are also working on her understanding taking turns making the sounds.
The therapist said that they compare her to a two month old baby's development since she has only been aided for two months. We are so impressed by her progress so far!