Having just entered the exciting (yet somewhat excruciatingly mundane) world of stay-at-home-momhood, I now understand exactly why there are so many mommyblogs out there. I was so judgy towards those moms that sat at home and wrote blogs, grumpily muttering to myself, “What makes you think your perspective on life is so interesting?”
Now I realize that the majority of moms don’t write blogs to dole out wisdom or to show the world how totally with-it they are, they are probably writing blogs for themselves in order to share their thoughts and feelings with people that aren’t tiny and needy and spit up all the time. If blogs were only allowed to be written by people with lots of life experience and interesting stories, I definitely would be last on the list. I’ve only been a mama for six weeks- doesn’t exactly make me a fount of wisdom. Heck, most of the time I feel like a little girl playing house with a really cute boy and an adorable baby doll.
Which is why it doesn’t seem fair that Nora might be deaf. My husband and I are so happy right now–like, deliriously happy. I wake up every day praising Jesus that Matt and I are healthy and in love and have a sweet baby girl. Nora and I anxiously wait for Daddy to come home from work every day and give us kisses and make us laugh. So when our little Eleanor Lane failed her first hearing tests in the hospital we thought that surely it must be a mistake; indeed, my doctor told us that we “had nothing to worry about, lots of newborns fail their hearing tests.” Last week I breezily took her to the audiologist for a follow-up and left ugly crying when they told me that they were pretty certain she had some hearing loss. The doctors’ somber faces and pushy questions of “Are you sure there isn’t a history of hearing impairment in your family?” left me devastated.
Had I been ignoring the fact that when the dryer beeped loudly or a door slammed she never woke up from her sleep? Had I been blind to her constant need to be held and touched because she couldn’t hear me telling her “Mama’s here, don’t cry”? Apparently so. After I got home that day, Matt left work to come and be with his girls. Since that fateful Tuesday at the audiologist, we have done some at-home tests on our own, and have yet to witness her react to a loud sound. So. She might be deaf. Or at least extremely hard of hearing. There is a chance that maybe she’ll grow out of it– we have heard stories of babies one day growing out of their hearing loss.
Either way, it still doesn’t seem fair…you might say…it’s “hard to hear.” Pun intended. On the outside, she is perfect. She has little tiny precious ears and her Daddy’s kissable mouth and my eyes…why does this one thing not work right? As a first-time mom I felt so completely shaken that I almost forgot to seek comfort from He who is Unshakeable. My husband reminded me recently of advice he got from his own wise mother, that “the difference between us as parents and God as a Father is that we do not love our children enough to wish upon them suffering that might be beneficial in the long run.” Chew on that a moment and swallow it.
How could I possibly be okay with my child never recognizing my voice or hearing music or having clear speech? Well right now, I am not. I want those things desperately for her, so desperately that my eyes are filling with tears even as I type this. So desperately that I will seek out the best hearing specialists and pay for the most expensive hearing technology if it means my baby will be able to hear.
But perhaps down the road…if our family learned sign language together and became involved in the deaf community and grew to a fuller understanding of worship that was more than just music…perhaps then I would be thankful. Now I don’t know if that is God’s plan for her life, but I can joyfully rest that God’s plan for Nora is better than mine. Even if it means she never hears my voice.
Because I know that even in the quiet, God is present. If she never heard a sound in her life, she would most certainly recognize the voice of her Shepherd (John 10:27). And what an extraordinary gift the angels’ singing in heaven would be to someone who had been deaf on earth! Yes, there are beautiful silver linings provided by the light of the Lamb. And yes, she may grow out of this hearing thing and her life will go down a totally different but equally beautiful and hard-in-its-own-way route. I’m excited to see. He is quite an Artist, and my girl is His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).
Thanks for letting me get my thoughts out- and try not to judge me too hard for this blog. You may find yourself therapeutically writing one someday. I am still an emotional, hormonal wreck from giving birth and pushing through that monstrous second week of breastfeeding, and it feels great to have an outlet. And here I am: still exuberantly happy and crazy thankful for this life that is mine. I will keep you updated!
“In the quiet, in the stillness
I know that you are God.”
– Hillsong United, None but Jesus