This past Wednesday, 9 days after activation, we had our second audiologist appointment. The first thing they did was put him in the soundbooth to get a good audiogram on his most recent map (which was the third time being "turned up"). Let me say that he was turning his head to tones that I could barely hear! All in all, he tested with pure tones at 25db across all frequencies and for speech awareness thresholds, he tested at 15db!!! What does this mean? It means my baby is hearing conversation levels (30db) and water dripping (20 db in low frequencies) and whispering (20 db in higher frequencies)!
As I sat there holding him, it took all I had to hold back my tears! Then the audiologist spoke "Aaaiden, bop-bop-bop, Aaaaiden", in a normal, almost whispering voice, and he looked up - not at the speaker, but at her directly behind the window, not just once, but everytime she said it. Here I was watching my deaf baby turn consistently to tones and speech ... all through the miracle of the cochlear implant! Tears just rolled down my cheeks.
Our audiologist was amazed at how well Aiden did so soon after activation. She didn't change anything with his map and feels we're where we need to be for now. We'll monitor him over the next couple of weeks at home and through therapy to make sure he maintains his responses. His surgeon stopped by too to see him and was amazed at our little rockstar's audiogram. If everything works out, we'll be activating his left ear on March 31st.
Other amazing firsts I've seen at home are:
- When running his bath water I let him watch with his CI on. Then before I put him in I splash the water for him to hear since he can't wear the CI in the bath. The look on his face when I did this the first time was priceless.
- He has stacking stars that light up and play music when you touch the top button. He has always loved pushing the top button to watch the lights. He pushed it the other day and heard the music for the first time ... I know he heard it because I've never seen him crawl so fast into my lap!
- As we stood waiting for the microwave to warm his milk, he looked right at the microwave, then back at me, then back to the microwave, as it sounded "beep, beep, beep".
- Great friends of ours sent Aiden a Police Cycle Rocker for his first birthday that makes some pretty loud noises. After Aiden's daddy got it all put together and played the sirens and horns, Aiden just sat there in awe ... he'd look at the rocker, look at us, back at the rocker and then crawled real fast into his daddy's lap!
He's still not turning to his name, but again, he doesn't know yet that the sound he hears now for "Aiden", is actually his name. So we've been playing name games with him. We're also easing back into reading him 10 books a day, and becoming a home full of language! We've also started back to our Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT) once a week, which we're back to square one with all our listening lessons. At least this time I have a good feel for it all.
I have to say though, getting back into all these appointments has been crazy. I haven't been great at blogging lately because my life feels so nonstop right now. It has been very overwhelming trying to keep up with the newness of one CI, his appointments, trying to make sure I'm providing him a language rich environment, Aiden's brother, sister, and daddy ... whew! I've stopped myself many times this week to remind myself to breathe. Step by step ... one day at a time and it will all come together! We have a lot of ! Aiden's first birthday was also this past week, I'm hoping to get pictures & story posted this weekend!!