I haven’t blogged since July. Since then we’ve been through the mill (again) but come out fighting (again) and winning (again). I am consistently surprised by our strength and resilience.
The same week we found out about Harriet’s balance being a permanent loss we found out we were (unexpectedly) pregnant. At the time it felt, honestly, like one more thing had gone wrong. We were struggling. Individually, as a couple and as a family. We were so utterly heartbroken over Harriet’s surgery fuck up that the thought of another child was overwhelming. The thought of another deaf child was too much. The thought of going through cochlear implant surgery again. The pain. It was so awful to think of a baby as a problem. So we started not to. We came to terms with the pregnancy and remembered the joy that both of our gorgeous kids bring us way way outweighs the deafness and any challenges that comes with it. They are people. Happy, successful, amazing, kind, beautiful little people.
So, in November, Sadie arrived.
She’s ace. And we’ll find out tomorrow whether or not she is deaf.
I told myself throughout the pregnancy that I wouldn’t think or feel anything about the deafness. There’s a one in four chance she has Pendred’s syndrome and will be deaf. I couldn’t care either way. I couldn’t let myself. Except I caught myself writing blog posts in my head about her being hearing. And I found myself feeling a deep, deep sadness when she didn’t move around in my tummy to loud noises. But then I also worried about not liking her if she is hearing. About wanting them to all be the same, even if that means she has to work a little (lot) harder at life. I tried so hard not to feel but it’s impossible.
Since she’s been born she’s definitely responded to sound. She startles in her sleep if the big kids tip out the big box of duplo. She winces when they scream in her face. But then she sleeps through them screaming at each other. And through the chaos that is family life.
Will responded to some sounds as a baby. It took so long to diagnose him and I spent all those months reassuring myself (and being reassured by others) that he was hearing. Levels of deafness was an unknown to me. And the heartache when he was finally diagnosed is paralleled only by Harriet’s permanent balance loss. So I can’t let myself think or feel anything. Which is, of course, unavoidable.
We’ve been married a year today. I think, ridiculously, it’s been the hardest year yet. It feels like at every turn, every, single turn, we’re dealt the hardest possible hand. Even Sadie’s birth was an emergency cesarean, the recovery from which has been yet another steep challenge.
But we’ve made it. We’ve even had some fun along the way. The big kids are thriving. Against all odds really.
Shit keeps on coming. And we keep on batting it right out the field.
So tomorrow. Bring it.