Hearing Screening

9

When Romeo was first born his right ear was basically non existent, completely squashed into his head. I asked the midwife, this will pop out wont it? She told me yes most babies are like it, its just where they are all squashed up when they come out.

Whilst we were in hospital Romeo had his first hearing test, that came back okay in the right ear but no clear response in the left ear. We were surprised as we would have thought if anything they wouldn’t get a clear response out of his small squashed up ear. We weren’t concerned at this point as a lot of the time it is just a build up of fluid in their ears from birth.

At 5 days old they repeated the hearing test and again couldn’t get a clear response so they referred us to the hospital that afternoon. This time he had an ABR where they test the receptors in the brain. They tested both ears again this time and now there was no clear response in either ear. Now we were starting to worry and wondering was he even reacting to noise? The poor little boy has enough battles to face let alone not having his hearing as well. Over the next couple of weeks we were checking every time there was a loud noise to see if he reacts and it wasn’t reassuring, he didn’t seem to be reacting to anything.

The thing that upset me the most about this was knowing that my little baby would be going in for open heart surgery in a couple of months, he will be placed in a medically induced coma whilst he is placed on life support to give his heart a chance to recover. We won’t be able to hold him, the only thing that could possibly comfort him is our voices and what if he can’t even hear that?

A couple of weeks had passed and we started noticing him reacting to certain sounds; the sound of a can opening, the door shutting. This was starting to look promising and by the time his audiologist appointment came around I had hope that whatever it was that was preventing him from hearing had passed.

He passed in his right ear at the audiologist appointment however in his left ear he can only hear above a whisper. They wanted to see if this would improve and we went back a couple of weeks later. It was the same result, he has full hearing in his right ear but partial deafness in his left ear and can only hear certain frequency’s out of this ear. We will go back when he is 8 months old and can sit on his own and turn to sounds to see what the next steps will be.

To be honest the partial deafness we can deal with, that first day at hospital when we thought he could be completely deaf was heartbreaking, every thing feels like a small victory when you have imagined the worst.

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