Louise finally passed her hearing screen today! After almost a full year of worry and wonder about her capacity to hear, I breathe a huge sigh of relief.
At the hospital, day three of her life, Louise failed the OAE hearing test. A month later, she repeated the same test at Children's Hospital. It was a nightmare for me. In order to check their hearing, the baby must be asleep and still... neither of which Louise was interested in doing. I thought I had timed the appointment perfectly, during her napping period, right after a full feeding, but she refused to sleep. The scheduled appointment lasts an hour to provide ample time for putting a baby back to sleep or into a milk-induced trance. During the last three minutes, she finally fell asleep which allowed me, the nervous wreck, to finally be at ease. The audiologist reported: she had failed, again. A month later, we repeated the whole ordeal and she again failed.
We were then referred to a pediatric ENT (ears, nose and throat) doctor who would diagnose her as having fluid behind her ear drums. Due to the fluid in her ear, we learned, she would be unable to pass the screen, regardless of her hearing ability. Some babies' eustachian tubes are at an angle such that the fluid cannot drain. This can change as babies grow, so we were told to have a re-check in a few months.
At the re-check the fluid was still there and the doctor told us that Louise was a candidate for tubes. The idea scared me, of the anesthesia and surgery on my baby, but knew it was important to have the surgery soon to avoid any potential speech issues related to hearing loss. She had the surgery 3 1/2 weeks ago and the post-surgery check today. After seeing her dance when the radio came on this morning... I had a sneaky suspicion what the outcome would be.
Survey says? She's fine. The tubes look great. She passed the hearing test with flying colors. My baby girl can hear. Thank you, thank you, thank you.