Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The train whistle.
The marching band practicing at the high school down the street.
The whisper of the ceiling fan.
The dog barking.
His cousin asking for another piece of cake.
His mother's voice.
His father singing.

These are things my nephew, 4 weeks old, cannot hear.

Today, my brother and his wife were told that their adorable, wonderful, otherwise-perfectly-healthy son is nearly deaf. "Profound hearing loss in both ears," is what the doctor actually said. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but it's certainly not good.

He will likely be a candidate for cochlear implants, and he will have a very good life. He will be able to hear some things, eventually.

There are far worse things in life. We know this. On the other hand, there are better things too.

Sometimes you forget how fragile life is. Infertility teaches you this, and pregnancy does too, but most of the time you can only manage by ignoring this fact, because if you let it all the way into your heart, you will break into a thousand tiny pieces.

And then you begin the work of putting the pieces back together, one at a time. That's where we are today.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about your nephew! Fortunately we live in a time when superb aid can help make his life easier.

  2. What a difficult thing to hear as new parents. I hope that the implants give him the chance to hear all of those sounds just like any other child.

  3. Oh that's hard. I'm so sorry - and even though it doesn't help right now, I was just talking with someone about cochlear implants and what an enormous blessing they are for the hearing impaired. And - thank heavens that they do such intensive testing at such a young age! When I was a kid one of my friends was deaf - and his parents never knew until it dawned on them that he never got startled - at 2 or 3 years old, if I'm remembering right! He had a lot of catching up to do that your nephew won't have to suffer through. I hope the pieces fit back together quickly and easily. Thinking of you & your family today.

  4. I am so sorry to hear this. Like Amber, I also hope that the implants, with technology the way it is today, will give him the chance to live a normal, sound filled life.
    I agree with you about the fragility of life and how it is all to easy to forget until it slaps us in the face.

  5. So sorry to hear this news...thinking of your family & nephew and praying he receives the best medical care available! You're so right about the fragility of life, we too hate that we've learned intimately how true this really is. It shakes you to the core when you realize the reality of it.

  6. Oh hon... I am sorry. I remember the day I was told my baby couldn't hear, and while you're right that there are many things far worse, it's still heart breaking to suddenly realize all the little things you're hearing that he cannot.

    If you, your brother, or your sister-in-law want to talk, please feel free to email me (kelly-at-quietsong.net). My son also has a bilateral profound hearing loss (aka, he's deaf unless you stick him right beside a jet engine); he was diagnosed at 3 months and received cochlear implants at 11 months. I'd be happy to help answer any questions, or just to be an ear and a shoulder that's been there and "gets it."

  7. I'm sorry to hear this...

    My cousin's son also has hearing loss and cochlear implants. After much struggle with doctors and options and schools, he's doing well, and at 15, can hear and speak fairly clearly. It's a tough road, and you and your family have my sympathy.

  8. My heart goes out to your nephew and his family. He will certainly still thrive, of course, but that type of news is always so hard to process and accept. I'm sending strength to all of you!