Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Surgery

Friday was the day we've been waiting for ever since Gavin was 4 weeks old and we received the devastating diagnosis of his profound hearing loss. Although back then, it was more of a "worst case scenario" and "we doubt it will ever be necessary" kind of thing. Cochlear implant surgery. A year ago, I didn't even know what that meant. I'd never heard of a cochlear implant. I'd never even seen a hearing aid up close. I couldn't imagine that my son would ever have to wear something like that. Why would he? This kind of thing just didn't happen to our family. This must be a mistake. What would everyone think? How awful for him, for us.

I feel like I don't even recognize that girl who had those thoughts while holding her 4 week old son last year. I was prideful, and selfish, and oh so hung-up on what a "perfect" American family should look like. I had no idea how much God was going to rock our world when He gave us Gavin. We were so unprepared, so scared. But God wasn't.

Flash forward to 11 months- months of fruitless hearing-aid attempts, 150 doctor's appointments, one unsuccessful attempt after another to get sound into Gavin's ears-and what a different tune we were singing. We became desperate for the cochlear implant surgery. We talked about it all the time. We couldn't wait to have a surgery date on the calendar, because we knew it was the only way Gavin was going to hear. Of course we prayed, begged, and pleaded with God to heal our son. We never stopped praying and crying out to Him. But God's ways are not our ways, and while we waited for His healing, God gave us the peace and confirmation to continue moving forward toward the surgery. We both felt so confident (and terrified!) that God was leading us to cochlear implants.

May 24th came, and as we drove to the hospital before the sunrise, we couldn't believe it was actually the day. The beginning of Gavin's journey to hear. We were so ready. Not ready for that moment when you kiss your baby goodbye and they wheel him away to the operating room while he looks at you confused and scared. It is impossible to be ready for that. But our hearts were leaping with joy because we knew that this  was only the beginning. We've met with families who have been here before us and we've seen their children talking, and turning their heads when their name is called, and hearing the birds chirping. Now it was Gavin's turn.

The surgery couldn't have gone any better. The doctor, who was doubtful that he would be able to implant both ears at once and told us that we might have to come back again in a few months, was amazed by how smoothly it went. But God wasn't. Our family and friends who have been prayer warriors for us from day 1 weren't either. God has been holding this little one in his hands before we ever got to.

We came home that afternoon with both implants in place and a huge bandage around Gavin's head. The recovery so far has been hard. Harder than we expected. Its terrible to watch your baby screaming in pain and miserable and not be able to take it from them. After 2 days he is slowly starting to feel better though and we are delighted when he smiles or laughs at something like he used to. Hopefully in a few more days he will be back to his old, silly self. And now we wait. It's a bit anticlimactic actually, because after you get the surgery, there is a 2-3 week waiting period before the implants are "activated" or turned on. This is to allow for complete healing of the incisions. Our activation date is June 10th. It will forever be Gavin's hearing birthday. I don't think it would be possible to explain the emotions that we are feeling about that day. I just have no words. What a miracle it will be.

Thank you for your encouragement through this process, for your prayers and notes, and hugs. Gavin's story is already such a testimony of God's lavish love through the body of Christ. We are just surrounded by love and support, without which, we certainly would have fallen apart.

 Pre-op cuddles

Recovery room

Day 2 at home-starting to feel a little better

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Norah Dee!

 I have to admit, this birthday was a tough one for me. There is something so fleeting and unbelievably precious about the innocence of a 2-year-old daughter. I was kind of hoping that Norah might just stay our little one forever. But alas, May 1st came and went and now she is 3. I'm praying this isn't the year that she stops asking for a "yoyurk carfe" for breakfast, or else my heart might break.

Norah Dee, it is an honor to have you as a daughter. Your personality is like a jar of jumping jelly beans. Everything delights you, everything makes you laugh, everything is the best news you've ever heard in your life. Except when it's not. And then oh boy, do you ever know how to pout. You bounce through your days eager for the next activity and always up for anything your big brother tells you to do. Because of him, you've learned how to be pretty tough. You request peanut butter and jelly every single day for lunch even though you never eat more than 2 bites and then lose interest. You are persistent and silly and great at making other people feel special. You love with your whole heart and its pretty easy to be melted by your cuteness...even when you're really really mad.
Happy 3 years sweet girl!