I like to say that a year can make all the difference in the world. A new job, a new boyfriend, a baby. For Hannah, it's the gift of hearing. A year ago, Hannah went from not being able to hear a word to having full access to sound. It was a year ago, our little lady underwent five hours of cochlear implant surgery and now can hear Sam's meows, water splashing, birds chirping, the ice cream truck and Michael and I saying I love you. Hannah can tell you her favorite color (pink or purple), request her favorite song (Wheels on The Bus), can count to ten and loves to hear the toaster ding in the morning, letting her know her waffles are ready.
Hannah after her surgery on Feb. 29, 2012
I know I haven't blogged in some time to document all of Hannah's accomplishments. Michael and I get to witness such miracles in our every day life. While I had no idea what would be in store, looking back on this past year I'm just so happy for Hannah and so grateful for the amazing support we have received. Hannah is so lucky to have Liz, her amazing speech therapist at the Children's Hearing Institute that pushes all of Hannah's buttons and is really so dedicated to her success. She also has an amazing family support system who teach her new words all the time. On a recent visit to CHI, we were driving along the FDR and Hannah shouted "tunnel, tunnel" when we drove under bridge. I thought I was hearing some baby babble but when we were through, she said, "Bye bye tunnel". I told this to my mom and she takes full credit as she taught her the word on a recent Monday adventure.
Hannah cheering on the Yankees in the 9th inning
Hannah has become a lover of music and is so excited each week while at her music class. She likes to sit next to her teacher, Miss Sara and try out all the instruments. She is learning all the names, saying bye bye cymbals or guitar. Her teacher told me that she loves having Hannah in class and said Hannah is really advanced in her talking. Furthermore, Hannah is getting ready for her first New Orleans JazzFest, where she will be able showoff her musical prowess.
Hannah is such an amazing little girl with a zest for life and learning and she shows no fear and knows no bounds. She's talking and singing her way through the city streets. She has lead many on her renditions of ABCs and Wheels on the Bus, leading her charges by enthusiastically waving her arms in the air. She can string words together, her first real sentence was at Christmas at Uncle Pat and Aunt Christine's house, saying, "I want more candy please" while pointing to a bowl of M&M's. Most recently, Hannah was getting ready to go out with Grandma and Grandpa and she was putting on her mittens but only could find one. She told them, "I want two." Hannah is also really amazing at remember names and I have a feeling she will be an amazing leader in whatever she does. She always calls her friends by their names and greets the doormen by name when she's coming and going. Hannah has a bevy of words to choose from and has come such a long way from her first word, "up". Right now she is repeating back everything and tackles hard words such as xylophone and edamame.
Also, one-year post her cochlear implant surgery young Miss Hannah is enrolled in a mainstream 2s program with the Early Learning Foundations School on York Avenue. She will be attending classes here in September on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8:45 to 11:45 am. We will have to work on revamping her speech schedule but hopefully we will leave room for some fun.
Singing Wheels on the Bus
Hannah, February 2013
Unfortunately, we recently hit a snag in our journey, what they call a bump in the road. We had an appointment today with her ENT and we confirmed Hannah has an internal stitch near her implant device that is infected and and has become exposed. He is going to have to surgically clean it up. Not the news we wanted on the one-year anniversary of her first surgery. We set the date today for a second surgery on March 11. While we are hopeful that it is only the stitch and the doctor won't find anything wrong with the implant. There is a chance the area around the device is also impacted and he will have to temporarily remove the device. Fortunately she will be able to hear with her right ear while she heals. I'm trying hard to remain positive that it will just be the stitch and hopefully we can put her left processor back soon.
Until then, we will continue to be amazed on a daily basis by our little angel.