It's hard to believe, but today is one week since Hannah's surgery. While we are pleased with how she is physically, it's shocking how quiet she has become and it makes me feel really sad. With the hearing aids, Hannah was considerably chatty and sometimes it was even difficult to get a word in with her. She could hold a conversation, babble along with her hearing peers and even impressed her pediatrician with her array of sounds. Now with Hannah being so quiet, it was hard for me to find my voice with her and have been speaking to her gently, in a whisper.
In a way, it is a good thing Hannah is more quiet. Her speech therapist Jessica explained that Hannah may have enjoyed hearing her own voice, as well as her Mommy's, that caused her to be so chatty. She said that without hearing her voice, Hannah mane be just adjusting to her new environment. The good news is this is temporary and in two weeks, Hannah will again be able to hear her sweet voice and get back to talking up a storm.
In the meantime, Jessica said Hannah is right now just relying on visuals much more and soaking up as much as she can through this. She suggested that in the meantime Hannah needs to be consistent in her activities. She explained that even though she cannot hear what we're saying, she can see that we are vocalizing and engaging her. This is important and will help her though this transition time. So during our therapy session Jessica brought out some of Hannah's favorite toys, like the Little People farm set, a caterpillar shape sorter and spinning school bus. She also said it is important for Hannah to see us speaking the words and to let her feel someone talking, especially the lower sounding vowels and consonants like ahhh, baaa, daaa, mmmm, by holding her hand to one's throat.
Liz was on the same page and even had a special voice-activated vibrotactile device that worked by stimulating Hannah when the person spoke into a connected microphone. This way Hannah can not only see when someone is talking but can also feel it. So while Hannah is extremely quiet without sound, her visual cues are more keenly aware of her surroundings. When Liz played pat-a-cake with Hannah, she would clap her hands to indicate she wanted Liz to continue.
I am so thankful Hannah's services will continue during these three weeks. Jessica and Liz helped me find my voice again with Hannah. Hannah is quiet, but she still is our happy little girl. We are so lucky to have her.