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Friday, September 30, 2011

Our week...

What a week it has been!

First of all, Blair and I cannot put into words how touched we are that you all are choosing to support our baby boy on his journey to hearing. For those of you who aren’t aware, some very special friends of ours have decided to put on a shrimp boil fundraiser called “Helping Hunter Hear”.

The word has spread like wild fire thanks to all of our friends and family, and even those we’ve never met, who just want to help give Hunter the gift of hearing. Every time someone forwards me an email with the flyer, and I see how many people had forwarded that email before them, I literally get choked up. Being from a community like Acadiana goes to show you how incredible small communities are, and how they come together at the drop of a hat. Many many thanks to those helping put on this event, to those driving around selling tickets, and to those of you spreading the word. We are forever grateful for all of your time and effort. The gift of hearing is something so special, and Hunter will achieve many many goals thanks to all of you.

Secondly, we started seeing Hunter’s occupational therapist last week. She was amazing, and we all loved her. She gave us some really great new ideas and exercises to help Hunter get comfortable trying to sit up. We think he just really had no idea that his hands and arms are there to help him balance. He was doing SO well, I think our jaws dropped when she was only helping stabilize his hips, and he was using his own arms to balance himself. Of course, since she has left, we have a hard time getting him to do it for us. He luh-huvs arching that back, so we really have to catch when he’s in a good and relaxed mood.

We also saw the physical therapist this week, who gave us even more new exercises to do with Hunter to get him used to the idea of sitting up. We have also started using our exersaucer a little here and there. We put a blanket at the bottom (which recently turned into Reese’s new “spot”) so that his feet are touching, and we have to put a pillow behind him to keep him stabile. I think he really likes all the toys and different colors. Sometimes he likes to lean his little head on the animals… so we take him out when we think he is getting tired :) We don’t want him in any position for too long. Between the swing, the boppy, the bumbo, tummy time, the exersaucer and side lying… he is constantly moving!

On Friday I met with Shelley, the AV therapist for more information on auditory verbal therapy. This was my first session with her and I really admire her and her techniques. She said reading to him right now is one of the best things we can do. Since our mouth is so close to his ear when he is on our lap, it doesn’t distort our voice (such as if we were to yell across the room, or talk louder if he was lying on the floor), and the pictures just get those eyes and brain cranking! So we make every effort to get our story time in!

Thank you all for following- have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's Our Life

My mother in law was reading the blog the other day, and she texted me to tell me how inspirational she thought the blog was. She is so glad that Blair and I ended up back together, and she knows that Hunter was sent to us for a very special reason. Now as much as I agree with her, because Hunter was perfectly made for Blair and myself… we were no more special than any other husband and wife, until we were given the blessing of Hunter. Although I have to say, my husband and his mother, have always been exceptional care givers for those with special needs. My mother in law has been driving a special needs school bus for 28 years and counting, and has always had a place in her heart for those with special needs. And my husband’s best friend growing up had muscular distrophy and was confined to a wheel chair. I remember when we used to date in high school, they would call him just to go and move his friend from his chair to his bed, or wherever he needed to go, and Blair was happy to help. Then when my husband was merely 14 years old, he suddenly lost his father. This tragic event forced him to immediately become an adult, and the man of the house with two younger siblings. And growing up, my parents instilled life long morals that will never be forgotten. I have been given this life, and I happily accept it with open arms because it’s how I was brought up.

Being parents has changed our lives, but being Hunter’s parents has brought so much more to our lives. It’s life. Our Life. And life is what you make it. Although we have both at some point looked for the what ifs and whys, we got over it about two days after we found out he was deaf. We are just living the life we were given. We strive to do all things possibly to help Hunter maximize his potential. Then we just…. Be.

We are entrusting Hunter’s life into God’s hands, and we wouldn’t change a thing. We don’t always feel like going to church on Sundays, and dedicating an hour of our time to God, but we do it. We do it for Hunter, and we have made the conscious effort ever since he was in the womb to dedicate that hour a week to God and to our son. We thank God for this tiny miracle, and pray that His will be done. God has a special plan for Hunter, we are just blessed to be able to witness that plan. So hug your children a little tighter tonight, and thank God for what you have been given. Life is truly precious.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

6 month video

I noticed in the update email, you cannot see the video posted to the blog. But if you go straight to the blog, the video is under the 6 month post, it just takes a few seconds to load. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

6 Months

My God, you have seen fit in the depth of your wisdom that our child should be denied abilities that children normally have. I know that, however hidden, there is a wise providence behind this and that this providence is good. I know, too, that a child who is less privileged is a special trust given to a mother and a father, requiring special patience and love. So as you have committed this trust to my husband, to me, and to our family, dear Lord, please give us the wisdom to know what to do properly for this child. Guide us that we may in all things do what is best and so act in accord with your gracious providence, which is always a providence of love. Amen

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's September already???

People keep asking since the last post how the new sitter is working out. We are very grateful to have her, she has been very good to Hunter so far. The first day mommy was a little emotional, it was like dropping off my baby for the very first time (during which I actually did not cry!). But this was just a little different. I knew her, and had great personal references from people we have recently met, but I didn't have personal references from people I have known for years. It just made mommy a little nervous, but as I have said before, it was harder on me than it was on him!

The second day we had PT at 8am, which was a little rough on everyone. We thought the PT might work with us, and see Hunter at the daycare at least one time a month, but she said it is not in her vacinity and would be too far of a drive for her. That in itself is just a little upsetting to us all since Nini, the new sitter, welcomes and wants therapists there to help her and show her what he needs to work on. We have sent out a request to our Early Steps case manager that if there are any openings with PTs that work in Vermilion parish, that we would definitely like to switch. For now, we will be relaying the information.
The PT session was a little rough on H. He still is not able to support himself on his stomach using his elbows. He simply LOVES arching his back and just flat out does not enjoy being on his tummy. We work and work and work, but I truly believe it's something that just isn't comfortable for him and may never be. But the fact of the matter is, whether it's comfortable for him or not, he needs to spend more time on his tummy. Therefore, the last session involved lots and lots of  screaming and tears. I thought I was going to be strong, if it's what he needs, it shouldn't bother me that it upsets him. But this time was different. I knew he wasn't in pain, but he was definitely screaming like we hardly ever see. It's just sad to watch your baby cry and cry and cry, but I held it together, mostly because I knew he wasn't in pain. He was just uncomfortable. But he needs to become comfortable in that position or else he will not sit up any time soon.

Nini reassured me that with time, it will come. As is with everything else. It took him a little longer to hold his head up, but he did it. Like she said, when was the last time you saw a deaf baby who didn't sit up or crawl? And it's so true. I like her more and more, she makes me feel better because she spent day in and day out with a deaf baby who defied the odds. And we know Hunter will do the same :)

On Thursday we had a play session with our special teacher through Early Steps, and she is glad Hunter is still so vocal and making different sounds now. We are encouraging it and praying it doesn't stop.

And last but not least... on Friday, Blair, Hunter and Pappy saw Shelley, our AV Therapist in BR. (Mommy had a virus). But the session went very well. She is proving to us more and more that the Auditory Verbal approach is definitely the way for us. Hunter will stay back for the next few sessions, because for now she is educating mommy and daddy so that we know everything once he gets the implant. Not much detail on these sessions, but they will really gear up once Hunter gets activated after the implant.

We have uploaded a few new videos and added an updated 6 month picture from this past weekend on the main blog page.

Hunter turns 6 months tomorrow... we can't believe it! With all the new babies in the family, Hunter isn't the baby baby anymore!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Signing- for now!

Thursday night, Nancy with the Louisiana School of the Deaf, came over for a meeting and talked strictly signing. She said is it time to start doing it constantly without hesitation. Granted, we are only started with baby signs for now… milk, more, eat, sleep, change diaper, mom, dad… but around 5-6 months is when babies generally start concentrating on what the hands are doing, and then they start to immitate the signs. We are on top of it and ready to become quite fluent. The signing vs. no signing is kind of a controversial issue, but neither way is a wrong way, it’s what each family decides is best for them and their child. Since we have decided to start seeing the certified Auditory Verbal Therapist, once Hunter is activated, we will keep the signing to a minimum so that he doesn’t fall back on signing rather than really trying to learn to hear and speak through seeing. As Nancy said, we can change our methods if something isn’t working out, but for now this is the route we have decided to take.

Also, big news…..we are starting at a new babysitter on Tuesday! Not that we don’t love Ms. Darla, because she has been SO good to us. But we found a lady in Maurice who was sitting for a child, Mia, with the CI. This little girl has been going to Anita, “Nini” since she was 2 months old, and she is now 4 years old and is going to be mainstreamed. She listens and speaks so well that she scored above the level to receive free services in the public school system. Nini learned sign language with Mia and all of her hearing kids also sign as well. She is also very familiar with the Early Steps therapy and allows them to go into the daycare during the day. She probably knows more about all of this than Blair and I do. And she incorporates the signing and the therapy into everything they do during the day. When I spoke with Mia's mother, she said her daughter would not be where she is today if it were not for Nini. It’s a big curve in the road for us, but definitely something that will benefit Hunter in the end. He won’t be with his cousin or current buds at daycare, but he will definitely make new friends who are hearing and already know how to sign, and hopefully he will be caught up enough by the time he is ready for school to be mainstreamed.
Nini’s house is in Maurice, but just so happens to be on Blair’s way to work every morning and afternoon, so he and his daddy will do lots of bonding during the car rides! Although mommy wants to bring him his first day, or two J

Other than that, he has been babling up a storm, laughing, rolling over and he just started holding his own bottle. Now that our weekends have slowed down and we aren’t going to be out of town this weekend, we will be testing out our first round of baby food (besides cereal)! We can't believe our baby boy turns 6 months old next Monday, where has the time gone?

Thank you all for your continued love and support, we could not do it without you all!