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Friday, December 30, 2011

It was the year 2011...

When I think back on the rollercoaster of a year we have had, the one thing that sticks out the most is how memorable of a year it has been for us. Of course, Hunter’s birth takes the cake by far… but the many many blessings that God has bestowed upon us are what make this such a special one for Blair and myself. The ever present support from our family, the loving words of friends, and the abundance of new people we have met this year are all things that have given Blair and myself the courage and strength to keep plowing forward with every decision we make.

Since I didn’t start this blog from the very beginning, I will try and summarize the events leading up to our decision to get Hunter Cochlear Implants.

Saturday, March 12th
I was at work (39 weeks preggo), as I was every Saturday morning during tax season.
Only difference was, I had actually dressed up and put makeup on :) Saturdays at the firm are usually casual, and don’t always involve a face full of makeup, especially when my face seemed to have doubled in size! Someone was preparing me for something big that day. As I got up from my desk to scan something, I felt something I had never felt before. Was it my water breaking? My heart starting beating out of my chest. As calmly as possible, I logged off of my computer and jetted (well more like scooted) towards the stairwell without saying a word to anyone! I immediately called Blair, who had just driven up to the golf course, and said meet me at the hospital… I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure my water just broke! I told him to call our parents because I had to call my doctor. For a second I thought about running home to get my suitcase, but opted out, and headed towards the hospital instead. I tried calling my doctor on the way, only to find out that not only was she was out of town, but her partner was out of town too! So I was getting the third doctor in line... but what was I going to do…. Beggars can’t be choosers!

The answering service couldn’t even get a hold of him, so when I arrived at the hospital I went directly up to labor and delivery. I think they could tell I was freaking out inside when my voice was shaking as I said “I think my water broke, but the doctor won’t call me back.” They told me to remain calm, everything would be fine, and they immediately put me in a room. The rest of the day was one of the best days of my life. My water broke at 9:15, and I jumped from 6 to 10 cm while I was napping. At 3:05pm we welcomed into the world Hunter Paul Faucheaux. I knew he would change the world, I just had no idea how much at that point in time.

One of the best moments of that day was watching my husband stand over Hunter while they cleaned him off and weighed him. There was no question that went unasked. He wanted to know what every little gadget did and why they were using it. As he handed over our tiny 6 pound 13 oz angel, my heart absolutely sunk. He was perfect in every single way.

Monday, March 14, 2012
We were gearing up to head home as a lady with a thick accent and a small brown box walked in. She said she was there to administer a test to screen Hunter’s hearing. Little did I know that they did this to every newborn baby, just sometimes they do it in the nursery. As I held him and she stuck a wire in his ear, she kept looking at the box for some sort of response. She would adjust the wire, adjust her box, but still nothing. The pediatrician on call walked in and assured us that babies fail their newborn hearing screen all the time due to fluid in their ears, and not to worry. They also said that the vent in that room was louder than the others, and could have been interfering with the test. The lady asked if we had any deafness in our family, and my heart dropped. I proceeded to tell her about a first cousin of mine who has Usher’s Syndrome. He was born deaf and has progressively lost his eyesight. But it was just a little fluid, right? Not to worry. I told my husband, if Hunter is in fact deaf, it’s the minimal of potential problems out there. He is 100% healthy and that’s something we can work around. I still was not convinced that he was in fact deaf. There were too many coincidental moments in the following weeks where Hunter jumped when noises were made. But we had scheduled a follow up appt to retest him at Women’s and Children’s Hospital for Monday, April 4.  A day I will never forget for as long as I will live.

Monday, April 4, 2012
My mom had taken the day off so that she could come with me to Hunter’s follow up hearing test since Blair was at work. Just another check up, everything was going to be fine, right? Although only bits and pieces come to mind from that day, I remember waiting in the lobby for a good 45 minutes after our appointment time until they called us back there. I was a nervous wreck because I had nursed him just in time to be asleep for this appointment, with enough time to spare until his next feeding. And although our timing of the appointment was off, Hunter managed to stay asleep the entire time. I’m sure he knew Mommy had bigger things to worry about. As the lady administering the test attached probes to Hunter’s forehead and behind his ears, my mother held him as I sat near so as not to wake him up by transferring arms. The first test was a clicking of sounds sent through tiny wires to test for a reaction from the hair cells in Hunter’s ears. It felt like forever and a day while this was going on. Once again, there seemed to be no reaction as the lady was making sure there was no interference by any other electronics in the room. As she fooled around with every piece of equipment in there to make sure none of the wires were touching, I just starting choking up and couldn’t help but let the tears fall down my cheeks. My mom just kept looking at me with a blank stare on her face, which is very unlike her. If you know my mother, you would think she would have been right there with me with the waterfalls. But there was no emotion in her face, as Hunter lay there looking lifeless with 90db blaring in his ears and not a single reaction coming out of him. As the lady sat there studying her computer, all I could do was cry. Was this really happening? What about when the toilet flushed in the hospital room and he flinched? Or the door closing at home and he jumped?
She then turned to me and said, “Your son has a profound hearing loss in both ears”. This was greek to me, I wasn’t even worried enough before the appointment to google anything about hearing loss.
My response, as I was choking up so hard I could barely speak was, “So he is deaf?” and she replied “Yes, I’m sorry” She proceeded to try and comfort me as she said she believes a child not loved is more handicapped than one who could not hear. Boy, love was one thing this baby was not lacking!
Immediately my mom asked if this was something a Cochlear Implant could fix, and she said yes. She apparently had done her googling, and done a little grieving beforehand also… hence the no tears at the appointment. Which I know she did for me. I would not have been able to handle seeing her upset as well.
As I thought to myself, what in the WORLD is a cochlear implant, I knew I had to go out in the hallway to call my husband.
As he picked up the phone, he said he was walking into a meeting at a bank downtown, and all I could say, with as much strength in my voice as I could was “He’s deaf, Blair… he’s 100% fully deaf”.

The rest of our conversation is a blur, and when I walked back in the room I just asked to stay for a minute so that I could hold him. I just wanted to hug him, and protect him, and never ever let him go. I just sat there and cried while he slept in my arms.

When my mom and I got home, my dad came by for a while just to show his support. I told them I would be fine, I just wanted to be alone with Hunter until Blair got home. I just wanted to hold him, and rock him, and for him to never grow up and realize that he was different in any way whatsoever.
When Blair got home, he did the same. He held him with the same tears I had, tears for our son that he was missing out on the auditory world. It sounds weird for me to say, but we just felt SO sorry for him. Sorry that he didn’t even know what he was missing out on.

We received a call from our pediatrician that afternoon who had just gotten the results. We stayed on the phone for a good thirty minutes until we were both in tears by the end of the call. Hunter is her first deaf patient, so we were going to tackle this together head on. We also got a call from the lady with the Louisiana School for the Deaf that afternoon. And in this small world we live in, she is married to one of Blair’s old bosses, and we had met her a time or two. Her cheerfulness about our situation threw me off at first, but I guess we couldn’t be depressed forever. And it was her job to make sure of that.
Blair took off the next day and stayed home with Hunter and myself, just to kind of take it all in and be together as a family. We started researching cochlear implants and started to see a whole new light. I always wonder why I had never heard of this before. I was never really educated on cochlear implants because my cousin never got them, but the you tube videos of babies hearing for the first time said it all.

Thus our journey began to obtain Cochlear Implants for Hunter…

This year, I am going to picture a person who models what I am going through exactly how I would want a role model to show it, and my goal is to become that person.... I hope Hunter brings a touch of joy to everyone he comes in contact with this coming year, it’s going to be a memorable one that’s for sure!


  1. As I read this with a tear falling down my cheek, i must tell you. That role model you want to be? You already are. Both you and Blair. Though I won't say I am not going to worry as every grandparent does, I know that I am privileged to be on this journey with him. He has already taught me so much..I forgot the audiologist had said that a child who is not loved is more handicapped. How profound that is. and yes I had been grieving from mar 21 until April 4. When you and I went that day I already knew what the result would be. I wanted to say Blair needs to be there. But I couldn't bring myself to pull the rug out from under
    you any sooner than it was already going to happen. Thank you both, it is an honor and privilege to watch with you as God's magnificent plan unfolds.

  2. I mean march 14 to April 4. I am 56. What can I say.....

  3. Omg I just balked reading this wow!!! I can't believe he is already almost 1!! E, I agree with Nana. You and the Blair are the most amazing parents I have ever seen!!!

  4. BALLED * not balked. That would be weird!

  5. wow! Reading your post took me right back to that room 5 years ago...I still remember sitting in the recliner holding Landon while he slept, watching the audi's shoulders drop every time he showed no response. Girl this year is going to be amazing!! Just think in a few months Hunter is going to be able to hear you tell him how much you love him! Y'all are doing an awesome job and I can't wait to see Hunter's activation video. ((hugs))

  6. Elyse, what a touching story. Brought tears to my eyes. Hunter is so lucky to have you and Blair and all of the supportive friends and family!