As some of you may know, hospitals won’t release newborns until they have had a newborn hearing screen. The day we were being released they wheeled in the little cart to perform G’s test so we could go home. Recalling the experience with baby #1, when it took more than 5 minutes we were worried something was wrong. An hour later, the technican confirmed G failed his hearing test in one ear, but couldn’t say much more as to why. At that point, when you have also just learned your son is missing a part of his brain and may not walk or talk, it was the least of our concerns and we just wanted to get home!
Once home, we were scheduled for an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) in which they expect a baby to fall asleep while they stick electrodes on their head and pull earphones in an out. Yeah, that was NOT a fun experience. AND you can’t move because any movement throws off the results.
SO, FOUR hours (I kid you not!) I sat in a hard wooden chair holding that baby hoping for good results. Four hours later and we were told one ear is good, the other is not so good, but not terrible – he can probably hear, just not at a “normal” volume. They directed us to go see an ENT and come back some other time.A few weeks later, visiting the ENT, and he wants us to do another ABR – as you might imagine this threw me into panic as I was still recovering from the 4 hour extravaganza at the hospital! Long story short, we attempt another ABR (which didn’t work – you can’t get a baby to fall asleep when they are being poked and prodded!), a multitude of other hearing tests over a course of weeks, and nobody can tell us anything.
At this point they want to sedate him for another ABR (poke and prod all you want with drugs!) – Daddy P and I were hesitant to sedate him as he was so teeny tiny, and of all his medical issues, just didn’t think this was the most important. If we were going to do it, let’s do it with his MRI so he only needs to be sedated once. BOY it is a PAIN to schedule multiple procedures and it was literally scheduled 3 months out.
Then the little bugger goes and gets 3 double ear infections in 4 weeks. This means tubes for those little ears. Now trying to schedule the ENT to physicially be there AND radiology, it was starting back at square one and would have been months out again.
With all this drama (and hours of phone calls), we have dropped the MRI and he will get his tubes and ABR next week. We are anxious for this ABR in hopes it proves he just had fluid in his ears during every other test. If that is NOT the case, they have narrowed it down to be an issue with his inner ear bones. They will want to do a CT scan (which we aren’t thrilled about) and probably get him hearing aides fairly soon.
Having said all of that, mama’s intuition says that boy can hear! He smiles at us, turns his head when he hears his sister, and startles at loud noises. Will let you know how things turn out next week!