Thursday, December 08, 2005

Let's Talk Hearing

Everyone has been asking about how things are going with Eden's cochlear implant, so I guess it's time for a hearing update. The truth is, there really isn't much to tell.

A quick lesson in equipment... Eden has to wear a coil that attaches to her head behind her right ear by a magnet (this is the part that communicates with the internal device). She also has to wear a processor which is attached to the coil with a wire. There are two types of processors, a body-worn, and a BTE or Behind the Ear. The BTE processor is big for a baby because it attaches to the microphone piece that is always worn on the ear. Generally little ones wear the body-worn processor until they are big enough to switch to a BTE. When Eden was activated, the company that makes her processor (Cochlear) had not yet released the new version of the body-worn processor, so Eden ended up with a BTE that is too big for her to wear.

As you can see from recent pics, we've devised a way for Eden to wear her processor. The headband is actually working pretty well (aside, of course, from the crazy hairdo that goes along with it). It helps hold the coil in place so she isn't always rubbing it off on the floor or the back of the chair, and it holds the processor. We are still frequently adjusting her headband and putting the coil back on her head, but it is much better than anything else we have tried. Her body-worn processor came in the mail today, so I guess we will give it a try and see what happens. It might just be that the headband works out better anyway. The good thing is that we get to keep both processors, so there will be no waiting for the BTE when Eden is big enough for it. Of course, by then there might be new technology!

As far as the actual hearing, and Eden's progress, there isn't really much to report. We can tell she is hearing in subtle ways. She seems to pay more attention, she is a little bit more vocal, and she occasionally looks up or looks a bit surprised when she hears a loud or different sound. Eden goes bi-weekly for her programming appointments where they adjust the levels of her CI. We've seen a really big difference each time we've been to these appointments. Eden seems to have the hang of listening to beeps, and she shows clear definite reactions when they get to levels she can hear. It is really cute to see her look up at us when she hears something. You can just see in her face that she thinks it is a game and she likes the reaction she gets from us. Other than that, it's honestly been a little bit of a let down. Not that I am discouraged or unhappy about her progress, it's just that there's a big build up to activation day, then it takes a long time to start seeing results. I am very anxious for Eden to start responding to her name consistently, and even more anxious for her to start some consonant babbling (mama would be a great first word). It'll come. It is just gonna take some time. Of course, I was well prepared and expected this, but I am still ready for something more to happen!

Now a quick note on Holly. She is crawling more and more each day. Today she followed the dog around for a while and kept stealing his bone and chewing on it. Zippo encourages it by taking his bone to her and dropping it in her lap. He is very nice about sharing, and she is very nice about giving big slobbery open mouth kisses. Disgusting I know, but what can you do? They love each other. Holland is also wanting to pull herself up on everything now. She can get to her knees by herself, but needs a little help to get to her feet. It's coming along quickly now. Maybe a little too quickly. She is really reminding me of my cousin Abigail lately (Hi Abby!) because every time she is on my lap she is looking for my thumbs to pull up on so she can stand. Won't be long before I become a slave to her wanting to walk around the house this way. Holland has also become really interested in Eden's headband and processor lately. Today she tried to grab it and when I told her "no, no" she pretended to cry and hit Eden on the head then pulled her hair! We'll have to work on that. Little miss sassy pants.


Anonymous said...

As the parent of just one baby, and never having observed twins interacting (at least not as babies) I find the pictures of Eden and Holland together and your descriptions of how they relate to one another totally fascinating. They really do seem to have crossed some sort of threshold out of babyhood-- I mean a baby wouldn't pretend to cry and then hit her sister on the head! The pictures accompanying this post are super cute, as always.

Kendra Lynn said...

I'm so glad to hear of the girls' progress...they really seem to moving along quickly now, and its great to hear that Holly is almost ready to stand and walk!

As for Eden's hearing, I'm positive that its going to work out. God hasn't let you down so far...and I believe its going to just get better from here on out!

I love you guys.

Happy Holidays.

Anonymous said...

Tonight as I read your reports about the girls, I remembered how very tired a mommy gets. I only had one baby at a time, and each of those girls were relatively healthy. I can still recall the times when I complained about how hard it was and how tired I got. After following your lives via blog, I know that I didn't come close to being overwhelmed, as I sometimes claimed.
When I visited the blog tonight, I read with my eyes the news, but I "heard" with my heart the weariness of a young mother's voice at the end of a long, long day.
You've named the blog, "Micro Preemie Twins: The Story of Holland & Eden". But those of us who frequent it, know that it's "The Story of a Family": a family that has overcome unbelievable odds. And eventhough at the end of every single day, you are tired beyond words, there is still "hope" in your voice. For you know in your heart this family will make it!
We all know it, too!
All My Love!

Anonymous said...

Hi- I have no idea if you'll find this relevant, but my micropreemie turned one (actual) on Nov. 26. She doesn't say consonants or mama either. The PT told me that ST (at least in CA) isn't instituted until 18 months and that micropreemies can be so busy getiing neurologically "organized" with motor skills, speech is put aside. -E

Anonymous said...

I forgot to say that speech is then totally caught up with ST (sometimes not), after a strong motor foundation has been met.

Anonymous said...

Once again I am struck by how big the two little beauties are getting. Just look at Eden with her head held high and Holly trying her hand at standing in her crib! I see that you lowered her matress :), excellent move. Give sassy-pants and wild-hair big smooches from me. Much love, Jess

Anonymous said...

I was thrilled to get the newest scoop on Miss Edie's implant. Slow but steady is good too..she's her own girl! I, by the way, LOVE her hairband do! It's very original.
I have a feeling you will be playing hide and seek with Miss Holland once she gets scootin on her feet! It will be her and Zippo against the world, dog bone in hand! Gentlemen start your engines!
Love and smooches,
Mamma Jules

Anonymous said...

oh, miss sassy pants is on the move, and wants it her way. though i know it isn't "nice", it did make me laugh. perhaps we have a little drama queen on tap? :) i can't wait to see you guys when i get home. maybe we can plan a little holiday get together? let me know what you, lis