I remember early on in this journey, when I was broken and so upset, another parent of a deaf child told me, “Someday, you’ll look back and this won’t all seem so impossible and so huge.”
At the time, I didn’t think I’d ever reach that point. Cooper’s diagnosis was all-consuming. My child couldn’t hear. How would that ever be okay? How would I ever not think about that? How would I ever stop crying, stop wishing he could hear me, stop desiring for him to be “normal?”
But as I sit here waiting, as Coop is getting his bilateral cochlear implants, I can attest to what that parent told me. Yes, I’m scared, and yes tears have been shed today. But today it’s not because of what we’ve lost (or rather, what we never had). I’m not sad anymore when I think about the fact that Cooper is deaf.
It’s like this…Cooper is 9 months old. Cooper has brilliant blue eyes. Cooper’s laugh lights up my heart. Cooper is deaf. It’s part of him. It’s something I can say now without stumbling over the word.
Even after his surgery, after his activation, he will still be deaf. If his implants aren’t on, he can’t hear. And that’s okay. That’s what his world is right now, so it isn’t a scary, dark place. It’s what he knows. In fact, the implants will be the scary part if anything. His loss is so profound that any access to sound will be new for him. So we start slow, and we build up.
To any parents who are new to this journey and have stumbled across this site…just know that it does get better. Someday you won’t think about your child’s diagnosis every waking second. Someday you’ll be able to find the little silver linings. You’ll be in awe of all the people you’ve crossed paths with who you never even know existed before. You will have confidence in the path you’ve chosen. You will be okay.
In fact, you will be more than okay. I promise.