When I initially received the diagnosis that my son Cooper had profound hearing loss, I felt like my world had shattered. 

Over the months following his diagnosis, I learned more than I thought possible in such a short time frame. I learned about the technical aspects of hearing loss, yes. But it was more than that. Being Cooper’s mom, even for just five short months, has already opened my eyes to view the world in a new light. Having a deaf baby has though me more than I could imagine.

At first, having a deaf baby made it difficult to breathe, to function. I wanted to wake up and realize it had all been a dream. Of course, that never happened. His diagnosis was very real. 

Most of all, it’s taught me that a hearing loss diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of the world. In fact, it can be the start of a new world. Here are a few key takeaways from this journey so far. 

1) It’s OK to have bad days

Early on in Cooper’s diagnosis, I felt guilty when I was struggling to get through the day. I found myself feeling depressed, and then I would feel guilty for having those feelings about my baby. But I eventually came to realize that facing an unexpected diagnosis is going to bring up some not-so-pleasant emotions, and that doesn’t mean I love my son any less than if he’d been born with full hearing. It just means I’m human, that I’m learning to accept the hand we’ve been dealt, and determining what the next steps are.

Even now, months later, I still have those random days where I feel angry and upset all over again. Now I know I just have to sit with those emotions and that doesn’t make me any less of a good mom. As a parent of a child with hearing loss, any emotions you feel are completely valid.