Activation began with the audiologist introducing a series of tones and beeps through the computer to Sophie’s implants while she sat in a high chair playing. When Sophie heard a sound, she would look up, blink, or widen her eyes. Eventually, she began to turn towards a dark box that her audiologist would light up when she showed a response. After the beeps, Sophie’s processors were changed over to speech. It was apparent that Sophie was very curious by hearing voices. She would turn and look at me with a question in her eye, “What is that, Mom?” A few times, Sophie grew scared and cried. As the session went on, Sophie became more and more used to the sound.
Here are a couple short videos of the day. In the beginning of this first one, Sophie is responding to sounds played through the computer that we cannot hear.
After our audiology session, we quickly ran by her school to get some supplies. Everyone was so excited to see Sophie and her new head gear. It was a little emotional for me because it felt like just yesterday that I was toting my little four week old baby around on our tour, just two days after learning she is deaf. I remember the incredible comfort and hope that was brought to me by that visit. I was informed about this amazing technology and told that she may even be able to get her CIs before her first birthday. Wow – have we really made it this far already?!
Once we got home, Sophie’s poor little brain was overloaded and she took quite a nap. When she woke and I put her processors back on, she became upset and cried again, even though I had turned them to the lowest setting. This is how new sound is to her! Can you imagine? Once she adjusted, I noticed quite a difference in Sophie playing. She appeared to be much more curious about her toys. She would furrow her brow and look up at me, as if to say, “Huh? I didn’t know this thing made noise?! I just like looking at the lights!” I also noticed that she would blink every time I clapped my hands and she was more engaged when I was talking.
Overall, a very great day! I'm a little nervous about leaving Sophie at the babysitter tomorrow. I just know how overwhelming it is and I want to make sure Sophie is given every chance to excel. ;) However, I did make our sitter a quick reference guide for her CIs! Maybe that makes me a little neurotic, but it will give me peace of mind.
Right now, Sophie’s CIs are programmed very low because we do not want to overwhelm her with sound. We go back to her school on Wednesday and then again next week and they will gradually add more programs until the CIs are working at an optimal level. We will also be having auditory verbal (AV) therapy several times a month to get Sophie talking. So excited to start this journey!In other news, I have been so wrapped up in this surgery and activation that I have completely forgotten to give any general updates on my little girl. Sophie has really changed over this past month or so and is becoming more and more of a little person, with her own distinguished personality. She crawls everywhere, pulls up on everything until she is standing, and has completely mastered the notorious step in our kitchen. Sophie also claps, dances, and waves “hi” and “bye”. She will really wave any time someone waves at her, but it is cute regardless. The ladies at her school were loving it today. She also plays catch! Don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t actually catch the ball, but she takes turns with us, throwing it back and forth. Oh, and let’s not forget the kisses! She gives the sweetest open-mouthed kisses. So far, only Mommy, Daddy, Uncle Brian, Grandma, and Grandpa have been the lucky recipients. ;)