First time with hearing aids “The absolute best moment” for Mom
A newborn hearing loss diagnosis was devastating for Sadie’s parents – but after she was given hearing aids at 6-weeks-old things got a lot brighter.
Sadie’s now an energetic 4-year-old who according to her mom is “truly like any other hearing child.” Sadie’s Mom, Sara, told us about how Sadie’s CLEAR440 hearing aids help her to enjoy all the sounds around her.
How did you first discover Sadie’s hearing loss?
Sadie failed two newborn hearing screenings when she was born. From there we had 2 more screenings at our local hospital, and were then referred to an audiologist where we found out that she had permanent hearing loss.
What was going through your mind when you first realized that Sadie had a hearing loss?
When she failed her first two newborn screenings, the professionals kept saying it was probably just fluid in her ears. As a first time mom, I was already overwhelmed with everything else - so I just assumed that they were probably right. But after the third screening, when the coordinator called to refer me to an audiologist, she told me to start preparing myself for the worst. I had no idea what that even meant and I couldn’t even fathom that something like this was happening.
There was no history of hearing loss in my family. During my pregnancy I worried about almost every single possible thing that could go wrong with my baby. Never once did I think about hearing loss.
When Sadie had her final hearing test at the audiologist, I remember waiting for the results with my husband. We were asking each other how we thought she did. We couldn’t decipher what was going on on the screen, but it looked like things probably went well.
When our audiologist came in, she told us she had to turn the sound up quite a bit to get a response out of Sadie. I was absolutely devastated. I just kept looking at Sadie and thinking “how did this happen, this isn’t what I planned!" It took me a good week before I finally could talk about it without bursting into tears.
Then, it was like a light switch flipped on in my head. I could either keep being sad and depressed, or I could be strong for Sadie and do something about it. So I went into "Mom mode” and just got as educated and informed as I could.
What was it like when Sadie received her first pair of hearing aids?
I was nervous because I was being immersed into this world that I had no knowledge of. I didn’t know how to put hearing aids in her ear, how to clean them, how to test them, how to ensure they stayed on, etc.
But the absolute best moment of my life was when I spoke to Sadie with her aids on. Sadie was a colicky baby and cried a lot. But when I looked at her and said “Hi Sadie, I love you!” she stopped, looked up at me, and smiled. It was the first time she had heard my voice. It is one of the best memories of my life, and one I will never forget. I knew right then that everything was going to be okay.
What was it like when Sadie switched to her current pair of hearing aids?Sadie went through 2 other sets of aids before we found the Widex BABY 440’s, which were the best aids ever. They fit great, they stayed on, no feedback, she could hear well, they were easy to use. I just loved them! Unfortunately, after about 2 years, Sadie’s hearing got a little worse so the BABYs weren’t strong enough anymore and we had to switch to a stronger aid. We were given the Widex CLEAR aids, and we decided she needed a different mold to help enhance the sound. This was the struggle for Sadie. She loved her Widex Baby 440's and never complained about wearing them.
However, when we had to switch ear molds, Sadie hated them. She did not want to put them in, and she threw a horrible fit. At that moment, I was in tears thinking “why does she have to go through this, this just isn’t fair to her!" But, we were finally able to calm her (AKA bribe her :-)) and after a couple days, she got used to her new ear molds and she has been fine ever since.
Did it take some time for Sadie to adjust to wearing hearing aids?
Sadie was aided at 6 weeks, so she has never known any different. She loves her aids and knows they help her hear, so she has no problem wearing them. She loves them. She asks to have them put on every morning.
How have hearing aids helped Sadie in her daily life?
I cannot even imagine what our life would be like without hearing aids. Being aided and early intervention at 6- weeks-old has made a world of difference. She speaks well (I actually can’t get her to stop talking!), she hears well, and she consistently scores above average on all of her speech/listening tests. Sadie is truly like any other hearing child. I can’t tell you how many people comment on the fact that they forget she even wears aids because she speaks so well. I am so grateful for hearing aid technology!
What are some of your hopes and dreams for Sadie’s future?
I want her to realize her potential and strive for bigger and better. She is a smart, funny, strong-willed little girl, and her future is so bright. I have never lowered my expectations for Sadie because of her hearing loss, and I hope she never does for herself either. Her opportunities are truly endless.
Sadie is 4-year-old and lives in Missouri, USA. Read more stories about hearing aid users like Sadie here.