I know I have spent a lot of my blog so far talking (whining, wailing, sobbing) about Will's hearing deficit. But you know, it's a big part of our lives and this is the first time I have really talked about it and my feelings so I have a lot to get off my chest. Generally in life I am a fun, happy, a little bit tipsy probably, live life as it comes type girl. Or I was. 2010 changed me a little. Or a lot. I'm not quite sure yet. It was, quite frankly, horrendous. So in a bid to get all the negativity out of my system I thought I would share our rough year with you. Not for sympathy or reward, just to get it off my chest so I can move on. Think of yourselves as my therapists (I probably need multiple).
January 31st 2010 - Our home was burgled. All of our electronic goods were stolen. If you have ever been burgled yourself you will understand that the stuff doesn't matter, it's the violation of privacy. The fear to be in your own home. The trauma of knowing someone, many someones, have routed through every inch of your house, turned on all your lights, opened all your doors and rummaged through your knickers. Still makes me want to vomit.
May 6th 2010 - I went into labour. In the course of the next 2 days William's heart stopped 3 times, they did horrific things to my most personal parts and I think at some points Shaun and I thought we were all going to die. Medically it was a 'straightforward' birth. Yeah, tell that to my foofoo. Or Shaun, who still can't think about it without freaking out and breaking down, let alone talk about it.
May 2010 - Shaun's Grandma in New Zealand died. She was old, had lived a good life and we had been expecting it for a while but still, with her great Grandson only just born it was a very, very sad time for all of us.
May, June, July 2010 - William was breast fed. I was very lucky in that breastfeeding came very easily for me, I only had one problem. He fed ALL the time. For hours on end. 6 hours, 8 hours. Most days he was attached to me for 18-20 hours out of 24. I would feed him lying down and sleep while he continued feeding. I went to my GP, to breastfeeding councilling, support groups, back to the midwives at the hospital and no-one found a problem. I received comments like 'He's a boy, boys like boobs', 'You are a new Mum, you just need to put your baby down'. I could go on. Eventually I saw a lactation specialist and within 5 minutes she had diagnosed a tongue tie. Within 2 weeks we had been referred and he had been operated on. The operation involved starving him and then watching his little face look over at me in terror as the staff strapped him to a bed and cut a portion of his tongue out. Horrific. But within 2 days he did start feeding every 3/4 hours which was a massive relief and meant I could actually leave the house.
August 2010 - Tongue tie cut, feeling a little more like we had an idea about parenting we went to the US to see Shaun's Dad and his family. The day we left William got his first ever cold - excellent timing for his first ever flight. Over the course of our two week holiday, Shaun and I also caught colds, Shaun's Grandfather (also in NZ) died. His step-mum spent 4 days in hospital having a gastro operation so we missed out on time with her. Our flight back was delayed so we missed our connection and had to spend night in a hotel that 'don't offer cribs because we've had too many problems with them'. Right, my 4 month old (about to learn to roll any day now) will just sleep in a double bed then, no worries at all. At all. It was wonderful to see that side of the family and introduce William to them but felt very little like a holiday!
September 2010 - After 5 failed hearing tests and lots of false reassurance Willam was finally diagnosed as having moderate hearing loss in his right ear and severe hearing loss in his left. He will have to wear hearing aids in both ears.
September 2010 - Shaun and I played squash for the first time since I had fallen pregnant with Will. It felt so good to thrash the ball around the court and sweat out some of the anger I felt about Will's hearing. Until I thrashed myself in the hand, hard, and broke it. It was very painful but I didn't go to the doctors for 4 weeks by which point it had healed itself. There were x-rays and casualty and talk of rebreaking it but it had been so painful the first time round and so difficult to look after Will I couldn't face that again. So now I don't have a knuckle on my left ring finger and I have a lump half way down my hand where the bone fused itself. Nice.
September - December 2010 - We struggled to come to terms with our perfect baby not being perfect, with the practicality of hearing aids, and our new routine of deaf playgroup, speech and language therapy, learning sign language. William had to have an MRI scan, an ECG scan, a kidney scan, an eye test, blood tests. When I think back to how traumatised I was when he had his first immunisation, I look back and laugh. If only I had known the horror of these other tests. I would have let them jab him over and over again!
23rd December 2010 - Our bedroom ceiling collapsed. While we were in bed. 5am. I will let the picture do the talking but just remember this was 2 days before our very first Christmas as a family after a hard year. Needless to say this put a dampner on it. And yes that is a giant piece of plaster on our pillows where our heads would have been. It fell second, if it had fallen first we could have died.