Abby · Down syndrome

Happy Hearing Day, Abby.

Abby squirmed on my lap as I tried to hold her still as the doctor and her assistant worked. “Shhh, shhhhhh…almost done,” I whispered. And for the first time…ever…in Abby’s life she heard me.

My daughter heard me whisper to her. She turned. She listened. She calmed.

Down syndrome, hearing loss, hearing aids, child, down syndrome girl

I was heartbroken when we learned that Abby’s hearing loss was permanent.  The realization that she had never heard me whisper tore through me. All of the nights I had spent walking the halls as she struggled against sickness, whispering in her ear, singing softly, and shhhhshing her never made it past her tiny ear canals.  With every whispered “I love you” as I put her to bed, she saw my mouth move, but never heard the words.

I’ll never forget that simple moment in the doctor’s office as they monkeyed with her new hearing aids. The first time she turned towards me when I whispered in her ear. I won’t forget the first time her eyes lit up as she walked around and heard her own footsteps for the first time. She turns towards the sound of chirping birds and is overwhelmed by the loudness of her three brothers.  She hears me now when I call her from across the room. We’ve turned down the TV to a level that doesn’t fill me full of rage.

It’s beautiful. And soon, I’m sure, the sounds that were missing for her to make sense of spoken language will come and I will have that rush of delight when I finally get to hear her call me ‘mom.’

If my life has shown me anything, it’s that the times that hurt, the times that were so low, make the great times SO MUCH greater. Waiting makes the rewards that much more sweet.  Abby’s taught me to slow down a little bit, and to revel in every single thing- even the sound of my own footsteps.

Happy hearing, Abby.

Abby in her hearing aids


22 thoughts on “Happy Hearing Day, Abby.

  1. This makes me teary in such a great — “OMG, this is so freaking awesome!” — way. If we hadn’t been through something similar with our son, I don’t think I would be able to appreciate the intensity of that moment. I’m so very, very, VERY happy you and Abby had that moment. Here’s to so many more as she discovers a whole new aspect of her world.

  2. I love this. I love her. I love you.

    You’re so right. The struggles make every accomplishment, every celebration that much more enjoyable.

  3. There are no words to describe how awesome this is! I am so happy for you all. I want to give that sweet little girl a kiss on her sweet little cheek. Since I cannot, would you please do so for me? Happy Hearing Day!

  4. You made me cry. What a beautiful moment that must have been. Congratulations to both of you on such a beautiful event! Wonderful!

  5. God is so good, the technology of modern medicine and devices is God showing us he still cares and loves us. Praise GOD!!

  6. That was such a great thing to read about! I have 2 autistic sons, and although they have no hearing loss, I can’t wait until they “hear” me one day!

  7. Oh my gosh how did I miss this one?!?! Teared up for sure! I’m so happy for her (and you all). Can’t wait to read the post when she says “mom” for the first time!

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