Hi! I am Natalie and I blog over at MessyMom.comwhere I share about my messy life and how our big family lives in a small space on a tiny budget. I have been married for almost 15 years now and I have three children with one more due this Thanksgiving! My two boys are ages 8 and 2 and my daughter is 5. Watch the short video at the end of this post to find out the gender of the next baby!
My daughter Sedona (I call her SJ on my blog) has been surprising us since the moment she arrived. I had planned a home birth, but it was supposed to happen on the bed that we had prepared for labor and delivery. Instead I was in denial that I was actually in labor and I took a bath thinking it might help my contractions slow down. It didn’t and go figure that’s when Sedona decided to come. Luckily the midwife showed up right when I was exclaiming that I felt like I needed to push. Next thing you know I was holding my baby girl. It all happened so fast! It was definitely one of the greatest moments of my life.
Sedona was so different than her brother in every way.
She has always been very independent. She started dressing herself, preparing snacks, and even going potty without my help when she was just a year old. She was also different than in her brother in that he talked earlier and a lot more than she ever did. When she turned two she had only said a few words and they weren’t consistent. We took her to the Doctor and expected to start speech therapy as soon as possible. The Doctor referred her to an ENT to have her hearing tested first. So we did that just to rule it out.
I’ll make a very long story short and skip to the part where it was confirmed that our precious little 2 year old girl was deaf.
I immediately dove head first in learning all that I could about hearing loss and sign language. Almost a year after her diagnosis she underwent surgery to receive the cochlear implant. For those that aren’t familiar with the device it is almost like a bionic ear. She still can’t hear as well as natural hearing would allow, but it’s pretty close.
Because she didn’t start hearing until she was three it means that she has a lot of catching up to do before she is at the same level of her peers. Right now she is 5 and can understand and communicate about the same as a three year old. She is in an excellent deaf school though and she’ll be caught up before you know it.
The thing that makes our story different from other families of deaf children that have been born in the past 15 years is that there was no newborn hearing screening. We went two years before we knew she was deaf. There is a part of me that feels terrible about the time we lost by not getting her access to sound sooner. There is another part though that has to look on the bright side and appreciate those two years that I had just enjoying getting to know my daughter for who she was. I wasn’t rushing to therapy or audiology appointments. I didn’t have to panic or fear. I just loved my baby girl for who she was and the deepest sense of joy that she brought to my life and she returned that love to me. I always say I love my children more than words can say and after what we’ve been through I feel like I have lived that truth.
As girl moms I know we all want to emphasize the power of words because they are POWERFUL. Tell your daughters that they are smart, capable, beautiful and loved. Build them up and speak truth everyday. Even more so, love them and teach them in a way that if they never heard a word you said they would still know. My hope for girl moms is that our girls would know what true beauty is because they see it radiating through us. They would know Christ’s love because we are walking in it. Lastly, they would feel our love because the mother daughter bond is so deep that even when we feel like we totally blew it (or maybe they feel like they did) we know that our connection remains unchanged.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story here on Our Pretty Little Girls.
As promised here is the gender reveal video. We had a ton of fun making it. I hope you enjoy peeking in on our messy escapades.