Welcome to my blog. My name is Monique, and I'm a mommy to a beautiful seven month old girl named Rachel. For all intents and purposes, this blog is meant for me to chronicle my daily experiences as a hard of hearing mommy. It isn't meant to contain all-encompassing knowledge, or be a source of ridicule (for whatever I may write in the future). It is simply a heart-to-heart discussion on paper. Most mommies understand the need for a cathartic relief from everyday chores. Most hard of hearing people understand the need to express struggles and challenges that we face daily. This is my story.
First off, let me properly introduce myself. I already said that my name is Monique, I'm a mommy and I'm hard of hearing. Sometimes I think I'm schizophrenic, as being a mommy is one identity, and being hard of hearing is another. Nearly eight months ago, when my daughter arrived I was filled with the usual emotional suspects: joy, anxiety, fear, excitement, and shock. The first three months zipped by, as I learned how to change diapers, pump breast milk, soothe Rachel to sleep, getting enough sleep/food for myself, and keeping up with everyday household activities. Now, at seven months I *think* I have it under control, although *knock on wood* her schedule could change at any given time. The collision between Rachel's arrival and having a hearing loss resulted in my stress level to hit an all time high, especially in the first few weeks. I was full of worries, in particular that I wouldn't hear her cries at nighttime while we slept (and like every challenge in life, hubby and I managed to find a solution for that!).
|Our beautiful little girl arrived at 10 lbs 1.4 oz!|
My hard of hearing identity is another story: I don't identify myself as a capital D Deaf, but rather clinically deaf (not culturally deaf). In layman's terms, it means I shift between the 'hearing world' and the 'deaf world' - as I only know rudimentary sign language (where's the toilet? Please and thank you), and I interact socially with speech. When I have my Cochlear Implant (CI) on, I can hear the world (perhaps not as well as those with awesome hearing...), but when I have my CI off, the world becomes completely silent. In addition to that, my husband also has a hearing loss, he wears a Cochlear Implant and a hearing aid (however, baby girl doesn't have a trace of hearing loss!!!) Fun, hey? For more information on deaf vs. hearing loss, look at the link below, it's got everything pretty much covered (http://www.audiologyawareness.com/hearinfo_impairdeaf.asp).
|Hubby and I before we got married, traveling in Switzerland at the International Federation of Hard of Hearing Young People's Summer Camp.|
There we go. You have a basic *draft* idea of who I am - although sometimes I do wonder who I am now and then. As I always tell my husband, I'm a constant work in progress! It is my hope that others reading this blog from far and wide will get to know me, relate to my experiences, and be part of my 'online' community (other than Facebook, which I spend far too much time on!)
Enjoy reading my posts, and feel free to comment! I welcome words of wisdom, advice, and thoughts.
PS - I'm a proud Catholic too, another story for later. (See! I have so many thoughts and ideas whizzing by in this head of mine!)