"Can you wave to the workers?"
When he was born, in the hospital, we did the newborn hearing test and he failed both of those.
Everyone was like, oh it is probably just fluid. We see a pediatrician at Boys Town and they did another test and he said, 'Ashley, I'm sorry but I'm not able to give you good news today.' He referred us to see an audiologist at Boys Town where we did an ABR test and he failed.
That's when we found out that he had the severe to profound hearing loss.
It was devastating. We cried for a long time, not just that day. It was just really hard to understand how this happened.
I was in complete denial. That is all I thought. She took a hold of it quickly and started studying but I just kept on ignoring it at first.
They said they were going to fit him with hearing aids at four months old. That was our first step and we were happy to do that. Still, it was hard to believe it. We just kept seeing people at Boys Town and they said he was a candidate for cochlear implants.
I was still in denial. Who could trust this little object going into a head, you know? It is something scary. You don't want any surgery on your kid but Boys Town does such a wonderful job of making it seem like it is a simple process and that it is something truly amazing.
The Cochlear Implant Team and Dr. Kang walked us through it and said that it was best if he has one hearing aid and one implant right now. They'll keep watching him and see how he does and make sure he doesn't lose any more hearing in that ear. They think that it will benefit him to be able to hear acoustically as well as with the implant.
By the end of the day he was up running around like nothing happened. Other than us crying all morning while he was in surgery, after that it was a breeze and a relief. Seeing him happy after the surgery made me feel better.
He didn't freak out when it was turned on. He kind of sat there like, whoa I can hear something and you could tell right away.
When we tried to get him to say the words that he knew before, it was a process to relearn how he was hearing that. It takes at least a few months before we started seeing it.
"Can you put the top on?"
"Good listening, Hudson!"
We meet with speech therapists at least once a week and then we also go down to Boys Town to do speech therapy.
They're just training us as parents on how to incorporate all of this in our day to day life. How to talk with him and help him.
When we did our meetings of our goals, one of them was that he would say fifty words and I was like, wow, how is he going to get there?
But over time he got there in six months and he surpassed that goal.
He's two now and he can say one hundred words so it's really exciting. He's putting two words together.
Next year, he'll be going to preschool. It will be exciting to be at school like a normal little boy and just participate in anything that he wants to do.
It's like the best decision that we've ever made. It's so emotional. It's so exiting.
I remember how we felt when we were so unsure of everything and wondering what would like be like and now, we love it. We can't imagine our life without it. We're like, this is the coolest thing ever! It's the same for him.
He wakes up every day and he wants to put it on. He loves to hear with it.
The Cochlear Implant Center at Boys Town National Research Hospital has served children and adults with severe or profound hearing loss for more than a decade with comprehensive clinical services. Watch how a cochlear implant has changed Hudson's life.