Moms Inherently Advocate for their Children

Coming up, on February 25th, is International Cochlear Implant Awareness Day!

Whew!  That was a mouth full.  You’d never believe that just 3 years ago, I didn’t even know what a cochlear implant was and certainly had no idea how such a tiny little device would affect my entire life.  But in true mom fashion, I have taken up my child’s cause with vigor and enthusiasm. 

My son, Malachi, was born profoundly deaf in both ears.  He was diagnosed at 3 months old after failing his newborn hearing screen.  Malachi could only hear extremely loud and low tone sounds which meant he would never be able to develop spoken language.  It took me a few weeks to understand and come to terms with his diagnosis, but before long, I found myself thinking about how to bring awareness to deaf education.  I immediately starting researching American Sign Language {ASL} and thinking about what his first few years of school would look like.  How could I get more people to buy into learning sign language so that his communication options would be less limited?

Just as I was preparing to morph into a super-advocate for deaf education, we were introduced to the option of cochlear implants; a tiny implant placed in the cochlea to stimulate the auditory nerve and create an ability to hear and subsequently develop spoken language.  After lots of research, consultations, and prayer, I decided this was the best option for Malachi.  He received cochlear implants in both ears at 18 months old.  He is now 100% verbal.  I have subsequently transformed into a ‘Cochlear Implant Mom.’  Raising awareness for my son’s rare situation has found its way onto my over-crowded ‘to-do’ list and become a high priority. This is what moms do.  We become automatically passionate about the things that concern our children.  Whether it’s dance, or sports, or bringing awareness to a rare medical condition, we are the champions of our children’s causes, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Take, for example, the total girly-girl who ends up being a #boymom.  She puts her fear of bugs and outdoors aside to be present for Boy Scout adventures and long summers of baseball.  There she is in the stands with her blinged out t-shirt showing up for her kid.  She’s the one passing out the cute little snack packs after the game.

It is just the same with us medical moms.  Our children have been diagnosed with some rare, at times difficult to pronounce, condition … and here we are being present for them, advocating for them, and cheering them on.  We look for opportunities to explain our children’s visible differences and cherish the times when we get to share about the surgeries, the challenges, and the little miracles that no one has witnessed but us.  Although most people shy away with their questions, afraid they might offend us or be intrusive, we adore it when some brave soul approaches us in the grocery store and says, “What is that on your son’s head?” or “Do you mind if I ask you something?”

Three years ago the words cochlear implants didn’t mean anything to me.  I had no idea what Bi-lateral Auditory Neuropathy {Malachi’s official diagnosis} was.  I had never written a letter to my representative about inclusion for oral deaf education or funding cuts for speech and occupational therapy.  I had never been concerned about raising awareness for children with different abilities.  But in true mom fashion, I am my son’s biggest advocate.  My social media pages are flooded with #cochlearkid hashtags.  If one person becomes more aware or learns something new about cochlear implants and how they are changing the lives of deaf children, then my work as a mom / super-advocate / cochlear implant awareness and education guru is done.

Moms Inherently Advocate for their Children | Houston Moms Blog

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