Julia was a healthy full term baby born exactly one week before her due date. She was healthy and perfect. She passed her newborn hearing screening.
The hospital bassinet had a cabinet underneath where the diapers were stored. If I wasn't very careful with the doors they would slam loudly. Julia would startle and cry.
At least she can hear, I thought.
I thought about her hearing a lot even before she was born. I used to read to my belly and play music for the baby brain developing within.
I thought that my singing calmed her as an infant.
Then just before she turned three we found out she couldn't hear, not normally anyway. I was devastated. I wanted someone to tell me if she ever heard me. Has she ever heard me sing to her? Has she heard me whisper 'I love you'?
The tests were inconclusive as they often are. The ENT assumes the loss is genetic, but the markers haven't been discovered yet. No one knows if the loss is progressive. No one knows if she could hear when she was a baby.
All of it bothers me. I'm no fan of the unknown. Especially the bit about her hearing potentially getting worse, I'd like to know about that.
As time goes on I keep trying to make sense out of those early years. It would mean something to me if she could someday tell me that she heard me as a little toddler. Since that's doubtful I should probably keep assuming she did. It makes me happy to think she didn't spend almost three years hearing a jumbled mess.