As a premie he was screened for hearing before leaving the NICU and as far as we knew, he passed. As a follow up for any baby who is in the NICU for more than 5 days, they are scheduled for a hearing screening again around 6 months. We went in around Thanksgiving and he failed the test. They said it could have been from fluid in his ear from a recent cold and rescheduled us for December. When we went back in for the second test, he failed again. His right ear passed with flying colors but the left ear failed. It didn't tell us much, just that there might be a problem and we needed to do further testing. This past month we went in for a different, more involved test. I sat in a padded booth with him while they played sounds in his ears and watched for reactions. On his right side, he responded perfectly, but on the left side he did not show response until they moved the sound up to 80. After the test, the audiologist sat with me and explained the results. She told me that he has substantial unilateral hearing loss in his left ear, and perfect hearing in his right. I had never heard of anything like this, so naturally I had a ton of questions for her. We do not know the cause of his hearing loss and are unsure if any auditory aids will benefit him in the future. There is a potential for speech delays and difficulty in school because of his disability, and we wont know more until he's tested further as he gets older.
I used to work for a wonderful ENT in Fort Worth before teaching and decided to give him a call to ask see if he could be of any help in explaining this all to us. He was incredibly helpful and suggested having an ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) test since he is still so young. We now have this test scheduled for next month and are hoping it provides us with more answers. Unfortunately, Kellan will have to be put under anesthesia for the test... It will be the first time one of my babies will go through anything like this and naturally I am feeling anxious. I know that God has big things planned for this little guy and this is someday we will look back on this diagnosis and give God all of the praise for choosing Kellan to carry it.
It's hard to imagine life without those bright blue eyes and auburn hair. We are so incredibly thankful that he does have perfect hearing in his right ear and know that God is the ultimate healer. We continue to pray for healing on his left side, but give praise for a healthy baby boy.
At 11 months Kellan is weighing in at 18 lbs and despite a cough that just wont pass and popping out 5 teeth, he is still a very happy boy. We celebrated his very first Valentine's Day and watched him become more expressive with his emotions. Keeping up with him is nearly impossible as he's constantly exploring and crawls like a speeding bullet when he sees something he really wants. Eating nearly anything we put in front of him, he's been a breeze in the food department, too! Birthday invitations have been ordered and party plans are well under way, this kid will be ONE in less than a month... Kellan, we just love you to pieces!!! Happy 11 months, sweet boy.