What started as a labor of love took a sharp and unexpected turn.

Funny, though, in the beginning, our baby failing one of the routine infant screenings seemed the least of our worries. This little person was coming home with us. Fourteen hours of labor and now… He was ours.

It was probably just fluid in the ear canal, anyway.

In a few short weeks we would have to return for what we thought was the green light: all clear. In the meantime, we attempted to manage caring for our pint-sized roommate.

Feed. Change. Sooth. Repeat. Nipple creams, diaper creams, oh my.

After many parents-of-a-newborn sleepless nights, the day arrived. Simply nurse this crying, pooping machine to sleep; a Nonchalant informed us he must hold perfectly still for at least an hour to get accurate readings.

Sweat beaded down my back while trying to perform this task, stuck to the giant leather recliner, designated for the infants.

Those in this department had seen this done many times. For us it was like entering a foreign country, unable to speak the language.

My new mommy arms throbbed while turning numb; but he was finally in a slumber.

I. Wasn’t. Moving.

Perfect. I had to pee.

Censors were placed on his scrunched-up, tiny forehead. I studied his baby acne and perfect heart-shaped lips; while struggling to keep the miniature ear buds, wires leading to god-knows-where,  inserted into his squishy, little ears. Our bodies mushed. Drenched.

Please don’t wake. I prayed.

The Nonchalant took her place behind the glass. Frozen. We waited.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Then. The Room. The cold space no parent wants an invitation to enter. Nonchalant said he failed.


Dr Lab Coat said his loss was severe to profound, he would get hearing aids, maybe be a candidate for a cochlear implant, and probably go to mainstream high school.


What? High school? Profound? A candidate for…


Follow-ups were scheduled: ENT’s, Audiologists, Geneticist, Intervention Specialists.

We bundled him and headed out to battle Cleveland’s lake-effect snow. We wandered. Where was that car… in a maze of a city-like parking garage at this piece-of-crap-city-like hospital?

When we arrived hours earlier, we had no idea. This.

Roommate clipped in. We sat. Staring straight ahead. There were no words.


We wept.

And in that single morning, the journey of navigating through the fog began.


This piece originally appeared at MyBattleCall.com

Valli Vida Gideons

I am a military bride, who writes about raising kids with cochlear implants, military life, and other things from the heart. Unrelated but not irrelevant... I have a degree in journalism and wrote my first short story in second grade about a walking/talking sponge; I've been an exercise instructor since my teen years (Flashdance sweatshirts, leg warmers and vinyl records to prove it); and may have been an extra on the vintage 90's hit, Beverly Hills 90210 (proof still found on VHS tapes). I got hypothermia in my first marathon at mile 25.5, but went on to kick butt the next six times I toed the line; I use to cut hair on Melrose Ave. in another life; and I am still besties with my two closest pals from elementary school, who encouraged me to share my story. This is my journey. I hope it provides a sliver of inspiration for anyone who is entering or in the midst of a fog. Follow my journey on Facebook and my blog!