Triplet Princes and a Princess

Triplet Princes and a Princess

Our journey to hearing with Cormac while living our life with triplet boys and a baby girl.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

5 years and 8 months...

You wondering what that number is? It's not the age of any of my children. It's not an anniversary. It's not a countdown. IT IS WHAT CORMAC SCORED ON HIS ANNUAL EVALUATION AT NYU!!!!!!!

Here is some other information. At the time of the test his actual age was 4 years 3 months. His hearing age was 3 years 2 months. So, you see where this is going? Not only is he scoring above average for his HEARING AGE he above average for his ACTUAL AGE. This is compared to typical hearing children. Not hearing impaired children just you run of the mill kids in the world.

We are so pleased, thrilled, happy. Insert any word you can think of for happy and relieved and it will complete the sentence.

Not much time to write being on vacation and all but just wanted to share :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I mention alot how much the boys talk. And when I say alot I mean constantly. Never ending. Not a second of quiet. For some reason in the car it's more questions. Here is a conversation I had with Colin on the way home from picking up Frank's car at the mechanic.

Colin: Mom, did you make the "hey, soul sister CD" (I just bought him the new CD by Train because he loves the song soul sister"

Me: No, hunny, I bought it.

Colin: Where did you buy it?

Me: At a store.

Colin: What store?

Me: K-mart

(Ciaran quickly says "Mom, what is K mart?" I quickly answer him "it's the store with the Big K we drive by on the way to the parkway"

While answering Ciaran Colin asked:

Where in the store did you get it?

Me: I got it in the music section

Colin: Oh, but what part of the store?

Me: I don't know. THe part where they sell CD's

Colin: When you went in the store did you go left or right?

Me: Colin, I really don't remember. I just went to the music section.

Colin: Was it in the front or the back?

Me: I think it was in the back.

Colin: Oh, well that's my favorite song. Did you buy it because I really like it?

Me: Yes, COlin I bought because I knew you liked it.

Colin: Can you put the song on?

Me: sure

Cormac: I don't want to hear the "hey soul sister" song. I want to watch TV.

Me: We can watch TV after we listen to the CD.

Cormac: Nope, I am taking my magnets off because I really don't want to listen to it. (I watched as he took both magnets off and entered into a world of silence)

Me: Ok. At least you have options.....(Sometimes I think he has it WAY better! DOnt' you wish you could turn off your ears every now and then????)

This was all in under 30 seconds. I am not joking. And it is continuous for the entire time we are in a car. No matter how long the ride :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Today we went to play at the park. I decided to keep the boys home in our house for a week to let them regroup. Being at the beach all summer is wonderful but I think they were yearning for some down time with their own stuff. It's been a great couple of days. They are napping better and seem to love being home with all their gear. Their imaginations are wonderful and with access to all their costumes the games go on for hours.

Here was a Wow moment for me today at the play ground. I don't know what they are called but most of the play grounds have them. You talk into it and on the other side of the play ground some one can hear you. You can talk back and forth. We never used them before not sure why but today the kids decided to try them out. Honestly, i wasn't sure how well Cormac would hear it. It's kind of muffled and echoey (is that a word???). To my pleasant surprise, Cormac had an entire conversations with Colin and myself. He didn't miss one word and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Another reason I take my hat off to Advanced Bionics! Just when I think I have seen it all....

On the home front. I found out the head of Special Services for our district has left his position. I am not sure what impact that will have on us. We have our services in place for the next school year thankfully. I am waiting to learn who has taken over the positiion. I plan to contact them shortly just to touch base with the next in line.

Calleigh had a follow up cardiology appointment this week. Her VSD is closed. Great news. Her ASD is still 7mm. Seems small when you think of it but it's not considered small when it's your heart. Fortunately, the hole doesn't cause any issues. We will continue to monitor her every 4 months over the next couple of years. If it doesn't shrink or close it will have to be surgically corrected. Not worried about it now. We have a few years.

Calleigh finally fed herself a bottle! She has been capable of it for some time but refused. THe last day she has decided to hold the bottle. I think I waited her out long enough for a bottle. She really wanted it and I wouldn't give in. I know, I know, mean Mommy, but this little girl is a little lazy! There is always someone to give her what she wants.

Oh, how could I forget!! Her first word.....HAT!!! She has said it several times now. I have been wearing a baseball hat a lot and she gets a kick out of it. I have hear Mama about three times but not consistent. SHe has perfected Dada and even Daddy. (traitor LOL).

We continue to use our every day life as a learning and language opportunity. Just yesterday I had to explain the oil spill in Louisiana to the boys. I made a pretend ocean in a tupperware and poured some oil on top. I explained what happened and how it effects out ocean, wild life etc. (currents, skimmers, pumps, Louisiana, shrimp, BP- just a smidge of the vocabulary.) I even took out the puzzle map of The USA and showed them on the map where we were in relation to LA and explained how the ocean was all around us. Pretty neat. It kept their interest for a while.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Life is a beach....

Life has been great this summer. I am spending 3-4 days a week at the beach with the kids which is why the blog has been neglected! I have just been having too much fun in the sun! The only downfall to so much time at the beach is much less time of implant wearing for Cormac. But you know what???? It hasn't changed a thing. If this was a year or two ago I would have been nuts taking him "off air" for a few hours a day. Not this year. All the kids speech has grown by leaps and bounds this summer. We have spent HOURS and HOURS reading. We go to the library once a week and pick out our books. A special shout out to Melanie who turned me on to the Fancy Nancy books. The vocabulary in them is amazing. Our currenct favorite is "Explorer Extrodinaire". It has lots about birds and butterflies and insects. At the zoo last week we talked a lot about the book when looking at all the birds.

Here is Cormac reading Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy.

Boogie Boarding is the latest rage in the family. The boys are amazing in the ocean. They paddle out and ride in the waves. Granted they can't swim yet but don't tell them that simple fact!!! The don't mind going under or getting smashed to the ground by the waves. We have talked lots about ocean facts. (currents, rip tides, number of oceans in the world)

Here is a link to some of the pictures. I am not at my home computer so I can't uplaod directly to the blogger.

We went on a pirate cruise! It was a treasure finding pirate adventure. The kids got to shoot water cannons at the "mean, smelly Pirate Pete". They used a treasure map to find things out in the water to eventually find the treasure chest. It had to hauled by a rope out of the water. They had fake tattoos and mustaches painted on them. It was a highlight of the summer. Their pirate names were Cross Bones Cormac, Castaway Colin and Compass Ciaran. They were so enthralled with the entire 2hour boat ride and adventure.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A celebration

The cake says "It's three years Cormac can hear"

I remember three years ago like it was yesterday. We handed Cormac over to the hands of a surgeon.

They let me walk Cormac into the OR. Frank said I couldn't do it if I was going to cry. Cormac never saw me shed a tear. I waited until he was deep asleep to let the river of tears start flowing. Frank and I held hands and sat anxiously waiting for the surgery to be over. It took nearly six hours. Yes, six hours. Since he received simultaneous bilateral implants it took longer than we expected. Not what you wanted but in the long run, Dr Lalwani, was a perfectionist and perfection is what we wanted.

I was not prepared for what I saw in the recovery room. No one warned me of the amount of swelling Cormac would experience.

Keep in mind he is totally deaf and now his face swelled so much his eyes could not open. My heart broke for him and I was literally physically ill to see him like this. The nurses didn't want me to touch him but touch was ALL I had. I ripped him out of the bed while he was sobbing crying. Within a minute he was fast asleep in my arms. What do those nurses know? I know my son, not them. I sat perfectly still with him for 2 hours until we were transferred out of recovery.

After 12 hours his eyes finally went down and he rolled over in the bed and gave me his usual smile. I knew at that moment everything would be alright. I called Frank immediately to tell him not realizing it was 3am! He thought the worst had happened and I was just calling to tell him good news. We were sent home the next morning and the long wait began. We had to wait four weeks for activation. It seemed like a year! We just couldn't wait for Cormac to start having access to sound.

THis is Cormac 24 hours after surgery.

On July 23rd Frank and I took Cormac and headed back to NYU for the big activation day. We were so nervous and excited. We had heard stories most kids cry and didn't have high expectations. We understood when they first turned on the implant he wouldn't understand what we were saying. He would have to be taught to understand the sounds around him. An implant is not majic. You don't just suddenly hear and understand. Cormac's activation could not have gone any better! He loved it and was so excited. Every time they made a sound they taught him to look at a dancing pig. Once he realized he was hearing sound he kept signing "more" and then "more pig". He smiled through the entire process. It was so amzing.

Here is a video of his activation. It's quite long but if you foward to around 4 minutes and watch from then on you will really see how thrilled he was to hear. At about 7 minutes 50 seconds he actually pulls on his ear and smiles and signs "more".

From that day on we have been working hard. It has become a way of life. We talk. and talk and then talk some more. I remember someone telling me around the three year mark you start to almost "forget" about it. Whoever said it was right. We are at a place where it's just Cormac. He has done so much in three short years. He has managed to catch up to his peers and surpass most of them. He fulfilled my dream of attending mainstream preschool with his brothers. The thought of sending him to school alone and separating him from his brothers broke my heart. I was willing to do if necessary but luckily it was not. I could not be prouder of him.

I really didn't know what to expect from him. I never knew someone who was deaf before I gave birth to Cormac. I didn't know anything about Connexin 26. I didn't even know what a cochlear implant was until he was diagnosed.

We have been blessed with lots of amazing people in our lives. Joan, Cormac's teacher of the deaf from early intervention was the best. We saw her 2 hours a week in our home and I brought him to a group class as Summit Speech School once a week. Joan was also the teacher of the group class. She gave our son his voice. She gave our family the skills to use along this journey. Everyone at Summit Speech School has been amazing to our family. We love being part of their school and continue to receive Cormac's itinerant services from Summit. Currently, his teacher of the deaf, Nicole, is amazing as well. Cormac just loves her.

We had our three year speech evaluation. The official report isn't complete yet but Cormac can produce every sound necessary for speech! Every sound. Including "th", "Y", "sh". These are harder sounds. His auditory memory is amazing. I swear this kid knows everything.

All in all our journey has been amazing. Cormac's future is bright. He has nothing holding him back. He can accomplish anything he sets his mind to. I am not saying it wasn't hard work. I am not saying it was easy. But nothing in life truly worth it comes easy. (well, at least in our family) I am not sure why we were chosen to have the family we have received. Most people (to me anyway) seem to have kids and never miss a beat. Never know the struggles of other parents who aren't so lucky. I have been called lucky alot. I dont know if lucky is the right word. If I was lucky I assume I wouldn't have struggled through a triplet pregnancy. If I was lucky I guess all three boys would have been born hearing. If I was lucky Calleigh wouldn't have been born with health issues requiring three surgeries before her first birthday. I consider myself blessed. They are two different things. I look at my family every day and feel blessed. Blessed to even have children. Blessed they are all so wonderful. Blessed they are who they are. They make me a better person and sometimes a lunatic but it's worth every minute.