Savannah’s Story as told by her Mother Melinda
“The last thing I expected when I found out I was pregnant for the third time, was that anything would go wrong. I had smooth sailing pregnancies with Hayden & Blake (apart from the aches & pains) but I never had any health problems otherwise. So of course it never entered my mind that I would this time around.
Savannah was first picked up for her hearing loss at the Newborn Screening Test they did in the hospital. Savannah had an “inconclusive” result. The lady that was testing Savannah said there was probably nothing to worry about because lots of babies fail the first test if they are unsettled. I brushed it off & didn’t think anything of it.
A week later we went back for the re-test & once again the lady could not pick up anything from either ear….”inconclusive” again. We were then referred onto the Audiologist for further testing.
Our first Audiologist appointment was just terrible, Savannah was super fussy & I was frazzled from the stress of her fussing & the possibility of another fail. The test seemed to take forever because she was so unsettled. Finally the lady went ahead & told me that she was getting great responses from the left ear, but nothing at all from the right ear! Tears of frustration, uncertainty & sadness streamed down my face.
She did one final test to check for fluid & both ears came back positive. At this point she said it could be just the fluid, but we needed to wait another 5 weeks & be retested to make sure.
5 weeks seemed like a lifetime & over this period we noticed Savannah wasn’t responding to her name or loud noises that we were making. Of course I was in complete denial & refused to believe anything was wrong. How could anything be wrong with my baby, she was so healthy and seemed so perfect!?!
The day of her final hearing test I was a wreck. My mum had to take Savannah in for her testing, as I was just too worried to sit there trying to keep her calm. Basically I knew something was wrong but didn’t want to admit it or hear it. They were in there for what felt like forever, finally they came out & my mum told me that Savannah was deaf.
After that I broke down. I have never felt so heartbroken & upset in my life. I think it took me 2 days to stop crying every time I looked into her eyes. That precious innocent face just stared at me & smiled. She had no idea what was going on.
I have cried so many tears thinking about how I could have changed this, or how i could have prevented this? The fact that I may never know what happened will probably live with me forever.
After her diagnosis I just couldn’t bring myself to understand why. No mother ever wants to hear that their child has something wrong with them. We all want our kids to be perfect & live full lives. I knew she was still perfect, but it upset me that her life might be challenge after challenge & that she might never know what its like to enjoy the simple little things. I felt saddened that she might never hear the waves lap at the beach, or the beautiful sound of birds on a spring morning. Those things are what we might take for granted, but for her they would be precious.”
Since her diagnosis Savannah has been attending her local First Voice centre and is now fitted with hearing aides. The journey from diagnosis to school for children like Savannah is long and involves intensive early intervention therapies on a regular basis.