Sedated ABR/ MRI

When Kendall was 6 months old she had her last hearing tests to verify her degree of hearing loss. During these tests they looked at her brain activity to see any reaction to varying noise frequencies. To make sure they would get accurate results and not get any interference from her moving they sedated her. The entire process took about two hours total and she tolerated the sedation well. The results were as expected- profound bilateral hearing loss.

The last step in our cochlear implant candidacy process was to get an MRI. They needed to make sure that her cochleas and auditory nerves were fully developed. We were not too nervous about getting these results since we already knew that a flawed Connexin 26 gene was the cause of her hearing loss, but we still had to rule out any other causes.

She was such a champ and had no issues at all. The only problem we had was trying to keep all the medical equipment out of her mouth!!
 When Kemper had his MRI  they gave him IV sedation. This time with Kendall they just used gas to put her under and it was so much better. She had an easier time coming out of sedation and was back to normal in a very short time. It seemed like it took forever for K just to wake up post MRI.

Thankfully the MRI results were as expected too-  her auditory canal structure is intact as well as her auditory nerve so she is a perfect candidate for cochlear implants!

Thanksgiving Christmas

I know I'm about 3-4 months late but oh well this is my memory book and I can't go without documenting, especially since it was Kendall's first Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Thanksgiving 2013

We did our annual trip down to San Angelo to see my husbands side of the family.We love getting away from the craziness of Dallas to enjoy a little quiet family time in this small town. We don't do much while we are there and that's what we love about it.

 It's been a tradition to eat Thanksgiving dinner over at my husbands grandmother's house.  She's 100 years old (ssshhh I didn't tell you that) and still makes dinner for the entire family!! Kemper was such a ham making us laugh through out dinner. I'm thinking part of it may have been  because I treated him to a little of my soda from a wine glass ;). I think he really enjoyed the perks of sitting at the adult table. Do you see little Kendall in the background sucking on a chicken bone? When her brother was around the same age his great grandmother gave one to him on Thanksgiving and he was in heaven sucking away. She went out of her way to make one for Kendall this year, and just like her brother it kept her quiet long enough for all of us to enjoy our dinner.

Spending time with the family playing pass the baby.

The kids with their grandparents. I still can't believe that 100 years separate Kendall and her Great Grandmother. It's a blessing that we get to spend another Thanksgiving with her.

On one of our few outings we took Kemper to bowl for his first time. He had a great time. He would knock down those pins and then come back strutting to his seat like he owned the place.

Like I said we didn't do much over thanksgiving besides eat lots of  great food and hang out with the family enjoying a simple life. Why would you want to do anything else??

Christmas 2013

We did our traditional  Christmas celebration back home in Dallas.

We did a better job at taking the kids to see Santa this year than we did last year.  There was no wait to see Santa ( three hour wait last year) and I didn't lose the pictures afterward!! Yay!!

Both of them smiling and looking at the camera!!  It's a hard thing to do especially when one of them can't hear and you have to jump up and down like a fool to get her attention!

Some of our Christmas decorations. Yes, we have two trees. Our big show off tree and our smaller sentimental tree. We had a full mantle with two extra stockings this year. One for our sweet new addition to the family, Kendy, and the other for my father-in-law, Jim, that came to stay with us this Christmas.

 The tradition of making homemade cookies for Santa  has evolved into baking store bought cookies. Please don't judge ;) Although we did go over to a friends house and bake and decorate real gingerbread houses. It was so much fun I hope to start making that a tradition.

I can't say that The Elf on the Shelf is my favorite tradition but K is obsessed with it. He would wake up sooo early just to see what his elf Lucky did. UGH!  He also begged us to ask Santa to send a girl elf for Kendall. So Snowflake the girl elf is now part of our family.

I'll admit having a little girl is so fun when it comes to dressing for the holidays. She was so stylish in her festive gear.

Halloween 2013

oh yes we did.

I've always loved Halloween.
It means meeting up with friends and family, getting dressed up as your favorite characters, and getting lots of candy! Apparently I've passed this onto my son. He couldn't wait for Halloween this year. He had his costume for this year picked out November 1st of last year! He also had ours picked out as well. ;) Last year he was Jake, from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. He is still obsessed with the Story of Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and anything having to do with Pirates.  I remember one of the first things he said after finding out that he was going to have a baby sister was " She can be Tinkerbell for Halloween!"

 The weather was perfect, cool but not cold enough to have to wear a jacket and ruin your costume.We did the annual stroll in my parents neighborhood where I grew up.  My sister and her family joined us once again. My nephew Nolan was so excited to be the Red Power Ranger.

Halloween 2013- Halloween 2009

I love looking back and comparing. Funny, I bet these people don't know we take a picture with their decorations each year ;)

Kendall's first Halloween.
Sweetest little Tinkerbell ever.

Like I said I love to compare.
 Kemper top row on his first Halloween and bottom row Kendy.

Just a few of Kendall's Halloween outfits. She's so festive already ;)

 Just to show you some things never change!!

Pumpkin Patch 2013

Still attempting to catch up and finish up all my draft posts. Here we go, all the way back to October!!

My priceless pumpkins

Kemper- 2009

This years trip to the Pumpkin Patch was bitter sweet.  We got to take Kendall to her first yet last  visit to the Owens Pumpkin patch. Sadly the farm that I have visited every year since I was a child has been sold.  This was their last year to be open. No more annual pictures of me trying to sell my kids in front of their "For Sale" sign.

but that didn't stop me from getting millions of pictures of this little pumpkin and her brother.

 We're gonna miss running through the maze, seeing all the animals, going on a hay ride, picking out that perfect pumpkin...

seeing their sweet faces in this sign...

eating hot dogs with daddy...

                             October 2009                                                                           October 2013

We've had a great time over the years Owen's Pumpkin Patch, but I guess it's time to find move on and make some new traditions.

Hearing aids round two

 Well the time has come for Kendall to get her set of expensive chew toys  a.k.a hearing aids. I'll admit I wasn't as excited to get Kendall's aids as I was for her brother to get his.  Knowing that Kemper didn't get any benefit from them I was highly doubtful Kendall would either since she has the same degree of hearing loss. The only reasons we did get them were for that slight chance she could get some stimulation to that auditory nerve and the fact that we had to as part of the cochlear implant candidacy criteria. 

My sweet girl at three months old getting her first pair of ear molds made for her hearing aids.  Thankfully we were able to rent these hearing aids for about $500 as opposed to buying a pair.

Two weeks later Kendall sporting her Phonak Naida S III  hearing aids.

Like the pink sparkles? They were requested by her brother. He insisted that she get pink hearing aids. We couldn't get the actual aids in a color but luckily for us we were able to pick out the color of her molds.

It didn't take long for the squealing feedback noise to drive me nuts. Just the way I remembered. I think it's almost impossible to keep them on a child this young, especially when they are not sitting up yet. For the most part she has left them alone but they just squeal and fall out almost each time she turns her head. I tried putting a cap on her but she hated it and it just made the situation worse. Unfortunately she is not showing any difference in her hearing except for a few times we saw her turn her head to look at the dog when he barked, but we are not 100% sure she just didn't see him move with her peripheral vision.  We plan on getting her cochlear implants a little sooner than we did with Kemper so that should shorten our time using these pesky things!

Introducing Kendall Jane

Here are some of the pictures and birth announcement from Kendall's newborn shoot when she was just twelve days old.

photos courtesy of CnC Moments Photography

I was going through so much after Kemper was born that I never got around to doing his birth announcements. It honestly has bugged me for years so when I ordered Kendall's I had some made for him. ;)

Heartbroken Part 2


I didn't mention this in Kendall's birth story post, but while she was in the hospital she failed her new born hearing screens. Four weeks later she failed her ABR and multiple other hearing tests. It is now confirmed that like her brother she too has a profound hearing loss. She is deaf.
It was like we were replaying the same scene from four years ago, but at least we were prepared this time. We knew that Kemper's hearing loss was genetic and that we had a 25% chance of  passing this on to any future children.  It had taken us a while to decide on having any other children but ultimately we knew we were not done. In addition we never wanted K to think that if we never had any more children it was because we were afraid they would be deaf too. We went into this pregnancy knowing this baby could be deaf and we were at peace with that possibility. The entire pregnancy I did my best not to think or worry about it. I took the Scarlett O'Hara approach to it " I'll think about it tomorrow."
  So when it came time for Kendall's hearing test we had a plan. When we had originally checked in the hospital we told the staff that we wanted her hearing test to be done at the latest time possible . We just wanted to enjoy her and this special time and not have to deal with it for a couple of days. We knew that either way the results went we were going to cry. It was going to be a very emotional time so we were in no rush.
The night before the test I was nursing Kendall and I couldn't believe how much she was like her brother. She looked, felt,and acted so much like him. She made the same noises, nursed,cuddled, cried all the same way. As I handed Kendall to the nurse that was gong to take her back to the nursery she made a comment about how Kendall was the quietest best sleeper in the nursery. Right then and there it hit me right in the heart. She was deaf.  I remember the nurses saying the exact same thing about Kemper after he was born. That gut feeling/ mothers intuition  I had been waiting for finally came. I immediately broke down crying and told my mom and husband what I felt. I think they were shocked because I hadn't voiced any thoughts before and I just blurted it out of nowhere. They tried to calm me down and tell me it was just hormones and nerves, but just like with her brother, I knew.
The next day when they came to take Kendall for the hearing screen we asked them if they could do it in the room with just my husband and I watching as opposed to taking her and then bringing her back with the results. They agreed and started the test. Shortly into the screening we could already tell what the answer was. When they get real quite and start nervously shifting in their seats you know something is up. Finally when it was over she turned to us and stated that she did not get a response in either ear. She quickly started giving us the "it could be fluid in her ears speech" blah blah blah. We knew what it meant. This wasn't our first rodeo.  Even though I already knew the answer in my heart it was still just as painful as was when we had received Kemper's results. Except this time for a brief moment I was pissed. This was the one thing I desperately wanted to be wrong about. I remember looking around as if looking for something to throw. All I could think was why? Why again? Did we not learn what we needed to the first time? We had a 75% chance of normal hearing, more than half!! WTH?? My husband and I just cried, hugged, and kissed our baby girl. I think one of the hardest parts was telling our family. To see their crushed expressions after we told them broke my heart. I know it's stupid but for some reason I felt like I let them down, I don't know why I felt like this but I did. Thankfully we have the most supportive family and just having them there was a reminder that we were not alone in this journey.

Later that evening my husband and I were treated to a celebratory dinner of lobster and steak by the hospital. They do this for all the parents of new babies, and in case you are wondering it did not taste like hospital food it was wonderful :).  We had originally planned to eat our dinner together privately so we could talk and mourn over Kendall's test results. K had a different idea. He wanted to stay with us and refused to go back home with his grandma. We tried to convince him he would have more fun if he went but he still said no. So we let him stay and had one of our family members pick him up his version of steak and lobster- chicken nuggets and fries from McDonald's. Turns out letting him stay with us was what we really needed at the time but didn't know it. He had us laughing and smiling the entire time. He was just talking and talking and talking.... Then it dawned on us, what are we worried about??? Look at him! he's perfect! He's a happy boy doing great. His sister is going to do just fine. We did it once and we can do it again. Enough tears and worry, we were not going to let this rob us of special moments like it did before.

I look back at this picture of myself and K and I can still remember the pain and agony I felt after his diagnosis. I was in a fog, my world was collapsing, and I couldn't even enjoy my nephew's first birthday party. I wish I could go back in time here and tell myself that it truly was going to be okay. Thankfully this time with Kendall I can.

We were at the Perot Museum and couldn't help but take a picture in front of this. We know all about the Genetic Lottery!!!

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