Saturday, June 16, 2012

hearing test & some pics

Emma had her hearing test today.  It's been far too long since she's had one.  She was born with no right ear canal and a pin prick sized left ear canal, leaving her with moderate to severe hearing loss.  Nine years later, she still has no right ear canal, but she has a larger left ear canal than before.  It's still very tiny, though.  They can't look in it to see if it even goes all the way through. That's why she always wears a headband.  It's actually her hearing aid being held on her head and conducting the sound through her skull. 

After talking with a few different FA moms, and discovering as their children have gotten older they were able to switch to behind-the-ear hearing aids, we decided to try to see if we could get some behind-the-ear hearing aids for Emma.  The only issue with it is whether or not her ear canal is big enough to allow it to work (we would only be able to do this with one ear).  I learned from these other mommas that they had some special audiologists that went ahead and gave it a try, even though no one thought it would work, and it did.  So, fingers crossed really tight that this works for Emma.

If it works, she should hear better with these, even with it in just one ear.  Plus, SHE WON'T HAVE TO WEAR THE FREAKIN' HEAD BAND ALL THE TIME!  It's been nine years.  I don't think it's possible to overreact at the possibility of no headband and different hair styles!!

We knew that one single hearing aid costs about $1800 on average, after molds and fitting.  And, we've yet to have an insurance provider willing to pay a penny for a hearing aid.  (We haven't checked with current insurance but will if we need to.) So, it felt kind of like a gamble to buy a behind-the-ear aid, only to potentially find out the hearing aid wasn't going to work for her.

Then a friend offered to send us an old pair of her daughter's hearing aids!  Can you believe that?  Just amazing.  And, Emma's current hearing aids, another family emailed us asking if Emma would like them because their son didn't need them anymore.  Then the hearing aids before those, the same thing happened. Someone offered them to Emma.  People are so nice!  (If you guys are reading this - thank you again!)  It's been a huge help to be able to literally save thousands of dollars on hearing aids.

Anyway, so today we went in, and Emma had a hearing test.  She did really well.  She sat in a sound proof room and talked to the audiologist through a glass window & speaker.  I couldn't see Emma, but I could hear her talking.  It was soooo cute.  Emma's old enough now that I don't usually use the word cute for her, but she sounded so tiny, and it was so cute.

She still has moderate to severe hearing loss.  The audiologist seemed a little hesitant at first whether or not to try the molds because Emma's ear canal is so small.  I totally understood why she hesitated.  At first she was thinking about having us see an ENT to get his opinion on the behind-the-ear, but in the end, she felt comfortable with going ahead and trying it.  She was super nice and did such a good job with Emma.  We really liked her and her assistant a lot.  It's always nice to work with neat-o people.

They did the ear mold for Emma.  It'll take about three weeks, and then we'll be going back in to see if it'll work.  We hope so badly that it will. Emma chose the rainbow mold option and is super excited about it.  It's interesting how many more options there are with behind-the-ear than with the bone conduction aid.


I'm sure it's obvious by now that I'm a little obsessed with photography. I love to take pictures. It's like eating desert. Especially if the photos actually end up looking cute in the end.

Ella is the one I take the most photos of...simply because she can't run away from me yet. I like to tell my children, "You can run, but you can't hide!" (actually, that's totally not true. I've never said that to them, but I probably will now).  Violet is the next easiest since she will actually try to make flattering faces & enjoys actually looking towards me. The oldest two are almost the worst. Once I capture them, I cannot get them to make a normal face. And, Rhys, well, she just can't be bothered!

So, anyway, that's why it's almost always Ella I take pics of.

In my quest of having left handed people dominate the world, I saw somewhere online the idea to use wrapping paper as a backdrop. So, I took some, cut off about 3 ft in length, and taped it to the wall.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Used the natural light:

Used a soft flash:

My personal favorite (above).  She kept sticking her tongue out like that today.  I'm pretty sure she's teething (and mutating into some type of freakish creature that won't sleep at night....).

The photos above were taken near the front door.  I ended up opening the front door to allow in the natural light.  Of course, by doing that, the children escaped.  They didn't go too far, and they looked awfully cute sitting in the entryway!

Photography Tip:

(who better to learn from than someone who knows nothing!)

This may very well be a "even my pet monkey knows this!" type of tip, but I'm going to share anyway because I haven't talked to any monkeys, and I didn't know this.

In my reading, I've seen people use the flash outside in the brightest of bright days.  I didn't really get why.  Why do you need even more light than what is already there? I didn't really think about it a whole lot until recently. 

It makes perfect sense, though.  When the sun is shining down on your subject, casting ugly shadows, the flash helps get rid of those shadows.  Or if you have your subject with their back to the sun (to help keep them from squinting), you'll want to use the flash to brighten them, so they don't look too dark against the bright background behind them.  

There's also reflectors that can help brighten faces that you can place under their (and out of view of photo) or off to the side with someone holding it just right to reflect the light correctly.  I want to get some of those.  The reflectors.  Not someone holding one.

I'm going to venture outside of my family and start taking photos of other people, just for the practice...and because it would be fun to give people some photos who are wanting some of their families/self.  What will it be like to take photos of people that I don't have to chase!  (At least, I better not have to chase adults around....).  If they let me, and if I ever take any that I think are good, I might post some of those here.

1 comment:

  1. adorable little pretty ones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    =) cheryl