Deaf Mama

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Mac is curled tight into the crook of my arm every night. It’s a tender scene, I’m sure – his small warm body snuggled into my own.

I’m sure it’s also a scene that every granola-eating “family bed” proponent of a new age Berkeley hippie warms up to.

It’s not why I do it though. I sleep with my baby up against me for the same reason I slept with my other two cocooned against me: because I have to.

Hearing aids slipped off, it’s a silent world for me. I’d never hear the baby in a bassinet.

I don’t wake from the sound of the baby crying; I wake from the feel of the baby moving – or from the vibration of his crying.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to wake up from the sound of something, or to simply be able to put the baby in a safe spot and rest assured that I would be able to hear him if he called. To not have to sleep with the lights on forever so that my eyes can be my ears, to not have to physically touch my baby to be in tune.

Thinking about that is sort of thinking about that ride on a magical unicorn I’ve never had – like, yeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaah, how very nice it must be! – um, what’s for breakfast anyway?

It’s kind of hard to miss things you’ve never had.


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Meriah Nichols is a career counselor, teacher and blogger. Single mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one gifted 2E), she is also a cat-loving Trekkie who likes her coffee hot and black.
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9 thoughts on “Deaf Mama”

  1. I think it's amazing that you can wake up simply by the vibrations of your baby crying or from the movement.  I suppose you have trained yourself that way though.  


    Very insightful post to read about!  Thanks for sharing. 

  2. Oh, I never thought about the fact that you wouldn't hear him!!  For 5 years we slept with the baby monitor on HIGH so I'd be sure to hear every breath she took, the exact moment she woke up, any time she coughed.  Now I'm grateful that her door opens loudly so I wake when she comes out of her room (before she decides to make a trip down the wooden staircase in the dark!) and can intercept her.  The night before last she was standing in my room, Steve waking from his Nyquil-induced sleep saying "Who's there?" (duh) before I actually woke.  It was extremely disconcerting, as I have always felt secure in the fact that I would hear her.  Must remember to sleep more lightly from now on…

  3. Wow! I'm with Becca, I never thought of that either, I also use the baby monitor on high and even while I'm asleep I can hear manolo's breathing, I can hear him moving around in his crib. Sometimes I turn it off around 5 am just because I want to STOP listening him and just have a deep sleep myself. I personally LOVE silence! I drive in my car without music all the time, just me and my crazy mind. I will never take that for granted either!

  4. This is great.  I love your approach to this:  this isn't an, "Oh, feel sorry for the poor person with a disability!" kind of post.  You seem to be saying that your world is different, and different is just fine, thank you very much.

  5. Hi, this is my first time here (from Love that Max's link party).  What a beautiful post.  I love your approach to the topic, where you're making a significant point (not being able to hear the baby cry = alternate methods) and then end with humor.  I'll definitely be back!

  6. I feel incredibly silly that I've never given this any thought.  Thank you for sharing with us.  I guess I've always taken it for granted.  Our biggest issue though with each child we have had I sleep deeper and wake less often.  Not good when your 3rd had a heart defect and needed woken up through the night.


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