I do a lot of weird stuff now.
I talk really loud.
I narrate everything I do.
I also recharge seven batteries every night - one computer, one cell phone, and five cochlear implant batteries.
Every single day, I play baby and kitchen.
I watch Sesame Street, because it is the only show that soothes Bette when sound hits her first thing in the morning.
I also partake in a dance party.
And I play dress up, which provides a treasure trove of new words to introduce as the girls put together outfits and costumes.
I check the acoustics of every room I enter to see if they will bother Bette or not.
I try to think about my facial expression at any given moment, because Bette can read those like a hawk.
I talk with both my hands and my mouth most of the time.
And I don’t even notice the stares we get from other people anymore.
The last thing I say to Bette before she goes to sleep is not, “I love you,” but “Bye, bye sound.”
And late at night, if she is awake, I pull her out of bed, I rub her back, and I sing to her.
She can’t hear me, but she can feel me singing, as our chests are pressed together.
And every once in awhile, with her head on my shoulder and pressed into my neck, she begins to hum.
My deaf baby hums while I sing. Through the rhythms of our bodies and the sounds of our voices, we are connected. And even in the darkness and in the silence, she knows that I am hers and she is mine.