Sonya’s Cochlear Implant Activation

This week, Sonya became the proud owner of two Cochlear Nucleus devices. We turned on the devices over the course of two days — one day per ear.

At first, the audiologists tested the devices internally – so that Sonya could hear the sound, but we couldn’t. When the sound played, a box with a monkey in it lit up. Meanwhile, another therapist distracted her. So the audiologists could see if Sonya heard the sound by whether she would turn to the monkey in the box.

Once we knew Sonya was reacting to the sounds internally, the audiologists tested her reaction to sounds in her environment.

Here is Yan with Sonya on day 2 – testing her hearing in her left ear:

Unlike hearing aids, which came with a small pack of supplies, cochlear implants came with literally two small suitcases full of additional products to help you take care of the devices. It is a bit overwhelming to be honest – but I also feel extremely grateful that we have everything we need.

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Sonya even received a Cochlear Koala – with implants of its own, which she already adores and sleeps with in her crib.

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While I know this is a wonderful development, these past couple of days have been pretty tough on all of us. For one, it is an adjustment to see Sonya with the devices on. They are larger and more cumbersome than her hearing aids. Over the past few weeks, Sonya has grown accustomed to not wearing anything on her head, so she protests each time we put the CIs on by crying and wriggling. Sonya is also getting used to hearing much more sound than she was previously used to – which is tiring for her.

So I cling to small moments that tell me we are on the right path. Yesterday, while nursing – I started to sing and Sonya turned her head toward me and smiled so sweetly. She heard my voice. I’ll never forget that moment.

Author: Missy Kvitko

Born in Fargo, North Dakota, I grew up in Minnesota. After graduating from Macalester College in 2004, I moved to New York City. For 10 years I worked in the field of public relations, representing professional services firms and financial services (in particular alternative asset managers) In 2014, my life changed dramatically with the birth of my first child, Sonya Rose. Born with severe to profound hearing loss. Sonya's care has become my full time job. It is also the best job I have ever had. My husband, Sonya and I live in Manhattan. Please feel free to email me anytime at missy.kvitko@gmail.com, or find me on instagram (@mmkvitko) and twitter (@HearSonyaRose). Thank you so much for reading.

7 thoughts on “Sonya’s Cochlear Implant Activation”

  1. Missy,
    Thank you for sharing this incredible journey your family is undertaking. I was so moved by Sonya’s reaction to your singing. What an incredibly special moment for you both!

    Liked by 1 person

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