On Sep. 26, 2010, at Gulf Coast Medical Center in Panama City, Fla., I gave birth to my daughter, Trinity Chanel Edmond. I remember how alert Trinity was. My mother still talks about how amazing Trinitys birth was. She couldnt pinpoint exactly what made her feel there was something special and different about Trinity, but she knew there was just something about her.
At the hospital, Trinity underwent the routine hearing screening for newborns. The results showed that she failed the test in one ear. Immediately, my heart dropped.
What? I asked worriedly. How could this be possible? Are you sure? Can you repeat the test?
The test was repeated, and again there was no response in one ear. Hearing loss is usually a genetic defect. Nevertheless, its unheard of within my family and Trinitys fathers family.
I experienced a mixture of happiness, sadness and worry at the hospital. Being strong believers in God, my parents immediate response was to lay hands on Trinitys ears and pray for a positive outcome. The hospital staff advised us that the hearing loss could possibly be due to fluid, which would make the condition temporary.
A few days after leaving the hospital, I followed up with an audiologist to get Trinitys hearing retested. The results were worse. Instead of hearing loss in only one ear, the test showed she couldnt hear out of either.
Maam, Im afraid that both ears are unresponsive, the audiologist said.
I felt broken-hearted. I tried not to panic and to remain strong, but I couldnt stop the tears from flowing.
Why me? I asked. What did I do to deserve this? Is it my fault?
That next semester, I returned to Florida A&M and did my best to stay on top of my studies while keeping up with Trinitys doctors appointments. A few months after returning to Tallahassee, Trinity was diagnosed with severe sensorineural hearing loss in both ears. The audiologist informed me that Trinitys hearing loss was caused by nerve damage, implying that the problem cannot be fixed.
Trinity was then fitted for two hearing aids. The doctors said it was important for her to get fitted as soon as possible to prevent too much delay in her speech and language development.
Trinity will soon be 2 years old. Her hearing aids work as they should, and each day she is learning and growing like a normal child. She attends daycare at the Dick Howser Centerwhere she gets weekly speech, occupational and physical therapy to ensure she stays on track with her developmental milestones.
My days and weeks are full of learning, teaching, working and being a mother. Trinitys learning doesnt stop when she leaves daycare. At home, I talk to her about any and everything, whether shes concerned or not. I read her books, play with her and do whatever it takes to make sure my childs speech and language progresses.
As the years go by, I will continue to teach Trinity that her differences are what make her beautiful. Its my duty and honor to show her love is louder than sound.