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15 minutes of Cute Baby Faces…

Congratulations to our friends Susannah and Rich on making a super cute baby. Elena was born on May 16th and has been keeping them busy and entertained ever since. We invaded their get-away to the Bay this week and arrived just in time for chocolate cake, the sunset, and Elena’s 15 minutes of awake time before feeding and then going back to sleep…. we have good timing. This was our 15 minutes of Elena…

Waking…

Inflating…

And she’s Up!

Slipping back to the happy place.

Breaking point.

Gone.

It’s Spring at Windrush Farm…

And that means lots of cute baby faces.

And lots of proud mom faces too.

Some of the moms I helped deliver when they were born… like the sheep named Paige, who is standing above. I helped deliver her on my first night living on the farm, five years ago.

It is funny to compare what she and I have both done over the past five years… she has probably given birth to eight lambs, whereas I have gone to London, gotten my master’s degree and gotten married.

I remember when I lived on the farm, I wanted to start a woman’s movement for these girls. I tried to tell them to: Run. Go. I told them there is a big world out there and they don’t have to spend their life being pregnant.

But by the time fall would come around again, they must have forgotten everything that I told them. Because there they’d be, standing at the fence, heads hanging low and panting heavily at the ram on the other side, who was breathing just as hard as he eagerly waited for his glorious day to come.

So the lambs are here again, and they are learning how to jump while I am learning video…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A lot to learn…

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It has been a busy seven months for this little one since the last time I saw her. She has learned all the usual stuff that babies have to learn… like how to hold her head up, and to sit up, and to roll over, she has a couple of teeth now, and she is practicing standing while holding on tight to mom and dad’s hands. But Elena has an extra challenge that she has to learn how to work with.

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When Elena was born, Elena didn’t pass the routine hearing check that the doctors ran. The doctors said not to worry, but to check her ears again at her next visit. After additional tests, the doctors eventually told Rich and Susannah, Elena’s parents, that her hearing is severely impaired. No one knows yet why it happened or how serious the damage is, and the solutions for correcting impaired hearing are not easy… but because the doctors were able to catch it early in her development, Rich and Susannah will have a better chance of helping her have a normal hearing and speaking life.

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After Rich and Susannah found out their daughter could not hear, they started learning sign language and teaching her signs, and they got her her first pair of hearing aids when she was 4 months old. The first day they put in her new hearing aids, their dog, Rudy, had a new squeaky toy that he was enthusiastically chewing. As soon as Elena could hear for the first time, she heard Rudy’s squeaky toy, and she started laughing and laughing and laughing. Rich and Susannah had never heard her laugh like that before. They laughed and laughed and cried too.

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I learned a lot from Rich and Susannah about what options are available for children with hearing impairments. Cochlear implants are better today than they used to be, but there is still a long way to go in repairing hearing loss. Rich and Susannah are hopeful though, especially now that we have a new president who is in favor of stem cell research. Their doctor told them that in 10 years scientists and doctors may have a better solution to help their daughter hear… and not just hear people talking, but so she can hear music too, like the other children her age.

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