Clayton had his first hearing test today at 15 weeks old. He skipped the newborn screening since he was born at home and I wasn’t worried because he followed our voices, startled at loud noises and reacted to all the sounds around him.

At his first visit with the pediatrician, Clayton’s ears were clear but at his two month visit we discovered his first double ear infection. Cleft palate affected babies are more prone to getting ear infections because the muscle in the soft palate that helps open and clear the Eustachian tubes (think, when you yawn or chew gum on an airplane to pop your ears) is disabled by the cleft.

Hard palate cleft

Soft palate. That's Clayton's sinuses behind the opening in his palate.

Today when Clayton’s hearing was tested, they found lots of fluid in his ears and got no movement from his ear drums. Apparently, he can’t really hear right now. I’m trying to understand this because Allen and I were just laughing last night at how he follows my voice when he can’t see me, he still laughs at my kissy noises, he startles when I holler at the older kids (which I never do) and he wakes up from his nap when the kids run screaming down the hallway. He hears, I tell you.

The ENT says Clayton will definitely need tymp tubes so we are praying that they will be able to do them the same time as his lip/nose surgery on April 5th. If not it will be a separate procedure which means going under anesthesia again and having fluids in his ears an extra 3-4 weeks. We will find out more when we go back Wednesday.

After the tubes are in and his ears are clear they will test his hearing and hopefully get a more accurate picture of what we’ll me dealing with. Clayton is so young and will be treated at such an early age that we will hopefully avoid any long term damage to his hearing.