For Mother's Day we decided to step outside of our normal blog and feature one of our favorites--Christy Keane of the Blushing Bluebird Blog. Many of you know her as Charly's mom, given her significant Instagram following and her advocacy for the hearing impaired.
We were first introduced in 2016 when her first born daughter, Cammy, was transitioning from the swaddle. We collaborated with Christy to help make Cammy's swaddle transition a success. We still have her sweet thank you card in our offices as it truly touched us that she would take the time to let us know how much she loved our story, our product and how much of a difference the Magic Sleepsuit made in her life. We remained in "contact" via social media and when we learned of her impending arrival, we sent a new Magic Sleepsuit to welcome Charly to our Baby Merlin Family. When Charly's video went viral we found ourselves in awe watching Christy and her family tackle the challenge head on with grace, honesty and a positive outlook. For this reason, we decided to feature her Q&A on Mother's Day to send her our support and help spread the word of her advocacy for hearing loss.
Do you find yourself parenting differently with Charly?
You know, the funny thing is--I really don't. Her hearing loss as not changed anything in the mother/infant bonding period.
Do you find that educating yourself helps alleviate your worries? From where do you get your information (pediatrician, specialists, support group, online)?
YES! Educating myself and connecting with other families who have been in our shoes. Our pediatricians, audiologists, and early intervention team have been amazing at finding us the resources that we need. Locally, we have a family group called Families to Families where I have gotten to learn first-hand from the other people's experiences.
In of your posts, you state "We have enjoyed learning about deaf culture and I can honestly say I am so proud to be the parent of a deaf child". How have you learned about the culture?
By connecting! I felt it was so important to actively and intentionally learn about deaf culture. While resources are provided when your child is diagnosed, nothing can prepare you for what being deaf means like surrounding yourself with an awesome community.
Implants have detractors as you write about. Given your large social media following, you have your share of people providing you with opinions both positive and negative. Have you had productive dialogue with detractors and do you think you have learned from each other?
I honestly usually just handle these situations with a pleasant, "i respect your opinion and thank you for reaching out." At the end of the day,it is so important that every family makes decisions that work best for THEM? I understand how difficult the decisions are when you are told your child is deaf. There are a lot of different routes you can take and I support every family no matter what decision works best for them.
Have you found support via groups or informal parenting chat room and have these groups made a difference or helped your family?
Yes. There are some really great Facebook groups where I can generally find the answers to questions that I have and support for personal situations we may be going through related to Charly's hearing loss. Instagram has also provided a great opportunity to connect with other hearing loss families. I get a lot of messages about how helpful my sharing has been for other families, and I don;t think they understand how incredibly helpful these connections have been for our family.
How is Cammy dealing with not only Charly's hearing loss, but having a new little one in the house at all?
She really does not even notice Charly's additional needs! She tried on her hearing aids one time and now she is a little jealous that "Char Char" gets to wear sparkly accessories. Otherwise, it is business as usual around here! They are starting to interact more and that has been really special for me to witness. I think her exposure to Charly's additional needs and he deaf culture is going to prepare her to a kind and accepting peer. I know she is going to make me proud in that role!
How are you dealing with the "new normal" after your post/video went viral?
Since the post went viral, I have become really passionate about my newfound role as an advocate. For quite some time, I had struggled with finding the purpose behind my social media following,and the response to the viral video was my "AH-HA moment. I feel like so many little chapters in my life have led me down this path and I take it very seriously. I have quite big goals for my hearing loss initiative. Stay tuned!
You stated, "She gets a beaming smile every morning when we turn on those hearing aids and it is truly special to get to witness a miracle like this every day". Can you talk more about the moment of optimism that this provides? Is this what helps you keep such a positive attitude?
You seriously cannot spend one minute with this baby and not have a positive outlook. There is something so sweet and special about her soul, and it is impossible to be in a bad mood wen you see that beaming smile every morning. So, the miracle, and she's healthy. The initial shock of finding out she was deaf was difficult, but the more I learned about hearing loss and her potential, I knew I had nothing to worry about.
What is the outlook for Charly moving forward?
Charly will have her cochlear implant surgery in May! I cannot believe it is this week! From there, she will have frequent speech therapy to help her learn to speak and hear. We are choosing "total communication" and will be incorporating american sign language. I can't wait to see what all she accomplishes in her life. The sky is the limit!!
To learn more about Charly's hearing journey, read Christy's blog here.
About Christy Keane
Christy Keane is a mom to two beautiful baby girls, wife to an incredible man, and motherhood & newborn photographer. The purpose of her blog is to have a place to share day to day adventures with my family as well as a place to showcase brands and products that make motherhood and the home stylish and fun!
It’s a life of smiles and a life of tears, it’s a life of hopes and a life of fears… Hold your head high till you see a ray of light appear. And so remember this, life is no abyss, somewhere there is a bluebird of happiness. -Jan Peerce (1945)
The significance of the blog title The Blushing Bluebird:
I don’t know if you know this, but bluebirds represent happiness, cheerfulness, prosperity, wellness, and new births (how appropriate!). On a more personal note, bluebirds have always been a strong symbol for my family, and a love for them was passed down from my Grandmother to my mother, who then passed it on to my siblings and I. I can’t wait to pass on the spirit of the bluebird to my babies as well! My little sister is really the true “bluebird” in our family’s generation of kiddos and I love that we have grown to share so many passions. The “blushing” portion of the title is so me that it makes me giggle. Truly an introverted extrovert, I am usually blushing 99% of the time as I try to find the right words or etiquette in any situation. Blush also happens to be my favorite color- it calms me so much and I see the world through a blushy rose colored lens!
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