Monday, April 26, 2010


Closing on a new house today, and moving from the "temporary" apartment we have been in for the past year to a place where I will have a real studio once again.

These past two years have been the most difficult time in my life: It began when my husband was laid off two weeks after I became pregnant. He was unemployed for 7 months. He finally got a job in DC, and commuted there every week for two months at the end of my complicated pregnancy. Five days after giving birth, we moved to a temporary 2 bedroom apartment in DC with a large dog, a cat, and a new baby. Temporary nursery for the daughter I have been waiting for my whole life. We commuted back to NC every weekend with an infant during her first few months of life, getting our house ready to go on the market. Postpartum depression and heartbreak when we discovered our daughter has a hearing disability and will wear hearing aids for the rest of her life, which means the first 6 months were filled with tests, we continue to meet with teachers every week to be sure her speech develops normally. The cost of hearing aids far surpasses the lifetime insurance cap of $1,000 for her hearing disability. In January, I started three evening jobs at various universities after watching my daughter all day. My husband has done consulting work on top of his full-time job. During this time, I stayed up late and got up early to embroider in a corner of our bedroom, to draw and paint on paper pinned up on the wall of our living/dining room. We still have not sold our house in NC, which means we have been paying rent and mortgage for the past year, but buying this house will keep us from pouring more money down the drain in rent.

Continuing to make art during this period makes me more proud than anything else I have accomplished in my life.... it also kept me alive.

New work is here.


Blogger Lorna said...

How to reach out to a stranger and say that your deaf daughter will be fine. I learnt a lot from the parents of other deaf children. She herself was part of the process; like finally telling me that it was lonely going to bed being cut off from the household noise. She wore one aid to bed for years as a consequence. Mine is an adult now and she is a determined young women who stands up to the world.

Hearing aids are a tricky problem. They are provided free here but at a lowest quality. However, hearing aids like all things are cheaper when they are last years models or second hand. Getting a good hearing therapist to advice is good.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Kate said...


You are so kind. It is strange how I now take it as a matter of fact, and yet it seems my heart breaks a little bit each day for her and the difficulties it will certainly bring to her life.

We are lucky that we knew almost from her birth, so we were able to get the aids before she started absorbing language... they say her language development should be fine and has 100% hearing with her aids in. I appreciate your speaking up, it is nice to have reassurance.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous lollo said...

Hi Kate,
I was sad to read this, it must have been a stressful time for you - and continue to be. I do some work for a Childrens Hearing and Speech Centre - have you heard of cochlear implants, and is that an option? I am sure you have explored everything, so I apologize in advance for even mentioning this.

I am also sure that things will settle down into a routine - one day, which will be good for you and your daughter, and that living with a disability will become normal after the initial adjustment.

Best wishes!

3:27 AM  

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