Saturday, August 05, 2006

Why I'm Wearing My Hearing Aids

This morning I will act in an independent film called Neutral. I, like all the other actors in this, have a small part. It is a pastiche of some 100 lives. I play a mother who waxes surreal freely with her son then suddenly blocks his flow. I am wearing a black dress and heels because I'm supposed to look like I've come from a teacher conference to discuss my son's behavior. I'm also wearing my Phonak hearing aids.

I gave birth without wearing my hearing aids. I went through my pregnancy without them. When I was actually in labor, though, I realized I couldn't hear what the doctor was telling me to do. I was strapped to a table, or it felt I was, by these electrodes guaging my and my baby's heartbeat and I couldn't hear what people were saying to me (except my mother, who always talks carefully to me). It was a feeling of being out of control because I was so controlled--by the machinery (the electrode belts), by the absence of the machinery (the hearing aids).

In the final hour of 16 hours of labor the doctor spoke orders to me from behind the blue blanket stretched between my legs. My mother translated what she said, meaning she repeated them so I could read her lips. But I was exhausted and eventually just closed my eyes and let the voices go. Inside the dark, I asked my daughter to tell me what to do. An idyllic forest scene appeared and in it was a little rabbit. The rabbit hopped to the left, I pushed to the left. The rabbit hopped to the right, I pushed the right. And in this way, following this little rabbit, I delivered my child 45 minutes before the doctor had predicted.

I'm wearing my hearing aids today so I can hear the directions I'm given.

8 comments:

Charlie Cory said...

Looks like I'm a bit behind schedule here, but how did it go (the acting, not the pregnancy ;o)?).

Hearing Aids

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