We made it to our hotel lastnight at 10pm. Kirstie was so excited. It took a little while to get settled and into bed for our early morning this morning. We were able to eat breakfast at the hotel. They have a fantastic free breakfast. We took the bus to the city and walked our "little over a mile walk" to the cochlear implant center. We met with a different audiologist about the 3 major cochlear implant companies that are on the market. He was informative and said that normally parents would make the complete decision, but since Maria has cochlear dysplasia he said it would be better to see if the surgeon had an opinion.
We then walked to the hospital for our appointment with the surgeon. We got there relatively early and filled out paperwork. He took us in early and we saw a good view of the Empire State building and the Chrysler building from the office window. Kirstie took some pictures:) The surgeon showed us the CD of Maria's cochleas and said that she actually has 1 1/2 turns not 1 like we thought. That puts her in the mild to moderate category instead of the moderate to severe category we thought she might be in. Her prognosis is good with a lot of intervention, but obviously not as good as a child with fully developed cochleas with implantation at an earlier age. They try to implant children before age 1 now. Due to her age they rushed her surgery for us. When we told the surgeon we were penciled in for the day before Thanksgiving he said, "wow someone must be looking out for you." Anyway, now her surgery will be the day before Thanksgiving. We go for presurgical testing the week before on the 19th. The surgeon said that the Cochlear company makes an implant that is 1 1/2 turns long, so it seems to be the best for Maria. We are going with their model called the Nucleus.
We finished our appointments at 12:43pm---two minutes before our appointment was even scheduled for:) That gave us time to walk and see more of the city. On our way out of the hospital a lady kept tapping my shoulder, but I thought it was Macella. Finally I turned around and a woman held out a tiny blue teddy bear. Maria grabbed it and I didn't know what to do. Gary was far away from us by this point and I didn't have a dime on me. I just said thank you and she walked away. I'm not sure whether she expected money or not, but if you hold something out to Maria she will grab it no matter what it is. It just didn't give me time to say "no thank you." After that we found that we were targets for all kinds of "money making" scams. I'm assuming it was due to the city being full of Yankees fans and we had three kids with us. We kept getting stopped for all kinds of donations that Gary & I were not stopped for on our previous visits.
Even though Gary & I have been to the city multiple times we haven't actually "done" any of the sights. We played today by ear, but Kirstie was so excited by the fact that she could see the Empire State building we thought we would go up in it. We went to the 86th floor and walked around the observation deck. Due to the Yankees winning the World Series it was completely packed, but still fun. If we thought it was windy on the ground we were wrong when we met the wind 86 stories up! Gary was excited to see the USS New York in the Hudson--the ship's bow is made out of recycled steel from the Twin Towers.
After the Empire State building we walked around the city some more, ate at an italien place, and found the American Girl Store. It was a huge store with fancy displays and lots of things to do with your dolls. People spend more money on their dolls than we do on our kids. It was unbelievalbe how much the accessories, pets,and clothes cost. They even had a place for the dolls to get their hair done. It was quite a neat place to see. Gary of course enjoyed himself immensely:) Then we were off to Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center is beautiful on the outside and inside. We enjoyed looking at the lights and watching people ice skate. Inside Rockefeller Center there are many stores. We visited the NBC store. It was so full of lights that Maria just laughed and smiled. Finally since it was after dark we decided to head back. Even though we are becoming "pros" at the city, once darkness falls it is a little nerve wracking with 3 kids and crowds of people trying to cross the busy streets. We took the bus to the hotel and I took the girls swimming while Gary did a Walmart run. Yes, we forgot to bring extra diapers for Maria. It worked out though because Gary was able to buy us a nice cheap dinner of fast macaroni and cheese. We ate macaroni & cheese while watching Sponge Bob.
We had a wonderfully enjoyable day with the kids. We were blessed by the surgeon, as well as our day together. Obviously it is the Lord who is looking out for us. His plan is perfect. We are defintely thankful that Maria's prognosis is better than the audiologist originally thought, but continue to ask that you would pray for our faithfulness as we continue to try and juggle our family, church, and work life with Maria's constant need for attention.
Enjoy some pictures of Macella & Kirstie's first trip to the city.