Annabelle Lawless was living in a silent world for the past few months, but on July 20, she finally got to experience the joy of sound.
The 3-month-old didn't pass her initial hearing test when she was born at 5 pounds, 9 ounces, but her parents, Sarah Jo and Tyler Lawless, weren't too worried. The doctor reassured them that it's a common condition for newborns, especially ones of her size, because they still have fluid in their ears.
But shortly after the couple from Boise, Idaho, brought Annabelle home, they noticed she wasn't flinching when the dog barked or the doorbell rang.
"One time I slammed the washing machine door five times in a row to see if I could startle her," Sarah Jo Lawless told TODAY. "That's when I knew I had to take her to get tested again."
They took Annabelle to the Idaho Elks Hearing and Balance Center in May when she was just 1 month old. There they learned she has profound hearing loss.
"We were not prepared to hear that news," Lawless said. "It was devastating."
Annabelle was back at the center two months later to get hearing aids placed in her ears, and her mom captured the life-changing moment on video. She originally recorded it for her husband, who had to work, but she never expected it to go viral.
"I was bawling behind the camera," Lawless said. "I'll never forget Annabelle's reaction to hearing the audiologist clap, and neither will she because she'll have this video to look back on when she grows up."
In the short time since she's been wearing hearing aids, Annabelle has become much more engaged and has discovered her passion for music. When a song comes on, her eye open wide and she starts squirming.
"We've been waiting three months to talk to our daughter and the moment she finally heard my voice was even more beautiful than I imagined," Lawless said.