This had me absolutely glued.
I'm a successful CI user, Born with some sort of loss but the records are lost so not sure exactly what it was, I started going deafer at 10, and gradually lost it all over time. Implanted in 1993, the implant gave me more hearing that I ever remember having. Really wished I could have had the implant when I was young and at school. They weren't even thought of back then!! My scores with the implant were 98 to 100% open set sentences without lipreading.
I can still lipread well - but probably not as well as when I was first implanted. Unfortunately my current implant has stopped working properly - just bad luck and old technology. I'm about to go under the knife for the 2nd time, in 15 days time (gulp), but I do want to hear again. I'm having a re-implantation as my other is dead and cannot be implanted. There is risk involved - the biggest is that they may not get another one in, in which case I'll be totally utterly deaf for the rest of my life. But life was never meant to be easy :)
I can understand your decision process, and all your feelings. And even your son's decision. But I have to ask you a couple of questions.
Given that you know that the earlier you implant, the more chance of success, how do you know that your son might regret not at least trying one while he was still young enough to adapt, later in life?
What is there to lose in trying one? The operation is not that big a deal these days. If he really doesn't like it, then he doesnn't have to wear it. If he does like it and he does well - he has the best of both worlds. We are all scared of operations, but these days it's more like a routine ear operation than major surgery.
There's no reason not to keep up with signing, and hearing at same time. You still get a good nights sleep by not hearing a thing at night!
Ok ok - that's more than a couple of questions but I would be interested in your musings over these ones ;)
By the way - I was on Deaf-L for a number of years - so am wondering if I know you?