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Preemie with Sleep Apnea?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My little guy was born 6 weeks early on Aug. 18. I never did any age adjustment stuff with him (other than to avoid vaccinations and such) because for all intents and purposes, he was very much like a full term baby except without all the fat and still having the lanugo(sp?). They even let him out of the hospital on the third day as if he were full term. (We did have to go back for one night, though, so he could go under the bili lamp for his jaundice.)

Well, DS and I have been co-sleeping while DH who flops around sleeps in another room. (The other reason for separate beds right now is DH's work schedule doesn't really allow him to be woken up in the middle of the night by a crying infant.) I am officially a believer now that co-sleeping is a great thing. If not for that, I would not have noticed his current problem.

I would wake up in the middle of the night freaking out because I couldn't tell if he was breathing, and I would give his little tummy a slight jiggle until I could feel it and/or his chest rise and fall. (Feels about the same since my hand covers his whole torso.) I have no idea if this was some sort of 6th sense/sensitivity to what might have been going on or if it was just the new mommy paranoia.

Sunday night/Monday morning, I had been feeding him in bed and continued to just hold him for a while because I knew it wouldn't be long before he woke for another feeding. That's when I noticed he didn't seem to be breathing. I jiggled his tummy, and he started again. No less than three times I watched as he turned purple from not breathing during the next hour or so. Since I could get him to start again, I did not consider an ER visit since it shouldn't have been too long till his ped's office opened anyway. I called my mom to make sure she at least thought I was making the right call.

I ended up not sleeping at all just to make sure I didn't fall asleep and not wake up in time to get him breathing again should the event occur... again. I told my husband and convinced him to go to work anyway (though he left early to take us to the doctor) since the financial situation is getting a bit critical considering all the running back and forth to the hospital and such.

The pediatrician thought the same thing I did. It appears to be the kind of sleep apnea commonly found in preemies. Some med techs are supposed to show up either Tuesday or Wednesday (they're going to call) to set up the monitor with his bassinet. I guess that means co-sleeping will be over for a while, but I'm willing to give that up if it means knowing that he's breathing (and being alerted if he's not).

Anyone else had to deal with one of these monitors? I've never seen one before, and neither the hospital he was born in or the one I was working for have any. The one we're going to be using had to be ordered from a hospital that's about an hour away or so. Are they large? Is it hard to keep a baby even somewhat content when hooked up to it? The ped didn't think it would interfere with bfing at all and was encouraging me to keep going with that.

I don't want to see him hooked up to anything, but it's better than the alternative. If the monitor shows that the condition is too bad, he's going to be shipped to Children's Mercy in Kansas City, something else I don't want to see happen. The ped had mentioned something about how Children's Mercy would do some sort of caffeine treatment, but I guess I need to ask about that on the health forums? (I'll cross-post this there just in case.)
post #2 of 4
my 26 weeker was on a moniter similer to that. its a pita, but SO worth it. they really arent to bad, at all. it was a blessing really because i would not have slept without it.
post #3 of 4
My DS was on one for 11 weeks in the hospital and about 2 months at home ( he came home on O2 and it was the same monitor)

I actually slept a lot better because I had that monitor. Ours was small and we were still able to co sleep We had a lead on his toe that connected to the monitor (make sure you get LOTS of extras - ours only lasted a couple days) if it comes loose it sets the monitor off or if he stops breathing it will go off.

DS also received caffeine treatments for several weeks while in the hospital and it really did help his apnea/brady spells and he was successfully weaned with no issues. We really didn't have a choice since he was having 20+ a day and with caffeine dropped to about 3/4.

I know you're nervous - but this really is the best thing until you can get it all figured out.

Good luck!
post #4 of 4
Could be reflux.
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