Apnea monitor

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.
cassie05
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Re : Apnea monitor

Postby cassie05 » Mon Nov 14, 2005 05:00 pm

Alex, ya got me thinking back to the moniter days...they didnt adjust Stephens either and no one bothered to download all the info until we went to his development followup and they were the ones to finally take him off, not the pulmonologist that we drove to see 2 hours away every month...my goodness, ya got me ranting too LOL

alexp
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Re : Apnea monitor

Postby alexp » Mon Nov 14, 2005 04:00 pm

We had monitors...they were *.

Of course, for many they are a lifesaving device. I think a lot of it depends on if you have a good monitor company, and a good doc in charge of the whole thing. And your own comfort level...like Wendy and Tanya said, if you are at all worried those monitors will help you sleep at night.

Our biggest problem was that the girls had them a LOT longer than they needed them.

My girls had some very scary and severe A's and B's in the hospital, especially Lily. And in Lily's case, they never did figure out what was going so wrong...her spells were sometimes triggered by reflux, but no one knew why they would get so out of control. I was feeding her one night and she managed to code herself...twice...with nurses all around her the second time. I am still having nightmares about that.

But I digress. In any case, even tho they had been apnea free for about a week when they came home, the monitors were a good idea then.

A month later, after NO real alarms and no health problems, they were starting to seem less necessary. A month after that, when the girls were basically awake 24 hours a day...I am not kidding, the only time they ever closed their eyes was when they were on one of their 2 hour BF jags, the monitors were torture. I was having a hard time walking the floors all night balancing 2 babies in my arms...monitors with long dangling cords were just to much. Not to mention, if they'd had any apnea, we'd have seen it...we never got away from them. I am not exaggerating. I told the pulmonologist's office we didn't plan to monitor them unless they were unsupervised. The response was "Oh you can't do that because they could be having very low heartrates and you'd never know it."

Well, possibly. But I think the chances of someone who is screaming at the top of their lungs, sucking at a breast hard enough to make it bleed, or looking around the room cooing and drooling with bright eyes and pink skin having a dangerous brady and no one noticing it are unlikely.

Rats - I didn't mean to tuen this into a rant. Anyway, long story short - we had the monitors for almost 9 months. Never had an alarm. We did have numerous false alarms, loose leads, etc. The girls hated the contraption and fought it with all their might. The monitor company was unbearable and the pulmo doc was too. Towards the end, they kept having low heart rate alarms...after months of good health. Turns out no one ever bothered to adjust the settings on the monitors. Everytime I had a question or problem, I couldn't get any help...well, not without ummm...being quite unpleasant myself [}:)].

So, my advice would be choose a good monitor company and - if you get a choice - a good doc watching over all of it. And as the others have said, make sure you learn all you can before taking the thing home - it can be a handful.

And yeah, everything you said in your first paragraph...it is depressing and you will wish your baby could just be normal. But that day will come. I promise. [:)]

Wendy, I can't believe your neighbors were that evil...what *******. [:(!]

miracle3
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Re : Apnea monitor

Postby miracle3 » Mon Nov 14, 2005 03:29 pm

Lindsey didn't come home with one but I wish she had. Lindsey unlike alot of the other babies mentioned here had "episodes" just about everytime she was fed. She would quit breathing during every feeding at least once. It was so hard for her to learn to suck, swallow, and breath all at the same time. There were a few times during the night like a previous poster said that Lindsey also woke me up because she had spit up and had it coming out her nose and mouth and couldn't breath luckily when that happened she was able to get out one big cry that woke me up before she had a spell. It was scary. During feedings I would just have to give her stimulation like rubbing her belly or tickling her and she would gasp and start breathing again. You never know what you might encounter when you go home. I would accept the monitor as a precautionary measure and use it to bring you comfort.

annes
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Re : Apnea monitor

Postby annes » Mon Nov 14, 2005 02:30 pm

Parker came home with one, even though he had not had any apneas in the nicu, he had some erratic breathing. My Pediatrician was pretty cool, we only had to have it attached when he was asleep, in the car or in his crib by himself. He had pads, not a belt, so only one or two false alarms when a lead came off. Eventually, we got tired of it, and the pediatrician let us get rid of it, because we really only used it at night. It is not as bad as you think it will be, ask the pediatrician exactly when she has to wear it, and maybe she can get a break from it once in a while.[:)]

jenandtheboys
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Re : Apnea monitor

Postby jenandtheboys » Mon Nov 14, 2005 01:29 pm

OOH, yes, glad that you remembered that about notifying the power company, etc. We were told to do that both times....sorry I forgot to mention it.

whosures
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Re : Apnea monitor

Postby whosures » Mon Nov 14, 2005 01:26 pm

Riley was sent home on a monitor but she didn't have the belt, she had little chest pads (like in the NICU) so we never had any alarms (false or otherwise). Make sure you let the electric company know that you have a baby on a monitor so that you'll be higher priority on power since you have to charge the monitor. Let the police and fire departments know as well, just for safety reasons. I personally, although it was a pain to change the pads, loved having the monitor. Like others said, I slept a lot more soundly knowing her breathing was being regulated.

fiona
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Re : Apnea monitor

Postby fiona » Mon Nov 14, 2005 01:24 pm

I have mixed feelings on this one. When Jay came home (the second time!) a nurse at the hospital suggested we rent a monitor, for our peace of mind really. My own Dr was less enthusiastic about it. We did rent one, but actually never used it - I'm not sure why nowi think of it - just that he clearly went from strength to strength and I became more relaxed. (I think there is a huge difference if you're talking about a micro-preemie). But again, I think once you're home, you will just arrange things for your own comfort level - Jay wasn't more than a couple of feet from me for months when he came home; if I'd had another child needing my attention, I may have used the monitor. Good luck.

cassie05
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Re : Apnea monitor

Postby cassie05 » Mon Nov 14, 2005 01:17 pm

Originally Stephen wasnt going to come home with a moniter but the day before he was going to come home he was left to cry for around 5 minutes....another baby got sick real fast and needed teh attention....so during that time he had a spell. So they gave me the option of leave him in the NICU or get a moniter (obviously I chose the moniter). SO he came home, it saved his life a few days after he came home. In the NICU he wasnt treated for reflux, though he should have been, well it was teh middle of the night 6 days after he came home, he was asleep on my chest and alarmed. I jumped up, turned on the lights and he was struggling to breathe. I yelled for dh, he called 911 all the while I blowing in Stephens face. We get to teh hospital and he has a little blood in his spit up. Turns out it was teh reflux, it made him choke and stop breathing. We spent 4 more days in the hospital, he was put on reglan and zantac and we were sent home. There were many false alarms, especailly once he got more wiggly. No one really noticed the moniter at all and it didnt bother him. We did have some problems with the first two moniters (alarming for no reason) so we just got new ones. He spent a total of 8 months being monitered around the clock until he was switched to prilosec. He stayed on because he would throw up full bottles, Im not talking spit up, he would projectile a full bottle and soak both himself and me. Once the reflux got under control he was taken off. I was a wreck, I couldnt sleep, I was so paranoid. I still check on him a lot to this day.

mommyof1
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Re : Apnea monitor

Postby mommyof1 » Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:45 am

I guess I just find a reason to complain and question everything. I know it will give me the peace of mind I need. Lianna didn't come home w/ it and didn't really need O2 after she was born. Just the first day. But I would get up every little bit to check to make sure she was breathing. I think w/ Layla being so small I'd probably be terrified if I didn't have the monitor. I guess I was just hoping that w/in a month she'd get really big and I wouldn't need it anymore. Wishful thinking.

Thanks!

youtan
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Re : Apnea monitor

Postby youtan » Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:32 am

Hi - Nathanial actually didn't come home with a monitor. I regret it to this day. You see Nathanial had a lot of apnea episodes in the NICU and then went several days, not weeks, but less than a week without any episodes. So he came home. The day he was being released, he had one small apnea episode, but he was sent home to us anyway. I was so glad to have him out of the NICU - that we didn't make a big deal about it. But, I couldn't sleep if Nathanial was quiet. Poor Nathanial couldn't either because my hand was constantly on his tiny chest feeling for breathing.

I'm sure the ladies that have used the monitors can reassure you about it! Layla is such a little one - but I'm glad she's well enough to be out of the NICU.


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