Below is a picture of Savannah’s apnea monitor. As I’ve mentioned here before, after Savannah’s apnea spell (she held her breath) in the hospital, the doctors felt it was best she come home with an apnea monitor. I had heard awful things about apnea monitors, so I was a little anxious about having to use it. But, despite all the horror stories, I was ultimately glad to have her on it to monitor her heart rate and breathing.
After being at home for a while, I can totally understand why these monitors can drive people crazy. In fact, there have been times when I thought the monitor was doing more harm to my sanity than good. Probably the biggest complaint you will hear about these monitors is all of the false alarms. We have certainly had plenty of alarms, and while I think they have all been false alarms, there’s a small part of me that wonders, Was this a real alarm or not?
During 1 particular nap time, the monitor alarmed at least 5 separate times. Have I mentioned that when it alarms, it’s quite loud and resembles a smoke alarm (well maybe not quite that loud)? Of course, my response is to go running into Savannah’s room to check on her. As we were trained, I made sure to look at Savannah’s coloring and watch her chest to make sure it was rising and falling. (Side note: it’s often tempting to look at the screen of the monitor first to check to see whether it is the heart rate or breathing alarm that is sounding, or whether it is an issue with the battery or leads attached to her). Each time, the alarm would stop by the time I got to her room or shortly thereafter and she looked like she was fine. Sigh of relief, right? Wrong. I find myself going nuts after that nap. My mind goes all over the place.
Were they real alarms or false ones?
Was it a real episode and she self-corrected when the alarm sounded?
Or was she just taking a shallow breath, so the leads couldn’t detect it?
These are all valid questions according to the folks who trained us to use the monitor. That particular day, I began to get suspicious after so many alarms so close to one another, so I mostly dismissed them. Just one example of how this little piece of equipment can drive one crazy!!
|Savannah sporting her leads on both sides of her chest (one detects heart rate and the other breathing).When these get loose, it is not a good thing!|
|Savannah sporting her onesie with the wires coming through the leg hole.|
|Savannah is ready to go for the day!|
Many people make comments about how I’ll probably be so glad when she’s off the apnea monitor, but I’m already starting to get a little nervous about it. In many ways, it’s been such a blessing to have it. Kevin and I can both sleep a little bit better at night knowing that she is being monitored. I don’t know about the rest of you mommas out there, but I am so aware of what can go wrong. The odds of SIDS is low, but we know that we are not immune to tragedy (sorry to be such a downer), which is scary.