Thursday, June 29, 2006


Ace got put back on the c-pap machine. The things they do at the NICU all seem to make sense when they explain it, but when I get home, I'm all, "huh?"

apnea: forgetting to breathe
desat: oxygen levels dropping, or oxygen desaturation)

So they put the kid on caffeine, which keeps him stimulated enough that he has fewer apneas. He doesn't sleep very well. Even when I'm visiting him without touching him or talking to him, he sleeps for a few minutes, then wakes up, looks around, and just looks exhausted. So whenever he gets to sleep, he sleeps like he doesn't sleep much, and has apneas and has to be woken up. It seems to me that the caffeine would be... a bad thing?


Does what I just typed make sense? It's just that some of the things the neonatologist and nurse practitioner decide for his care seem counter-productive, like with the oxygen cannula/boogers/desat thing described a few days ago. I'm sure they have the best treatment for my son in mind, but they just don't make that much sense to me. Like holding him... It's encouraged, but he can only be held for about half an hour before he starts to desat, inevitably followed by apneas. So is holding him good or bad? Sheesh.

And will someone tell me how much a baby sleeps? It's been a while since I've been around a newborn in the form of my angelic goddaughters, but I seem to remember them sleeping for more than a few minutes at a time. I'd like to see my son sleeping soundly. It's NOT happening, no matter how much the nurses insist it is. They're not staring at him for 30 minutes at a time.

Plus I just hate the cpap machine. It ticks him off, makes his nose bleed, and dries his lips out something fierce. He also has to sleep on his back to wear it, which he hates. I started crying when I saw him on it today, and I couldn't bring myself to visit him again tonight like I usually do. It breaks my heart to see him struggling, and makes me feel like a failure all over again for not being able to carry him.

Today's also the estimated due date of my ectopic baby - I'd have a one year old right now. I miss you, angel.

I ate a Snickers bar today. It was good. King sized, too.


Melinda Barton said...

Okay, look at it this way. Holding him is good for bonding and psychological health (which affects physical health). Unfortunately, you can't hold him as long b/c his physical health isn't quite what they want it to be yet. (The holding is not hurting his physical health. His physical health is interfering with the holding.) As for the apnea, if he were further along, it wouldn't be much of a problem. (Millions of Americans stop breathing during their sleep! That's one of the major causes for snoring. Hell, sometimes I do it while I'm awake.) Since he's a preemie, it's something they need to watch carefully. The fact that he's waking up is a very good thing! Not waking up during an apnea could be dangerous. So, his body is responding just fine. Yeah, he'll be really sleepy for a while, but he'll just sleep more times to make up for not sleeping longer. Kind of like eating six small meals instead of 3 big ones. Does that make sense?

Surviving said...

My oldest, who was also a preemie, didn't sleep much either. Once I finally got him home he was awake and crying if not held and even then would only sleep for about 20-30 min at a time. From my experience with both my boys, I think holding them is good for them and definately a good thing for you.

Eclectika said...

Both of my kids were full term, but I remember that they didn't sleep very much either, they woke up quite frequently during their naps until they were several months old. Whoever came up with the term "sleeping like a baby" didn't know what he/she was talking about.
I was a preemie (born weighing less than 3 pounds) and I made it 36 years ago. I am sure that medical care has advanced a lot since then and they know what they are doing. My heart goes out to you at this difficult time, hang in there, he will be better soon.

Sharon said...

My ds was full-term, and he hated to sleep. He was colicky, and woke every 2 hours even still at 4 months. Yes, I hated those newborn days.
I think most newborns (accoring to the baby books) have short sleep cycles and wake frequently. Because we're always look at them, we notice more. Often they go right back to sleep. For Ace, it's harder being that he needs some machines to help him.

I didn't know you had an ectopic pregnancy. I am very sorry for your loss. Hugs and prayers go out to you. I think that loss will never be unfelt nor forgotten. The only comfort I can find is that we already have babies in heaven, and we WILL get to be with them one day.
I'm glad you ate a Snickers. Now go eat some more choclate, and some tater tots! ;)

Reformed Mama said...

i remember the apnea/desats/caffeine stuff. keep holding him when you can, but he does need his rest. while it may not appear to you that he's sleeping well, he sleeps when he needs to. that's what babies do... sleep eat and poop when they need to. :)

my son came home on a monitor and on caffiene. it stunk. but i had peace of mind that he was breathing. also, have them check his iron levels if he seems to be desatting frequently. anemia is common in preemies and can cause desatting. it can be easily fixed though with vitamins.