Friday, June 25, 2010

Heart Rate Monitor Went Off Again


Just when Hubby and I were talking about letting the doctor take our monitor's away -- H's went off last night.  This time it was not the apnea alarm -- it was the low heart rate alarm.  I don't know what might have caused this.  It went off for six seconds, and he self-corrected before I could stumble/run my butt down the hallway to the nursery. 

Here's always the worry.  Would he have self corrected if there had been no monitor, or did the sound of the alarm jerk him out of it?  Also, I have no way of knowing how low his heart rate was.  The thing goes off if his rate goes below 75.  So did it go to 74, or did his heart pretty much stop for a few seconds? 

About a month ago, his apnea alarm started going off nightly.  It was during a stormy season here, and he had been wheezing during the day.  The pediatrician diagnosed us with an asthma-like condition.  Essentially, the guys' lungs are still underdeveloped due to their prematurity, and they are extra sensitive to environmental factors like weather changes and dust in the air.  Their lungs are easily inflamed or something.  We started the guys on Albuterol inhalers, and that cleared up the problem immediately.  Again, though, I wonder:  If it wasn't for the monitors, would H have stopped breathing in the middle of the night and never have woken up?

In so many ways they are not like preemies anymore.  In so many ways, it is like having two regular, healthy babies at this point.  Every night, however, I tape wires to them and plug them into these monitoring machines.  More of a blessing, but kind of a curse, the machines give us extra security that the guys will be safe throughout the night.  They also, however, remind us that we have reason to worry more than other parents about the health of our children.  The leads are starting to cause minor yet surely uncomfortable skin reactions, and about once a week I am jerked awake by the alarm letting me know someone has managed to dislodge one of the leads.

We have a ten-month checkup coming up.  I fear the doc will say it is time to get rid of the monitors, at least to get rid of K's since his hasn't gone off in a couple of months.  I don't know whether to fight to keep the monitors or not.  Would I be damaging them more by being overprotective?  Is it time to set aside the monitors and medical tape, or is it best to keep them hooked up?  If the doc does want to remove the monitors, should we buy those store bought apnea mats you put in the crib?  I imagine those are full of false alarms.

Ohh, why did his alarm go off?  :(

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