Friday, August 6, 2010
My Babies are Wireless! (No more apnea monitors)
Okay, okay, I admit. We wussed out and bought some of those over-the-counter monitors that have the mat under the crib mattress. We know we will have a lot more false alarms, but feel we need this step to wean us off.
The truth is, really, that we haven't needed the monitors for at least three months now. I went into every pediatrician appointment expecting him to say that it was time to get rid of the monitors, and every time Hubby and I would discuss how much we should fight to keep them. Well, the pedi I was using wasn't super attentive about checking the records before seeing us, so he never realized we were still on the monitors and we never brought it up. (We've changed pedi's partly for this reason.)
Recently, however, we have realized we are done with the monitors. The guys' skin has started reacting to the sensors, causing little rashes on their backs and on their chests. We've gotten creative about where to place the sensors, which has led to false alarms. We have realized that we do not react to the alarms the way we used to do. We still go immediately to the nursery, but we don't leap up, heart racing, and run to the bedside. Every time we go in there, the alarm is blaring and the kid is clearly breathing.
As much as it is has been nice to have this extra insurance against SIDS, the truth is that we no longer have an apnea problem, and the cords and sensors are causing problems for the guys. Time to go.
Last night for the first time, we put jammies on the guys and put them to sleep without wires, tape, and beeps. When K woke up wet in the middle of the night, I was able to change him and put clean jammies on him without fighting wires. I didn't have to pull tape off their backs this morning. Delicious!
When we were getting close to going home from the NICU, it was becoming apparent we would need to go home on monitors. I remember seeing other families leave without monitors. The nurse would take the wires off the babies and hand them to their parents. Sometimes I would be so jealous I would cry. I know it's awful, since I had so much to be thankful for, but I couldn't take it. They wouldn't have to revive their babies. They weren't hooked up to machines. They were taking home 'regular' babies that were born early. I knew that when we took our guys home, we would not be bringing home unfettered guys. I dreaded the moment when I would take off their hospital monitors and put on the home monitors for the drive home. I hated the moment I had to put the home monitors on them.
As we needed the monitors less, however, we started to like them more. When the guys only needed them at night so we could have them out and about during the day without worries, that was the big turnaround for me. Until that point, I felt like the guys had to stay in their cribs and felt imprisoned in the nursery. For the past four months, however, we only hooked them up at night and it was so blissful to know that if anything happened to them that we would immediately know.
It's a bittersweet day, but it is way past time and I am ready. We now have wireless babies.