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Saturday, 30 July 2011

First Step Away From Apnoea Alarm

We were very brave last night.

6 hours after Tiddler was born, she went purple and had what the medics call a "dusky episode". It was terrifying and was to happen again several times in her 1st 8 days.

The second time we were discharged from hospital, we were given an Apnoea alarm for Tiddler to wear.

At first she wore it all the time- in particular I remember one of our only trips out in the early days to Tesco... there we were terrified, totally unprepared in snow, trying to make some vague effort towards Christmas and in the pram was Tiddler, our ticking baby! Tick, tick, tick... After a while when things had calmed down a bit we made the conscious decision to take it off during the day so we all had a bit of normality. We have however always, put it on her at night. Its gone off periodically, most probably due to false alarms although we won't ever know for sure I suppose.

Anyway, last night at 2 am it went off again. The alarm is incredibly shrill and urgent as you would expect and I am too used to it waking me up! I instinctively reach out to touch Tiddler's tummy- this always makes her breathe in and so stop the alarm. You see its incredibly common for babies to hold their breath and its not normally a problem. It is probable that the times the alarm has gone off at home has been because of this. Anyway, last night the alarm wouldnt stop. Tiddler was fine though, she was breathing, asleep, and her colour was normal. The sensor pad had come off her tummy. Phew! As she was still asleep, we decided that rather than to risk waking her and creating a far larger problem (an incredibly angry baby), we would sleep without the alarm on. This was such a brave move, probably a bit too bold, but we were clearly both influenced by 2 am logic!

I woke quite a few times overnight but of course everything was fine. I felt we had really achieved something by not using the alarm all night. The last thing we want to do is medicalise our daughter- we have fought tooth and nail in the recent past to avoid tube feeding etc- and so its good that we the parents were able to go "cold turkey" like this.

Tonight the alarm is back on... I don't feel as brave somehow! She is still in a crib next to our bed and we are currently contemplating a move to her own room. I dont think I will be able to do this without the apnoea alarm. Thats such a terrifying prospect still. One step at a time eh?


  1. as you end the post,

    yes one step at a time!

    Bloody good luck to you, you sound like you are coping really well x

  2. Eek not the Graseby, just seeing that darned thing made my blood run cold.

    We managed to "lose it" after 10 weeks in hospital, he was discharged without one. He did have a couple of apnoeas at home. I had to get him going once, which was scary.

    The noise is like nothing on earth when it goes off isn't it? Joseph managed to dislodge it when we were rooming in, and I nearly hit the ceiling as it went off!

  3. I know! The noise is incredible! Awful that that happenned to you at home, happenned to us once, horrific. Happier times now x

  4. That sounds so frightening. Sounds like you've made a massive step forward and not surprised you had a wobble the next day.