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Old 06-27-2008, 05:44 PM   #1
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Exclamation ACK!!! Scared to Death! Breathing Lapse and Terrified of SIDS

To give a bit of background and explain why I might be overreacting... I read a post a few days ago in the Loss/Grief/Support section about a woman who lost her baby in a cosleeping tragedy. Even though my DD had been sleeping with us, right beside me, it scared me half to death to read that... so I started having her sleep in her cosleeper, and kept waking up every few minutes to check on her. It feels really unnatural not to have her right beside me, and I'm plagued by nightmares that, whether she's in a co-sleeper or right beside me, I must be doing it "wrong".



I hardly slept a wink last night because my DD had a very low fever (99.8) and I kept worrying that something was going to happen. I'd have her in her cosleeper and would wake up a few minutes later after having a nightmare of finding her dead, so I'd move her to my bed and I'd wake up having nightmares about rolling over on her. I eventually just picked her up and sat at my keyboard, holding her, until the sun came up. I've barely slept in three days.

I thought my phase of paranoia was about to pass, until I took her to the grocery store today. We were standing in line and I suddenly noticed that her breathing was shallow. I started paying close attention, and then it ceased entirely. It was only about 35 seconds, but that was the longest 35 seconds of my life! I first started patting her, and she didn't respond, and then I poked her, tickled her feet, touched her eyelids... No response at all. :She started to turn pale and her body was limp. In the middle of the grocery store line, DH and I both started panicking, trying to gently shake her into waking up--still no response. This drew the attention of the other people in line, but their panic didn't help ours. A woman who was startled by the situation even said, "Oh my God, is your baby dead?" NOT what I needed to hear her say! I pinched my DD repeatedly, hard enough to leave deep reddish marks, and she eventually woke up and cried a little after I pinched her with my fingernails as hard as I physically could.

Again, all this took place in a matter of only about 35 seconds, and she didn't get cold to the touch or extremely pale or anything, but now my fears of SIDS have been worsened to an extreme! I can't put her down, and I know I'm in for another worrisome, sleepless night. I called my DD's pediatrician and I was both upset and reassured by how dismissive he was. He just told me that a lot of babies have occasional sleep apnea, that she'd probably be fine, and that I shouldn't call again unless she does it again. He also told me very firmly (almost angrily) that she should absolutely ALWAYS sleep by herself.

Along with my overall fears, I feel very torn about our sleeping arrangement. On one hand, I want to trust the doctors (most mainstream docs) who say that she's best off by herself, but then my instincts tell me that, if I'm worried about her, I should keep her close to my body all the time. I'm so divided and having so much trouble counteracting my instincts.

Reassurances? Opinions?

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Old 06-27-2008, 05:52 PM   #2
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Re: ACK!!! Scared to Death! Breathing Lapse and Terrified of SIDS

All babies have occasional breathing stoppages BUT 35 seconds is a true apnea episode. Find a new pedi. Your baby should be monitored for this if she was not able to be roused. My second daughter was born at 34weeks and continued to have apnea episodes(anything longer than 20seconds without a breath is considered an apnea episode) until 5 months old. We had her on an apnea monitor that recorded and monitored her heart rate and breathing until age 6 months. We would put her on it whenever she was not in arms and whenever we were sleeping(we co-slept). It resolved on it's own as it was "apnea of prematurity" but a sudden occurrence of apnea episodes at almost 3 months old isn't a normal occurrence. Get a second opinion.
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:56 PM   #3
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Re: ACK!!! Scared to Death! Breathing Lapse and Terrified of SIDS


Ok, so she's 2 months old or there abouts?? Pretty rare for a babe that age to stop breathing. but pretty strange for a baby to stop breathing when you're holding her. That's weird.

I'm a pediatric ICU nurse- yes, I have seen a few babies die of cosleeping...more than I have seen die of SIDS. I personally think a cosleeper is a better idea, but that's purely because of my own personal experiences.

Ok- DONT take this the wrong way, but I think you should probably call your doctor and get yourself some anxiety medicine so you can handle your fears with a clear head.

Your pedi was probably being firm because all pedis are against cosleeping- they've seen kids die that way even though it can be safe for some families.

I can understand your fears. I think if you're uncomfortable with your pedi's respons you should find another doctor. It isn't going to do either of you any good to keep seeing a doctor you don't trust. If you have to sleep in the recliner holding her on your chest, do that until you can get in to a new dr. I'm so sorry you're going through this mama. Would your DH trade off with you every few hours overnight so you can get some sleep but be assured that she's safe?
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:56 PM   #4
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Re: ACK!!! Scared to Death! Breathing Lapse and Terrified of SIDS

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Originally Posted by faerybugmady View Post
All babies have occasional breathing stoppages BUT 35 seconds is a true apnea episode. Find a new pedi. Your baby should be monitored for this if she was not able to be roused. My second daughter was born at 34weeks and continued to have apnea episodes(anything longer than 20seconds without a breath is considered an apnea episode) until 5 months old. We had her on an apnea monitor that recorded and monitored her heart rate and breathing until age 6 months. We would put her on it whenever she was not in arms and whenever we were sleeping(we co-slept). It resolved on it's own as it was "apnea of prematurity" but a sudden occurrence of apnea episodes at almost 3 months old isn't a normal occurrence. Get a second opinion.
Well I'm not 100% sure how long the episode was, and my ped said that if it had been a severe, or true, apnea episode, she'd have turned bluer. She was only a bit pale.

God, I'm not going to sleep for weeks. There are other docs in the practice, I'll call them again when the shift changes.
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:57 PM   #5
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Re: ACK!!! Scared to Death! Breathing Lapse and Terrified of SIDS

Wow! I can completely understand why you are terrified. I had a similar experience with my DS2 when he was 7 weeks old. He first turned blue around his mouth for a few seconds. Then over the next several minutes (30? maybe) he was pale, pale white and limp. I called his doctor, who sent us immediately to the nearest ER. In one evening of monitoring in the hospital, about 30 episodes of apnea were recorded. Eventually he was diagnosed with severe reflux and discharged with an apnea monitor.

I would suggest you contact your pediatrician, if you haven't done so already. Not knowing what is wrong (and it may be nothing) can be very stressful.
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Old 06-27-2008, 05:59 PM   #6
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Re: ACK!!! Scared to Death! Breathing Lapse and Terrified of SIDS

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Would your DH trade off with you every few hours overnight so you can get some sleep but be assured that she's safe?
DH has epilepsy, severe sleep apnea (mentioned the fam. history to pedi), and recurrent stroke. It's not good for him to wake up often at night.
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:00 PM   #7
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Re: ACK!!! Scared to Death! Breathing Lapse and Terrified of SIDS

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DH has epilepsy, severe sleep apnea (mentioned the fam. history to pedi), and recurrent stroke. It's not good for him to wake up often at night.
ack...what about during the day so you can nap?
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:41 PM   #8
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Re: ACK!!! Scared to Death! Breathing Lapse and Terrified of SIDS

Trust your instincts.

I would find another pediatrician that takes you seriously. If the pediatricians will not prescribe you an apnea monitor I know that there is a baby monitor that monitors a baby's breathing. I was paranoid about SIDS and considered getting the monitor.

Here I found a link to it:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS.../chrisficti-20

But I would see if you can have your dd tested for apnea and push for a apnea monitor if you think there is a need. Even if there is nothing to worry about, you need your sleep and peace of mind.
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:55 PM   #9
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Re: ACK!!! Scared to Death! Breathing Lapse and Terrified of SIDS

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DH has epilepsy, severe sleep apnea (mentioned the fam. history to pedi), and recurrent stroke. It's not good for him to wake up often at night.
If he's knows the family history and still won't look into it, it is definitely time for a new pedi. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope you get answers soon.

ETA: we have the Angelcare monitor and it really is a relief. It works *very* well.
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Old 06-27-2008, 09:30 PM   #10
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Re: ACK!!! Scared to Death! Breathing Lapse and Terrified of SIDS

Okay, I talked to the other pedi who works in that office, he was a lot more understanding. I tend to like him more anyway, he's a lot more understanding about vaxxing concerns.

He said that it's very unlikely that my DD had a true apnea episode, since she was born full-term and hasn't had any problems yet. He thinks it was an episode of "periodic breathing", or drastically slowed breathing that happens in deep sleep. She'd kind of eased into it; her breathing had slowed down and THEN appeared to stop. If it were true apnea, he says, it would have happened in the middle of normal breathing.

He also told me that if she'd actually gone the full 35 seconds without breathing, she would have (at her age and with her complexion) looked much more bluish, just just a tiny bit pale. He thinks she just slowed down her breathing to the point that she was in a very deep sleep and appeared to have stopped breathing. It is true that she'd woken up unusually early and hadn't had a nap yet, so she was probably just very, very tired.

She also wasn't snoring and very rarely snores, and (I know this from my apnea-ridden DH!) people with apnea snore like trains before and after episodes the vast majority of the time.

He told me to keep an eye on her tonight and not to be afraid of going to the ER if I feel a need to. But he seemed confident that that wouldn't be necessary.

I'm going to stay up with her as long as I can and sleep with my phone in my pocket on vibrate, on a timer. That way, I'll wake up every 1/2 hour to check in her co-sleeper, but the "alarm" won't woke up her or my DH.

Feeling a bit better about it but still anxious... I'll go to the ER if there's a problem. Glad I talked to the other pedi, he seemed reassuring without being dismissive.
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