I know, I know. I have turned into a blog slacker now! I wanted to give an update on Justin since we got some new info today. First of all, as of Wednesday our big boy weighed 6 lb 4 oz!! My wimpy boys always like to take their time gaining weight and it drives the doctors crazy! So after several visits to the Dr. for weight checks and a trip to lactation on Tuesday we are finally above birth weight and have satisfied the doctors for now.
After a day on the phone with the home health agency, and the apnea center at Egleston (a whole other story) we finally got some results from Justin's first monitor download. I have to say they were not what I was hoping for. The results covered the first 12 days that Justin was home. During that time he had 53 "episodes". These episodes are either apnea (not breathing) bradycardia (heart rate below 80) or a both. Of the 53 episodes he had 10 of what they call "significant episodes". The significant episodes involved either not breathing for more than 20 secs, or a heart rate down in the 50's or both. I think what they considered one of the worst was when he didn't breathe for 24 secs and his heart rate dropped into the mid 50's. All of the significant episodes trigger the alarm on the monitor to go off and we have to stimulate him (gently shake or rub his chest) and this makes him take a breath or his heart rate go above 80 and the alarm will stop. By the way, the only way to make the alarm stop is to correct the problem. So even though your instinct at 3 am when there is a loud shrill noise is to stop the noise, we have learned to focus our attention on Justin and get his heart rate up and breathing and the alarm will stop on its own. When he has an alarm the only change that is noticeable in Justin is that his face is pale. Once we stimulate him the color quickly returns.
So now we wait for the final report from the doctor at the apnea center along with their recommendations. Then Justin's pediatrician will decide how to proceed. We are expecting that he will be put on a medication for reflux to make sure that this is not contributing to the problem. There has also been some talk (even when he was in the NICU) of putting him on caffeine to keep his heart rate up. I think they will probably want to check the download on his monitor from this past week before they make that decision. Either way, we expect that the apnea monitor will be a part of our lives for a while. I have to say that I am very thankful that he is on the monitor. If I can just keep myself from dwelling on what could have happened if he wasn't on the monitor. I guess right now they are still thinking that this is just from being early, but I will be asking the doctor again when he goes for his one month check up on Thursday. Right now Justin is sleeping next to me on the couch while I am typing, not a care in the world. He has no idea the stress he has caused his parents since he has been born! This Sunday he will be 4 wks old!!
Keep Justin in your prayers. I will post some recent pics soon.