Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sleep Study Recap

I'm very lucky that there was a change in plans today.  The IEP training that I was supposed to attend got pushed this morning to the weekend of the 22nd!  Needless to say, I was thrilled!!!!  Daddy let me sleep for a few hours when I got home from the hospital a

We survived the sleep study!  I don't know who it was harder on...ok, it was harder on Sweet Pea, but it wasn't easy on Mommy either!

We let Sweet Pea have her usual afternoon nap and then kept her up until we left for the hospital a little after 8pm.  I gave her all her favorite car toys and even had the overhead light on right over her car seat, but she still fell asleep within just a few minutes of driving.  There was minimal traffic and so we got there just a few minutes early.  Went to admissions and signed in and sat down next to a mom and her son.  My DS radar is always on these days and I thought that this boy had DS, but wasn't positive.  At this point I started trying to wake Sweet Pea up and that got the mom and I starting to talk and sure enough, he did!  He was very cute, four years old and was in for his annual sleep study.  He has sleep apnea and so they do this every year for him.

Here is a photo of Sweet Pea trying to figure out why I've just woken her up and where exactly we are:

When we were taken into the sleep lab, Sweet Pea and I were sitting in her room twiddling our thumbs for a little while.  I started talking a bit louder to Sweet Pea about how I know she was tired and I'm sorry for keeping her up, but we have to wait for them to tell us what to do.  Luckily the nurse heard me (he he he) and informed me that I could let her go to sleep.  Why she didn't tell me that when we first went in the room?!?!  Anyway, I changed Sweet Pea into her pajamas and gave her some milk and she crashed right out on the big bed.  She has been looking so big to me recently when she sleeps in her "big girl bed" (aka crib mattress on the floor), but boy did she look small in these beds.

A short while later the nurse came in and started hooking Sweet Pea up to the machines.  She started with the heart rate and oxygen saturation sensor on her toe and taped it up her leg so that she could stay in her pajamas.

Sweet Pea was pretty good while the nurse stuck more and more sensors on her.

She squirmed a lot when they put the nasal cannula on and ended up off to the side:

I couldn't believe how many wires and sensors there were!

When the nurse was done she put the blanket on Sweet Pea and that was it:

I don't know why it surprises me, but this was all the equipment that was in the room.

Here is my understanding of what a few of the sensors were for:
  • Straps around her chest: measure when her chest rises and falls as she breathes
  • Chin sensors: in the deepest stage of sleep the chin completely relaxes
  • Many of the sensors on her scalp: help determine the stage of sleep
  • Nasal cannula: measuring how much CO2 she is expelling
This was my bed that made a fair amount of noise when I would turn over, get up or lay down.  It wasn't as bad as I feared, but it certainly wasn't comfortable.

The wires started out fairly organized with a decent amount of play in them.  By morning, things were completely twisted up.

The reason that we were doing this sleep study was to ensure that she doesn't have sleep apnea or other issues that contribute to her restless sleeping.  We moved Sweet Pea out of our room and into her crib at just a few weeks of age because she would cry out in her sleep and wake us up, but not really wake herself up.  Anytime we have to share a room with her we end up sleeping fairly poorly because she still pulls the same stunts.  Since she will be sharing a room with her sister in a couple of months we really wanted to get to the bottom of these sleep issues if there is something that needs to be done about them.

There was very little sleep time for me as throughout the night either Sweet Pea would start fussing and I would get up to pat her down before she fully woke up and ripped off sensors or the nurse would come in to fix something that Sweet Pea had managed to dislodge.  The nurse explained that she would only come in if a sensor was really needed and that they couldn't just utilize the same sensor on the other side of her face.  Turned out that was more often then I had hoped.  I think I got about 30 minutes of sleep for each hour that we were there and even that wasn't very good sleep.

Sweet Pea woke up very early...around 5am...and I thought I had to try to keep her asleep as I had been told to do during the night. That wasn't working well!  Every once in a while she would suddenly take off for the base of the bed and in the process pull out her O2 saturation sensor or try to climb out the side of the bed to get closer to the equipment on the table next to her.  Finally the nurse came in at 5:45 and said that I could let her get up.  Sweet Pea wasn't real thrilled with the situation that she was in, but dealt with it pretty good.  This poor girl was just covered in sensors and wires and I felt so bad having to corral her in the bed.

Finally around 6am the nurse started taking off the sensors.  It was a complete rats nest of wires!  The nurse said that Sweet Pea wasn't her most restless patient ever, but she certainly was near the top of the list!  I had to laugh a little as there was a part of me that had feared that I was just crazy and overreacting about how restless she was and maybe it was normal for kids to be that restless.  The nurse reassured me that she had seen many a kid come in, first children in particular, with parents that were super worried about how restless their kids were and when she watched them during the night they were so calm.  Her restlessness will hopefully be nothing to worry about, but Daddy and I just want to be certain of that.

Sweet Pea was REALLY good as they were taking off the sensors.  The tape that was in her hair and had gotten quite tangled didn't even make her fuss.  The only part that she cried about was the tape that held the nasal cannula in.  When the nurse ripped that off she lost it!  I don't blame her either!  The nurse had to put extra tape on it during the night because Sweet Pea had pulled it off.  Now there are broken blood vessels on Sweet Pea's cheeks that mark where some of the tape was.

All in all it was a good night and I'm glad to have it behind us.  It will be 2-3 weeks until the report is ready and it will be sent to our ENT.  I need to ensure that our next appointment with our ENT is after it should be ready so that I get the details in person.

And for those of you wondering how it is that I am writing this posting since I should be in an IEP training...we got home about 6:45am and by 7am I was in bed with Daddy taking over care of Sweet Pea for what I thought was going to be 45 minutes before I had to get up and get ready to head out to the training.  When 7:45am came and Daddy brought Sweet Pea in the room I thought it was to wake me up.  Turns out that we had received a call from the lady conducting the training and she had come down with the flu and needed to postpone it until the 22nd and wanted to confirm that was alright with me.  Absolutely!!!!  So, I got to sleep for just under 3 hours instead of 45 minutes and now I will get to go to a friend's first birthday party with Daddy and Sweet Pea this afternoon.  It's looking like a good day!


  1. Glad the sleep study went well. Wow she was covered in wires! Glad you got to sleep in a bit too. Hope the rest of your weekend is great.

  2. I thought Morgan got messed up in all the wires but sweet pea was covered in them! I just blogged about sleep studies and Down syndrome. So glad you got the sleep study. Too many parents don't ever get one.

  3. Oh my some of those pictures look just like Lindsey sleeping in her bed. Minus the wires of course. All those wires and tubes no wonder you both didn't get much sleep. I can't believe she kept them on. Glad you were able to get some extra sleep once you were home.

  4. Wow, what an experience! I can't believe all the wires. Just from the pictures I can tell she is a restless sleeper. Luc bangs all around his crib at night too but recently he's gotten better. Glad you got to sleep in!

  5. wow! thanks for this post! We are going to have a sleep study done on Little Miss because of her trouble breathing. We weren't really sure what to expect. Granted, Bradley will be going with her since I need to stay home with the boys, but it's nice to have a visual of what they use. Sounds like Sweet Pea did wonderful though. I don't think I could've slept all tangled up like that!!

  6. ugh, sleep studies stink!! i hope everything comes back ok.

  7. intense! All those wires and sensors...geez...and I can't believe she slept through all that and being all tangled up! Crazy!
    The pics are adorable though...
    I hope this study figures everything out for you guys...

  8. Awww she looks so ruffled and tangled and I just want to give her a snuggle. I wanted to ask too have you noticed any changes after the ear tubes?