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Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Time SIDS Became a Real Concern

I've always been nervous after having a baby that they would suddenly stop breathing. How many times have I passed by the bassinet or crib or peaked inside my room while they're napping to make sure their chest was appropriately rising and falling??  Too many to count! I would imagine that's the case for almost every mom - and even most dads too.  

Nobody really has an explanation of what really and truly causes SIDS.  I know there are recommendations in place to make every effort to prevent it from happening.  While nervous about SIDS, I have previously pushed it to the back of my mind - mostly so I wouldn't worry, assuming something like that just wouldn't happen.

Then on Monday night, my whole world changed in an instant.  Thankfully, Logann was actually just fine.  But in my mind, I truly thought she was gone.  I had already begun to process what I believed to be true.  Praise God it wasn't!  

Logann has been more inconsistent with sleep since her teeth poked through.  She had woken me up once or twice Monday night.  I nursed her and we both fell asleep.  Around 3am, I woke up and noticed she was nestled in my back.  I knew me having my back to her wasn't the most ideal position.  I turned around and felt her chest to be sure she was ok.  I couldn't feel it rising or falling.  I nudged her a bit…nothing.  I picked her up and her head flopped down.  

And in one instant, I thought she was gone.  I thought I was holding a shell of my baby girl.  I began to feel sick, terrified, confused, guilty, devastated…all within the span of about two seconds.  As I was thinking these thoughts, I jostled her a bit in one last attempt to reverse what I thought had happened.

She moved.

She woke up.  

As I held her tightly to myself and thanked God she was ok, I began to try to process what had just happened.  Why didn't she wake up right away?  Why did I wake up for "no reason"? (she wasn't making a sound - nobody was - and it's unusual for me to wake up like that as I tend to sleep well unless something signals me to wake).  

Maybe the Lord woke me up so I could move her to a safer position for the rest of the night?  Maybe I had a bad dream I couldn't remember and I woke up after that? Maybe she has a condition I'm unaware of and I woke up to encourage her breathing pattern to continue normally again?

I didn't know.  I still don't.  But after talking with several people including a doctor, it appears that she was just in a very deep sleep.  And looking back, as Septtro pointed out, I may have still been half asleep myself.  Perhaps I didn't check her breathing low enough on her chest so that's why I couldn't feel it.

I struggled with a myriad of emotions the next day.  I let Septtro know about what happened (he slept through the entire episode) and we decided it would make us both feel better to use a co-sleeper.  I asked around and found one to borrow.  I had a bit more peace of mind.

Then Friday night, it happened again.  Everything happened again (she was in her co-sleeper this time).  I woke up for "no reason".  I felt for her breathing and felt nothing.  I moved her slightly and nothing.  "She's gone!", I thought once again.  And all of those terrible emotions and feelings arose within me - again.  This time, I yelled her name while nudging her a bit and finally, she moved - or woke up.

Last night I was terrified to go to bed.  I was scared to wake up to the same scare I had TWICE already this week.  How had I woken up on my own twice in one week during my baby's same exact deep sleep cycle? Or why?  Was there some sort of underlying cause or disease or disability I should be looking into?

After speaking with a good friend who is a doctor, I felt more at ease about there being nothing to be overly concerned about.  It only took 10 seconds or less for her to wake up - although if felt like an eternity.  She acted normal after waking up.  Her coloring looked normal (although it was dark).  She nursed normally afterwards.  

I cried a few times before bed last night.  It didn't help that my oldest had also fallen and hit her head earlier in the day, was overly tired and weepy, and had a low grade fever.

I was supposed to be able to fix it.  I was supposed to be able to control it.  I was supposed to know what was going on.  I'm supposed to protect them.  They shouldn't ever feel pain or hurt!  Isn't that what moms are for?  :)


I knew in my mind that this was another opportunity for me to trust the Lord and surrender my control to His.  This wasn't the first time I'd struggled with trust….or control - see here and here (just more recent examples).  

My kids are ultimately His.  He ultimately is the one who watches over them and protects them.  I'm sure I'm completely unaware of the many times something tragic could have happened but didn't.  I am to be as wise as possible as their mother but I cannot control what happens.  

Finally, last night around midnight, after crying once again and releasing my fears to Septtro and the Lord, I was able to sleep.  I woke up several times.  Logann was fine.  
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. - Psalm 121:3-4
I hope and pray this fear would not continue to rise up in me.  All I can do is pray and meditate on scripture.  Fear is not from the Lord. And it's certainly no place to live.
"Surely just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand...For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?" - Isaiah 14:24,27

1 comment:

JoyBelle said...

Wow that is so scary!!! Happened when Elaina was an infant once. I woke up and swore she was dead. Her head flopped when I picked her up and I shook her. I was shaking SO bad when it happened but, of course, she was fine.

Being near you is so important because I do believe we are very aware of our infants, even in sleep. One time Abigail learned to roll over very quickly (back to front) and she also loved to sleep alone. She was my only baby who didn't cosleep. Anyway one time I swore I heard her after she had been put to bed, went upstairs and she had rolled over onto her arms and was smothering herself in the mattress, too young and little to roll over or pull her arms out. And by the time I had got to her she was getting weak from screaming into the mattress and losing oxygen. She had to sleep with rolled towels to keep her from rolling over after that until she was bigger.

But I mention that because it is important for babies to be near their mothers, even in sleep. So so so glad Little L is well and that nothing happened.

I have to constantly remind myself that God has entrusted me as HIS children's caregiver for a season. Motherhood is hard (and of course rewarding)!