Saturday, February 9, 2008

A's and B's

I hate A's and B's. Apnea and Bradycardia.

Apnea = cessation of breathing
Bradycardia = slowing of heart rate

We are again dealing with apnea and bradys. We have been through this before with both of the twins, but thought they had outgrown it. Now that we have added a lot of food to their daily regimen, they are suffering from acid reflux - which adds to fatigue - which increases A's and B's. Put your left foot in, and your heart rate down . . .

Acid reflux occurs in premature babies because their digestive tracts aren't fully mature. Contents from the stomach back up into the esophagus, most likely because a valve in the stomach isn't fully sealed yet.

Obviously, it hurts and burns. The babies get upset, hold their breath, make their heart rate plummet, and then drop their oxygen saturation levels. Their monitors start ringing bells and flashing colors. It is truly agonizing to sit and watch a t.v. sized screen that says your baby isn't breathing. Imagine both monitors going off at the same time. Then imagine the mommy's face turning red because she's holding her breath too. If I had a monitor, it would probably say, "Get me some supplemental oxygen and a beer."

I've been watching the twins suffer from acid reflux and have more A's and B's in the last few days. That's where we are now. We can get the food down, we can poop the food out, we just can't keep some of the food from creeping back up. Owen usually chokes and tries to get it out of his throat. Elie, however, gets a determined look on her face and gulps hard like she's shooting cheap whiskey.

I spent ten hours at the hospital yesterday. The monitors, the lights, the bells, the bradys; it was so taxing. I felt heavy when I left - like I was wearing my dad's boots, and they were filled with water. I continue to remind myself to be patient. Thankfully, the A's and B's will occur less and less as they grow older, and will be completely gone by the time they come home. The acid reflux, however, will haunt them well into their first year of life. If they remain upright after a feeding, the food will stay down, and the pain will be lessened. I guess I'll just have to make a habit of holding them in my arms as much as I can every day. I can certainly think of worse jobs than that.


Rachael M. said...

Poor little punkins!

Baby Jack, who was a WHOPPING 9.5 pounds a birth, also suffered from horrible acid reflux, so don't feel too bad about that being only a preemie thing. They could've ended up with that whether they were early or not. Which certainly doesn't make you feel better when you know that they're going to have to eat and it's going to make their tummies hurt.

But, you know it'll get better, and one day they'll be throwing giant blobs of squash at you and laughing. :-D

Rich Kresge said...

Kerrie, your sense of humor must be going a long way towards keeping you going. I imagine it has kept you from going into a deep, deep depression with all you both have gone through. Keep up the good humor girl! You make me laugh when I know you want to cry!

Eunice (and Uncle Rich)