Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In Case You Thought I Was a Normal Mother...

My 5.5 month old sleeps with an apnea monitor.  Not because he was premature.  Not because he needs it.  Because I need it.  A doctor did not order this.  I alternate usage between the Snuza and the Angelcare monitors, and I CANNOT sleep if I can't hear the beep of his breathing movements.  It can't be set to silent.  I need the beep. 

I also freak out if anyone tries to let him nap on a surface that isn't firm.  I let him have a binky because there is some evidence that it COULD potentially help prevent SIDS.  I would never, ever co-sleep, but his crib is in our room.  I use a video monitor during the day when needed. 

I don't know if this is normal behavior for someone who has never lost a baby?  I feel like it's within normal bounds for my history, at least.  I thought all moms lived in fear of SIDS and apnea.  The T-Man loves to sleep on his belly, too, which only serves to increase my anxiety.  And yes, I know that once they can turn themselves onto their belly it is ok to leave them there to sleep. I still turn him back onto his side or back every chance I get.  Since Jerry isn't one to say much about my baby neuroses, I was surprised when my aunt seemed shocked by my level of paranoia at a recent family gathering.  She seemed to think it was ludacris that I would use a sleep monitor when it came up in conversation.

So I'm wondering...Am I taking it too far?  I do lots of other non-neurotic mom stuff, I swear:  I let him get passed around at family gatherings (and I have a huge extended family); I frequently clean his binky off with my mouth; and if he scoots off his blanket on the living room floor I let him stay on the bare floor for awhile.  Oh, and he frequently naps without the monitors if I am close by.  Totally laid back right?  My concern is that I might not realize if I am overprotective to the point that it is interfering with my children's lives. 

When Roo was an infant I had trouble sleeping even though she slept through the night by the time she was discharged from the hospital.  I woke up constantly to check her breathing.  So with The T-Man I figured--why not?  It doesn't seem to bother him or interfere with his rest.  And it allows me to rest.  I refused to defend my choice to my aunt at the family gathering on principle (you know, the mind-your-own-business, keep-nosy-family-members-at-bay principle).

On a similarly over-protective note, Roo started Kindergarten a few weeks ago (so cute!), and I am realizing that I have waaaaay overprotected her.  I was the ONLY mother still walking her daughter to the morning line-up spot by the second day of school (and no, this didn't make me stop walking her).  Ditto for picking her up after school.  She has yet to ride the school bus.  

See?  I have issues. 


  1. Your kids, your rules. If it makes you feel better, then go for it. I have a feeling as time passes, you will move him out of your room and turn off all but the baby monitor.

    As for over-protecting Roo, as long as she adapting well to school and making friends, I think you're fine. A truly overprotected kid wouldn't be able to cope without momma by her side.

  2. Great to see your post! I was just thinking of you yesterday and wondering how you are doing.

    Normal is all relative. All of our losses were much earlier than yours, and yet here is where I'm at: Miss A slept in a crib (which a friend had given us) next to my side of the bed for 13 or 14 months. And now we have been at the new house for a month, and even though our room is right next to hers (shares the closet wall), I am sleeping on the floor right next to her crib. My 39-year-old joints are less than pleased about that, but it is what it is.

    I have gotten better about worrying about her breathing, but it has definitely been a process, and I am still not 100% there yet. I did discuss the sleep apnea monitor with her pediatrician before she was born, and he was willing to order it (for my peace of mind), but I decided to see how things went first, and I was able to live without it.

    My biggest fear now - and I realize it sounds crazy, but again, it is what it is - is that someone will break in and take her. We are getting landscaping put in, and there will be thorny bushes planted in front of her window. R saw an ad about window sunscreens that are also security screens that can't be opened from the outside, and we might look into those. Today, I also scheduled an appointment with a security company to come out and talk to us about a home security system, because the idea of sleeping in an actual bed now seems like such a luxury, and at that point, I realize I've reached a level of neurotic that probably needs to be dealt with. :-) The guy who owns the security company is a former police officer. I want a Fort Knox kind of system. With all of that, and R getting the video monitor hooked up in her room, **maybe** I'll finally be able to bring myself to sleep on the other side of the wall. But I have to admit, as nice as closet space is, I've also contemplated cutting out the closets to make it one big room. Actually, I probably would have already done it if R hadn't put his foot down. :-)

    Oh, and we still don't let Miss A sleep on non-firm surfaces, and she'll be 18 months this month. We gave her a pacifier for exactly the same reason - I was all for anything that would cut down on the risk of SIDS. And on weekend mornings when she wakes up early and I get her out of her crib so that the two of us can climb into bed with R, she falls back asleep and he sleeps, and I lay there awake to make sure she's breathing (it's a soft, pillowtop mattress) and make sure neither of us rolls over onto her...

    So if nothing else, I hope that at least helps that you have company in your issues... :-)

  3. If it works for you, I say go for it. We had an apnea monitor for the first couple weeks after the kid was born because of her choking/maybe not breathing while nursing deal and I decided it made me more nervous having her knock it off all the time than it made me feel better she was breathing. We have a room fan and use a pacifier for Little Monster too. I feel less freaked about SIDS this time than I was last time but I worry some. We sleep with our door open (the girls don't have a door and are right there) so we can hear them but now with the music all night I have snuck in a couple of times to listen to them breathing.

    Kindergarten! Some of the kids at ours will never ride the bus despite being easily able to take the bus because some parents worry an awful lot I guess. I fight my overprotective instincts hard now that she's big enough to do things alone, but I make no promises that I'm totally successful.