Pregnancy Week 25: Welcome Sleep Apnea

Of course I can’t go more than a week or so without a new issue to share with you!  This week, its sleep apnea!  I had a ENT doctor suspect sleep apnea last year, but I never was able to follow-up with any of the testing.  So of course, as soon as I was pregnant and it came back up as a possible issue, I was sent to a sleep clinic.  At week 20, I had my first overnight sleep study.  (I think I mentioned this in an earlier blog….like how it should be called the NO sleep study!) A week ago I went for the results of that test, and they did diagnose me with moderate sleep apnea.  So onward to another overnight study to be fitted with a CPAP machine.

I know sleep apnea is pretty serious, I mean after all it means you STOP breathing during the night, but I probably would have continued to put off this next study had the doctor not concerned me over the baby.  He said my oxygen levels get down in the low 80’s and that concerned him for the baby getting enough oxygen.  Of course when he said this, I made the next appointment.  Me, I can do without a little O2, but not the baby!

So off to NO-sleep study #2.  This was at a different clinic, a bit nicer and quieter, so I was hopeful.  I was also trying not to panic.  I had tried my Dad’s sleep apnea mask one night to see how it felt, and I panicked.  I completely felt like I was being smothered.  It reminded me of the this time in Mexico when I decided to try and go scuba diving, and after a 15 minute lesson, they strapped you to a tank and pushed you under water.  I freaked – and spent the time int he shallows looking for fish, while the rest of the group headed out to the reef.  Yeah, Mexico scuba diving was not for me….and neither was breathing through a weird mask!  I told both the doctor and the clinic tech of my distress and they reassured me I would start with a nose piece only – no full face mask.  I was still not convinced……

The tech let me wear the nose piece with the oxygen stream for about an hour while watching tv to try and acclimate to it.  It was ok after about 10 minutes and I started to relax over the whole suffocating fear.  I still don’t think I slept much that night, but apparently I kept the air-flow piece on and got enough sleep to make the doctor happy come morning.  And so I was sent home with my new CPAP machine.  Oh boy.

I am adjusting.  The first night, I didn’t feel like I slept any, and ended up taking off the mask in my sleep and not realizing it.  The second night, I woke up a bit panicked and took it off in the middle of the night.  So far, I haven’t made it through a whole night with the mask on……I go to sleep with it on, but end up taking it off when I get up to potty and just won’t put it back on.  It is not fun….it is cumbersome and uncomfortable and every time I wake up, it scares me that I have it on.  But I keep trying, for the baby.

And so I continue to learn the lesson that I will no longer live my life for myself.  My life is now about my child and the sacrifices I will make for him.  God must have thought I really had a lot to learn before the baby arrives since he is teaching me all these lessons nice and early!

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