Our first sleep study

Friday, January 3rd, Seth, Jack, and I drove to grand rapids for Jack’s long awaited sleep study. I was so grateful that we got in so early since the hospital had a waiting list until late february. Lucy got to stay at my mom’s house and they had a great girls night 🙂



That was not the quiet peaceful night jack and I had though… here is jack on our way to our room


We arrived at 7:30 pm for Jack to get “plugged in” for the night.




He was an absolute doll during this. He was most annoyed with the nose canal. It hurt to watch him get hooked up to so many wires – and I knew they weren’t hurting him! I think the whole thing of Jack’s condition stepped to the next level seeing him in the hospital bed and I was helpless. I felt like this was preparing me for the days to  come when it is surgery. One major comfort was that we are not the first nor the last family to go through things like this. Many brave families have endured much more difficult journeys than the one we have embarked upon. Faith rests in the unknown, however, and we have to walk each day with what we have and trust God with what we don’t know. I actually struggled feeling like a wimp. I have friends that have already undergone surgery with their little one and I was having a hard time with a sleep study. I had to tell myself that there was grace for each hurdle. For each circumstance. That when I got to that bridge there would be the appropriate amount of grace waiting to be had to endure. I cannot compare situations. I sometimes have to just let something be hard… and give it to God… and release the burden while I cherish the good. If God cares for the sparrow, surely he cares for us. In the little and big tests.

We had brought Jack’s bassinet that was on an incline so he could feel more at home. Our nurse was very nice, but a little more old fashioned and was uncomfortable putting jack on a bassinet on the floor even though it is about 2.5 feet off the ground. She suggested us to put the bassinet on the hospital bed!  I was shocked by this suggestion as it would put jack three feet above my head and he wakes up often to nurse, etc… not to mention the increased safety risk. We consulted the other nurse and she sided with the first to my disappointment.  I wanted to make the best of it, so we raised the head of the hospital bed and hoped for the best. Jack woke up three times in two hours which was not normal. Each time the nurse came in to help. It was awkward. I was thinking she would give me more direction.  Apparently she is there to support me and we would try to be as normal as possible. It was nearly impossible to nurse with the nose canal in though. And even more challenging to suction his nose with the tubes plastered to his face. I was not expecting so many of the electrodes to be on his face. It is remarkable though what they can measure. The two by his eyes measure his rapid eye movement (REM) which will tell us how deep of sleep he gets on a scale from 1-5. Babies even Jack’s age dream! The one by his chin measures how relaxed his chin gets. When we dream, our chin relaxes and that is why we drool!  haha. The nose canal measures the intake and output of oxygen and carbon dioxide. There was also a video of the whole thing so the doctor could watch what Jack does in his sleep. Pretty amazing.

At 4:00 am I finally convinced the nurse that Jack would sleep best in the bed we brought by my bed. As soon as I laid him down I watched him relax and we fell in to a good sleep. We were woken up by the nurse at 6:00. Here is Jack right after we took all the electrodes off.

sleep after

We gave him a bath/shower. I learned a valuable lesson here: test how the shower works before you put your little baby and half of your husband in so that they don’t get soaked with cold water! oops… after a good wake up call and a few laughs we were done!  The nurse asked about 5 times if we were planning on staying in the area that day which made me feel like we had failed. She said we would most likely know the results in 48 hours. That was vastly different from the papers we got saying we would get the results in 4-6 weeks.

A week went by.

I missed the ENT’s call as I was getting ready for my brother in laws rehearsal dinner in maryland. He said, “I am somewhat encouraged by Jack’s sleep study results” – somewhat encouraged?! What does that mean?

Obstructive sleep apnea is measured on a scale from 1-10. 1 episode is considered normal. 1-5 is mild, 5-10 is moderate, and above 10 is severe. Each episode lasts 20 seconds of not breathing. Jack scored a 5.5

This means that we will not be needing a trachea and that we will continue to treat Jack’s crazy congestion conservatively!  Praise God!  Jack escaped yet another surgery… that little boy continues to surprise me!

In other news, you may remember our struggle with Jack’s eyes swelling. Once we got his sinus infection more under control his swelling has become minimal!  Another praise!!!!

The doctor did say that Jack’s oxygen levels did dip below 90% quite a few times suggesting that Jack’s not getting the best quality of sleep. (not a surprise to me since we have returned to waking up 2-3 times/night to reposition, feed, change, etc…) This is not worrisome at this time and when he is bigger we will adjust his medicine to help ease the congestion which should help.

All in all, it looks like the study was a success for now!  And that’s all we could ask for. So thank you again for your faithful prayers!


10 thoughts on “Our first sleep study”

  1. Don’t ever feel like a wimp! This stuff is rough. Sometimes the “smaller” procedures are harder because we see everything and we are still somewhat in control and expected to keep them calm and feeling safe while we are falling apart. Mamas aren’t designed to watch their babes suffer. Poppy’s sleep study was a horrible experience and she had 117 episodes ! I’m not convinced that a sizeable portion of those was not due to the unfamiliar environment, noises, and a million interruptions. I’m so glad to hear that Jack’s went (mostly) well! Good job getting over this hurdle:)

      1. How lovely. I am in your grandfather’s writing group. The story of your little guy and your family is very moving, and your faith is obvious. Bless you all on your journey. I pray the best for you.

  2. Wow! So grateful it went as well as it could! I think any procedure can be overwhelming– love what you said about having enough grace to get through what we need to. Jack is just so precious! Excited for our boys to meet someday! 🙂

  3. Good job mama! Sleep studies are harder on the mom I think. 🙂 knowing what will give the most “normal for Jack” results is exactly what they need to see. Sound like you were well prepared and fight for him & adjusted what you needed to to do that.

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