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This article was written on 15 Oct 2014, and is filled under Advice, Everyday Parent, Medical.

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Sleep Apnoea & General Anaesthetic

Our 3 year old is soon to go under a General Anaesthetic to have this tonsils and adenoids removed. Baby B has suffered from Sleep Apnoea since he was 6 months old.

It felt like one day he stopped breathing through his nose. He used to use a dummy, until one day he got a bad cold and unable to suck his dummy and breath at the same time, he spat it out and never took it back. That cold lasted about 6 months.

Watching him struggle to breathe when he’s sleeping or drinking his milk is really sad. He gulps his milk down, then pulls his bottle away to take a breath. At night, he can stop breathing for what feels like an eternity. In reality it’s 10-12 seconds but God, does it make you short of breath watching him. I filmed this short clip to show what it’s like. It isn’t pleasant to watch but it may help other parents understand Sleep Apnoea in the future.

Now 3 years old, he acknowledges that he can’t breathe through his nose, often sniffing and saying ‘Mumma, I can’t breathe’.

Hearing him say that, reassures me that we are doing the right thing putting him through this operation. But without sounding dramatic, it doesn’t make it much easier.

I feel rather sick thinking about it. The general anaesthetic, the operation, him waking up from the anaesthetic and of course, the recovery. I know they are tough little things but the thought of your child in any sort of pain, as a parent, is a hard pill to swallow.

Due to the Apnoea we will have to stay in the children’s ward. We have been and looked round, met wonderful Alan who looks after the toy room and explained to B that this is where we will sleep when he has his operation. He was of course more concerned about the plastic farm toys than he was the reason we were visiting.

As parents we have to be tough, and what I love is the inner strength that we always seem to find in situations, when all we want to do is cry. Just walking into the children’s ward made me tearful. The little people in their beds with the amazing parents keeping a watchful eye by their bedside. Just seeing the sign to the Children’s Cancer Ward was too much for me to bear. God, children are amazing aren’t they?

So come Friday, I will put on my brave face, support my little man with steely resolve and weep into my coffee only when he isn’t looking.

I know it’s a routine operation, and I know that there are many families who experience far worse things everyday, but for me this is my first big medical feat with my baby, and I am finding it hard.

So please wish us luck, keep fingers crossed for a speedy recovery. Oh, and send ice-cream!

Me and B


  1. lifeasourlittlefamily
    October 16, 2014

    Beautiful picture of you and your gorgeous boy. Wow the video was quite scary. I don’t know how you’ve slept! We will be thinking of you tomorrow x

  2. Spidermummy
    October 16, 2014

    Good luck to both of you, I’m sure it’ll be harder for you than him, children are amazing aren’t they xx

    • WordPress.com Support
      October 16, 2014

      Thanks so much. They really are tough little things. I’ve decided it is going to be much harder for me! xx

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