If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know we had a really scary experience in February. Our sweet Vivienne was admitted into the hospital for five days with RSV and Coronavirus and it was truly one of the most terrifying weeks of my life. The series of events that led up to her admittance could have very well gone a different direction had it not been for one: the Owlet monitor.
While I was pregnant with Vivie, I attended a blogger event and was gifted an Owlet. I was very interested in it, as Ruby, my oldest daughter, had what’s called a “blue spell” when she was a day old in the hospital. She stopped breathing while I was nursing her, went limp, and was rushed to the NICU where she spent a week. She self startled, thankfully, and never did it again, but we were sent home from the hospital with a bulky, sensitive monitor built like a sumo belt, attached to a backpack, that we had to take everywhere. She would wriggle out of it in the middle of the night, and it would sound like a three alarm fire, scaring us (first time parents) to death, thinking our daughter had stopped breathing again. At three months we took her off of it, but I was completely traumatized and slept with one eye open for the first year of her life. Fast forward to Vivie, my third daughter, and let’s just say I’m more paranoid than most parents about my baby while she sleeps.
With that backstory in mind, let’s jump back to Vivie. Since Vivie came home from the hospital, she has worn the Owlet monitor about 4-5 nights a week, and we always kept it on her when she was sick. Jumping ahead again to Vivie three months old in February, and her two big sisters were getting over colds. Ruby (4 years) was sick for about two days. Nasty cough, but nothing serious. No high fever. Anna (almost 2 at the time) was hit harder. Her cough was terrible, double ear infections, but again no high fever, and our pediatrician wasn’t overly concerned about her ability to kick it. Vivie had a very mild cough/congestion at this point, no fever, and no other symptoms. There was no way of knowing what was ahead. This was her third time being sick—a winter baby with two older siblings.
We went home from the doctor’s office and prepared for her illness to get worse. That night was rough, but not the sickest she had ever been by a long shot. The next day she continued to show more symptoms and that night, I had a nose suction thingy (very technical term) ready to go, the humidifier fired up, and was prepared. She settled down for the night and we all went to sleep. Around 10 pm, the Owlet monitor started sounding, indicating her oxygen levels were dropping below the preset level. We quickly picked her up, startled her, and her oxygen levels went back into a normal range. “Huh,” we said. “That was strange.” She wasn’t struggling to breathe, she was congested, but again, not too severely. We wrote it off as a fluke– it had never happened before– and all went back to sleep. Around 2 am, the alarm sounded again. I grabbed her, woke her up again and the same thing happened. Her levels bumped back up to normal range. At this point I started to get worried and called the on-call pediatrician who said first thing in the morning I should go to the emergency room at Primary Children’s Hospital. She said if the alarm sounded again I shouldn’t wait and should take her right in. We made it until about 7 am and I loaded her up and headed to the hospital in the middle of a terrible snowstorm.
Once in the ER, she was awake and alert. They checked her levels and while they were a little bit low, they weren’t too concerning. They diagnosed her with RSV. The ER doctor gave us a prescription for the suction lab and sent us home.
During her nap, the alarm sounded again. I started to get worried. I called the ER, they told me to come back. So, I loaded up again and headed up there. Once there, we went through the same drill. They suctioned her out, checked her levels, and sent us home. I decided to take her up to the suction clinic after dinner to get her nice and cleared out before the night, thinking that would set us up for a less dramatic evening. I was wrong.
She went to sleep for the night and the alarm started sounding every 15-30 minutes. I would grab her, pick her up and startle her, her levels would go back up, and she would go back to sleep. The moment she started to dip into a deep slumber, her levels would drop. It was terrifying. In total I had four visits to the ER that day/night and the next morning called my pediatrician who told me to come in immediately. While the ER staff was thorough, when they were monitoring Vivie, her levels were ok. It was when she was asleep that they kept dropping. I was starting to get the “lady, you crazy” look at the ER so I called my pediatrician to ask her advice. She told me to come in immediately.
Once at my pediatrician’s office, I explained what had happened and exactly how it had played out and my doctor said something that hit me hard. She said “RSV is so scary. I just don’t trust this illness. Jen, this is how babies can die.” She called up to Primary’s and spoke with the supervising doctor in the ER and told them she was sending me back up, then she instructed me to advocate for Vivie to be admitted.
At the ER, they examined her and while she had declined a bit from the last time they saw her the night before, they didn’t know quite what to do. She certainly wasn’t the sickest baby in the emergency room. After talking it through with the nurse and resident doctor, the ER doctor turned to me and said “you’ve been here five times in 24 hours. What do you think we should do?” I said I was terrified to take her home again, only to have her Owlet monitor sound again. What if I couldn’t startle her? What if I couldn’t revive her??? They decided to admit her.
When we first checked in, the doctor in the Rapid Treatment Unit was already talking about sending us home as early as that night with oxygen. But bless our dear nurse’s heart, she knew the worst was yet to come and said no way should Vivie be going home that early. I could kiss her for standing her ground! And sure enough, that night Vivie started to decline and went downhill fast. They kept increasing her oxygen and her levels kept dropping. The next day they made the call to switch Vivie to high flow oxygen and move her to the Infant Care Unit. The next step up would have been ICU.
After testing her, they determined she had two viruses: RSV and Coronavirus. The combination made it very difficult to predict when her illness had peaked. They think she contracted RSV first and was starting to improve a bit when the Coronavirus really started to hit her. I shudder to think what would have happened if we hadn’t been in the hospital, under constant supervision and care of world class doctors and nurses. I can’t thank every single nurse, tech, doctor, really everyone at Primary Children’s Hospital enough for caring for our sweet girl (and us) during that hellish week. We are so very lucky to have such an outstanding hospital in our backyard.
When Vivie had finally turned the corner (after five days at PCMC), we were sent home on oxygen for the next week and a half.
I’ve replayed the what ifs and the tender mercies a million times and they all started with the Owlet. Had it not notified us to Vivie’s dropping oxygen levels, this story could have a very different ending. I’m so, so very grateful for it. It gave us the right information, at the right time, so we could have the right conversations. And I truly believe every new mother should have one!
Since I was gifted the first Owlet while I was still pregnant, they’ve come out with a new and better-than-ever version. Among the new features is a new fabric sock design, which is AWESOME. It’s called the Owlet Smart Sock 2. Also, there is increased bluetooth range (you can also check the levels anytime on the app on your phone. It gives me such peace of mind!). You have to check out the new product, so to get the full scoop go here.
And here we go, folks. Owlet is giving away a new Owlet Smart Sock 2 to one lucky withHEART reader! Here’s how you enter:
follow @jenniferstagg on instagram
leave a comment here telling me why you want one!
*As a reminder, the Owlet Smart Sock is not a medical device and isn’t intended to be used to diagnose or treat. It’s meant to give peace of mind—and that’s exactly what it did for us.
*this post and giveaway are sponsored by Owlet, though my experience using their product was not, and I received the product without obligation.
I’ve read so many great things about Owlet. My husband and I are expecting our first this October and Owlet is #1 on my list of must haves! I’m so glad it helped you with your little one. Crossing my fingers that I win!
This product sounds amazing! I really want one because my son has been to primary children’s 3 times in his 2 1/2 year life. His longest stint being 5 nights. RSV is so scary and I know how you feel. I’m very lucky he is alive and this would give me lots of peace of mind
My sister is having a baby this fall and scares me with rsv going around! I had triplets that were premature so when they came home on monitors and Oxegyen I felt relieved that when their Oxegyen levels dropped. I would love for her to have that security
We’re due in August and I’ve been reserving the Owlet and similar products. Definitely want one for peace of mind!
I’ve always been a worrier about my babies as they have been sleeping but I hadn’t heard about the owlet until recently and I would love to have it for baby#4 coming at the end of the summer! All my kids have had respiratory issues including asthma that having this as a peace of mind would be amazing!
I would love an owlet for my 3 week old baby boy. Fingers crossed that he doesn’t get sick any time soon, but it would be so nice to have the peace of mind that the owlet would give us if he does.
I want one!!! I have a two week old and it scares me thinking of what could happen while we’re sleeping. Please please pick me!!
Oh my gosh, how scary! Our oldest was admitted to the local children’s hospital at 12 weeks with RSV and it was terrifying. I’m pregnant with our second and love the idea of the owlet! Thanks for sharing your story and the power of advocating on behalf of our children, and thanks for offering the giveaway.
So wonderful hear about this device and so thankful that your little one is well and safe. Followed on Instagram. I want the Owelet for my nephew who is coming in June..it will give his parents such peace of mind!
Thanks for such a great giveaway.
I am due with my second baby in August. With my first baby I woke up several times to him choking on his spit up and not breathing! For almost six months I “slept” sitting up with him on my chest to make sure he was always breathing. I would LOVE an owlet to gain peace of mind and hopefully a little bit of sleep! (I follow you on Instagram!)
I’m going to be a first time grandma and would love for the new baby to have one for the parents peace of mind.
I’m due with my first baby in July and am an inherent worrier. I woul love to have an owlet to provide peace of mind.
My sister is due in May with her first child. I would love for her to have this!
I am so thankful to follow you and have found this device. Having lost a pregnancy I cannot imagine anything happen to my baby.
I wish the Owlet had been around when my girls were babies. I would love to win this for my dearest friend who is pregnant and due in October. Due to medical issues of my friend, her pregnancy is going to be tough, really tough, and almost certainly her baby will come early. I know the Owlet Smart Sock would bring my friend and her amazing husband so much peace of mind! Thank you for the chance to win. ❤️
I just had my third baby 3 weeks ago and would love to have an owlet! His room will be on a different floor then ours and that would bring much more peace of mind!
I’m a first time mom and I took my daughter to the hospital when she was a newborn because it seemed she was having trouble breathing. The doctors assured me everything was fine but I am constantly sleeping with one eye open as I am very paranoid and worried. An Owlet would be amazing and offer such peace of mind for this tired mama.
Oh my goodness, that is so scary! My 3 month old daughter also just had RSV and Pneumonia. She spent 17 days at Primary Children’s. 8 of those she was intubated and on a ventilator and 11 total in the PICU before graduating to another floor. It was the most stress I’ve ever experienced! She’s been home a month and is just recovering from another respiratory virus (winter baby, 2 older sibling like you said). I’ve wanted one so bad, but with the medical bills we have incurred it’s just not possible right now. I hope I win! (PS- I danced with Jon at UVSC way-way-way back in the day, I’m so happy to peek in at your cute family!)
Oh my goodness – such a terrifying experience. Glad that Vivie is ok! I’m so glad that you got the help you needed – it can be hard to know when to push and when not to. I’ve heard about the Owlet before – so glad that you had one!!
I’m currently pregnant with my first child and due July 1st. It took us over a year to get to this point. In the beginning of my pregnancy, I had a lot of anxiety, as I’m sure most women do, because you don’t know what’s going on inside you. It’s too early. I always thought the worst the minute anything felt different.
I would LOVE to get an owlet because given the above, I can only imagine how I will be when he’s actually here and I feel the owlet would give me a little peace of mind.
Thank heaven for good medical care! There is nothing more scary or heart breaking than to have your child so sick. Our 4th was just born and I’ve been looking into getting an Owlet to help monitor his health. How nice to have something that brings such peace of mind.
I would love the Smart Sock 2 for our 4 month old baby!
My baby cousin passed away from SIDS when I was 10, and I’ve been very aware of SIDS. It would be wonderful to have this peace of mind as we expect our first baby in June.
I can’t imagine how scary that must have been! I was so paranoid with my first two and hardly slept as well. I only wish I had one of these! It would be amazing to have one when we have another baby!
I have wanted one of these for sometime now! To keep my babies safe and keep me sleeping…as well as a new mom can
Oh my goodness. Seeing your little Liv in the hospital crib is such a mix of emotions – so sad seeing her there, but also relief that she was getting the help she needed. I’m happy for all of you she’s on the mend.
I would love an Owlet for my baby. I’m 4 months pregnant and the peace of mind this must bring parents seems like it’s a priceless investment. What a wonderful gift you’re giving away!
And by “Liv” I meant “Viv. Duh.
My new babe (November 10) was diagnosed with RSV about the same time as poor Vivie. She also has two older siblings. Thankfully the suction clinic worked for us (twice a day), although I had 5 sleepless nights. I didn’t dare not watch her breathe! I have wished for an owlet many times. Our new baby was the bright spot of what has really been the most difficult 5 months of my life. Thankfully things are looking up!
I’m due in August and would LOVE the peace of mind that comes with an Owlet. I’ll be in your same boat–two older kids (who will be bringing home germs from everywhere!), and I’m really nervous about how to keep this new little babe healthy come next fall/winter. Thanks for sharing your story.
We’ve been talking about the owlet as we start to transition our baby from our bedroom into his own. Your story is so powerful, it definitely makes a very strong case for th owlet. So sorry you went through that!
As a new mom to our rainbow baby after losing identical twins in 2015 at 22 weeks, to say I’m overly paranoid is an understatement. I remember the first week we brought her home I couldn’t sleep more than 15 mins at a time because I was constantly worried she wasn’t breathing. It was torture! Our baby girl is now 2 months old and although we’re sleeping a bit longer – it’s not much :). Having an owlet monitor would definitely help give me peace of mind that our little one is safe and sound. Then maybe we could all get a little shut eye!
I am pregnant with my first and due on July 4! I miscarried twins last fall so this pregnancy has definitely had its share of anxiety and worry. Anything I can do to help with my peace of mind once he makes his entrance would be so so appreciated!
I would love one for our third due this fall. It would bring such peace of mind. I was the mom constantly going to check on our first two just to be sure they were breathing.
So glad to see your sweet baby ended up okay. Being your own (or your kiddo’s) healthcare advocate is SO important – props to you for having the strength to do so!!
I’ve been thinking about buying an Owlet for my next baby, simply so I don’t have to have a mini-panic attack every time I go to sleep. Something about becoming a Mommy made my mind come up with the worst possible outcomes constantly. Hopefully something like this could ease that fear a little. Winning the device would just be an added bonus. ☺️
I would love an owlet monitor for my 5 week old daughter. I know it would help me sleep better at night and not worry so much about her breathing. We haven’t let anyone other than our mothers hold her because we are so worried about her getting sick while she is still so little.
I have been reading stories about the Owlet for a while now and once I found out I was pregnant one of the first things I tought about was getting one when our baby is here. Would love the piece of mind as a first time mom!
I am due in October and would love to have an Owelet to ease the anxieties I already have and hopefully help us get a little sleep too!
With a new baby in our home, I see that having an Owlet monitor would not only give me peace of mind, but could be used to save the life of a sweet child. What a wonderful addition this would be for our family! So happy your beautiful girl is okay, and how neat that the Owlet was what alerted you to know there was a problem.
You won! You won! Email me at email@example.com to claim your prize! Congrats!
I followed you on Instagram during your hospital stay, which made me hold my baby just a bit tighter. I’ve never had a winter baby before, and it is so scary with all the sicknesses the older siblings bring home. I would love the Owlet to give me peace of mind…I still worry constantly about SIDS. Thanks for sharing your story!
Our first baby would spit up a lot in his sleep which would often cause him to choke and have trouble breathing. My poor wife would stay up most of the night worried and hold him in her arms to make sure he was okay. Our second baby is now due in a few months and I would love for her to not have to worry that way again with this baby.
I’m due with my first baby this coming Saturday (so any day now!!!!) and would love the peace of mind that Owlet can offer. A coworker of mine recently lost a child to SIDS while I was still early in my pregnancy so it’s something I think about a lot. My husband and I both work in education, so receiving this as a giveaway would be a huge blessing! So glad little Vivie is doing ok – I was anxiously following along on Instagram at the time and was very relieved when you finally got to take her home!
Oh I’m so glad your Vivie is doing well!! That is so scary! I would love an owlet! I am due in Sept with my 5th but, with the 5 year age gap, there was nothing this incredible last time I had a baby! I always have the hardest time sleeping when my babies are young because I’m a worrier. This would be life changing… we all know how much good sleep makes a happier mom. Which I’m sure my older kids would appreciate.
What happened to your little girl is every parent’s nightmare. Thank goodness you had a good outcome! I am due with my third baby in 6 weeks and am already preparing myself for many sleepless nights as I watch and pray that he/she doesn’t have any events like this. Parenting is scary business and having an owlet monitor would give me some serious peace of mind!
Expecting my third child in June and knowing two mommys who have lost their babies in their sleep, this is a must have for my peace of mind!
I’ve read so much about the owlet and feel like it is so valuable. I’d love to have this tool on my side.
Our baby is due in a week. This would help make me a little less worried about our baby. I am a big worrier.
Thank you for the chance.
I am a new mom to one little handsome boy. My husband and I worked hard to bring him here with the help of IVF. I would love the chance to win the owlet sock 2 for the peace of mind. I already suffer from an anxiety disorder so there have been many sleepless night.
Hi! My husband and I are 3 weeks away from welcoming our first baby boy! Thanks of the chance to win an Owlet, I have heard great things about it and am so thankful it was so helpful to you.
Baby #3 due next month. Would love to win for piece of mind!
My sweet baby girl was born 4/20 at 33 weeks 1day. She is 4lbs 6ozs and absolutely beautiful. I’m in need of the owlet for when we take her home, but it is financial your of reach for us due to the unexpected situation.
My sister is pregnant for the first time after having multiple surgeries to address a large cyst on her ovary and extreme endometriosis. She ended up having to have the ovary removed. This baby is a miracle. She is due in August and I would love for her to have one of these for her little girl, my first niece.
My husband and I just welcomed our 8th child, born a little bit early at 34 weeks, on April 15th. Our oldest is 8 😉 (yes we are Catholic, yes we know what causes it, yes it’s exactly what we wanted.. we are so lucky and so blessed! Our house is crazy but oh so much fun!! )
5 years ago we experienced our first battle with RSV in our 4 week old daughter who is now 5. She suddenly stopped breathing at home multiple times and went limp in my arms. We rushed her to the local hospital where she was lifelined to Riley Children’s hospital in downtown Indianapolis. She was in the Pediatric ICU for almost a month, on a ventilator for a week because her lung ended up collapsing as well. At the time it was the scariest moment of both my husband and I’s lives… that was until Spring of 2016. Fast forward to baby #7, a boy- born at 35 weeks, on Christmas Day 2015. He spent 32 days in NICU for feeding and growing before he was discharged. A few weeks later all of his siblings started getting coughs and colds and there we were in the same boat as 2012- praying this little guy wouldn’t catch any of their germs. We weren’t so lucky. He started going downhill at home and quickly. Upon arriving in the ER he had two episodes where he completely crashed, leaving the nurse to pull the code blue alarm and everyone came rushing. We spent another 2 weeks in the hospital for him. We begged to be sent home on monitors in case this happened again and the original team didn’t think it was necessary. One doctor finally agreed and I am so thankful
she did because within another week or two we were back in the hospital. Both of his monitors alarmed several times both in the car and at home over the course of a half hour. His heart rate was dropping, so low that stimulation by myself wasn’t getting us very far. I remember them telling us in CPR class that if his HR was at 60 then we should be starting compressions. He was at 70 and I was sternal rubbing his chest trying to get him to do anything. I’m a nurse by degree, but doing these things on your own child makes it that much worse and so terrifying. That time went by ambulance and quickly. He ended up having rhino/enterovirus that time. So so scary.
With our newest arrival I was so thankful he was due to arrive after RSV season. He was born two weeks ago today and go figure 3 of his siblings are sick. I wish I could invent a baby bubble. Regardless of whether he is my 8th or 1st, I get that paranoid feeling every time after experiencing the ugly effects of RSV with two of our other little blessings.
I would love to have the piece of mind that Owlet gives to parents, especially in situations like we are currently in.
I have a one year old and just found out I am pregnant with number 2… nervous about my older one bringing home germs from daycare and getting the next baby sick before its ready!
I am expecting my fifth baby this winter. All my previous kids have been medically fragile. My second born was having seizures but no one believed me at first until one was caught at the ER. Her oxygen was so low when it happened. If only I had an owlet when she seized, I would have had some proof that her O2 was low as well. She ended up brain damaged and passed away. I hope to win an owlet
Because it can be life-saving and every child and parent should own one! I’ve had scary moments with my son that I would not want to relive again!!! Thankfully this device exists !!
I’m currently 38 weeks pregnant with our 3rd living baby. This is my longest pregnancy so far & we are so thankful to have made it this far! Baby #2 was born at 35 weeks & had Bradycardia episodes for the first 2 weeks of life. Her heart rate & oxygen levels would drop & she would need stimulation to pull her levels back up. After 10 days in the NICU we were sent home on one of the bulky monitors you described. It was terrifying. Then, fast forward to last April when I delivered our twins daughters, Everleigh & Annabelle, at 18 weeks following a cord incident. An Owlet has been on my radar for months, but I haven’t taken the plunge & bought one yet. I would love to have one to alleviate some of the anxiety that comes from having had a baby on a monitor before & then a second trimester loss.
I am currently pregnant with my third baby! I have a 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son who are both in preschool and daycare and constantly getting sick. This worries me with a third being born this winter season. I would love one for peace of mind!
I had a very similar brush with RSV. However our 4 week old ended up in the hospital on a vent for a month. I didn’t have the owlet prior to his illness but had it waiting at home for us when we discharged. That system alerted us to his levels dropping again a month later and ended us up back in the hospital again with broncholitis. We don’t go a night without it. For our peace of mind and the fact that babies can change so quickly. This system is in my book as a highly recommended need for any parent with a new baby wether it’s your first one or not. My little is my 4th baby! We are now a happy 7 month old with some continued complications related to RSV among some other respiratory problems…. but doing well and monitored every night!
So glad you guys are doing well! So terrifying! Sending love your way!
First, thank you for sharing your story with us. I love the name vivie and she is beautiful! Our daughter, Willow Grace was born at 36 weeks and had some breathing issues from the beginning. She will be three weeks old tomorrow and has been in the NICU since birth. We were scheduled to come home this past Monday but she contracted a systemic UTI that severely affected her breathing. She went from no d-sats in her oxygen levels to many each day. We would love to have the owlet monitor for when we go home for peace of mind. Being in the NICU she is continuously hooked up to a monitor that alerts us when her levels drop. Once we go home she won’t have that and the owlet will help ease our worries of her stopping breathing and allow us to get some sleep. It will also help alert us if she gets sick again. Thank you for reading our story of our precious baby girl and considering us for the prize. God Bless!
Thank you so much! So sorry you guys have been through the ringer! This giveaway is already closed, but I hope you buy one anyway– we are so grateful for ours! I wish you the very best!
We had our first baby girl on Mother’s Day, almost 6 weeks early. She is currently in the NICU due to her age and need to learn to eat.
I can’t imagine going through all of this and then getting her home only to head back to the NICU.
I would love to get an owlet monitor for her safety and my peace of mind. Even when the monitors go off in the NICU, I’m a nervous wreck.
Hi I’m glad that work out for you and because of that I love it I’m pregnant with my second child and I have my concerns my 1rst is 6 years and he was sick most of the time and like you said I was worried that he will stop breathing. They god never happened but I will like to have a peace of mind for my second I really want one if I don’t get it I will buy it anyway at the end of my pregnancy because is a really good product that will help us parents to be less stress about our baby thank you.
Thanks for sharing your story! I went through a RSV/bronchiolitis hospitlization with my first baby when he was only 4 months old, and that was after we thought he was on the mend! After a bad coughing spell he nearly passed out and had to be taken by the ambulance to the ER, and then transferred and admitted to Children’s National. It was quite a scary experience. I would be thankful to have the owlet for when baby #2 comes later this year. It would be amazing to be able to know when my baby’s oxygen levels dip too low, particularly during times of illness!
My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for years and years. I’m FINALLY pregnant after 8.5 years, and it’s with TWINS. I have been eyeing these monitors since I first saw them advertised, long before I was even pregnant. 6 months ago, I lost my most beloved dog at only 6 years old. I’d do just about anything to ensure the safety of these soon-to-be cuties! Having a recent loss makes me even more nervous to have everything possible in place to keep these babes happy and healthy!!
I read about the Owlet on Knox blocks. I wanted to purchase one but we simply just can’t afford it. This is our 4th baby and haven’t had any incidents previously. It is scary to go into the winter months with 3 kiddos in school to bring home germs and her catching them. She already had her first cold and I was super nervous every night. I would love to win one! When we were done with it I would donate it to another family who can’t afford one.
I have this story pinned from months ago when my son had rsv and the owlet alarmed us…I can’t help to wonder now about the coronavirus diagnosis almost 3 years ago…? So it was around before now?
Hi there, I can see how this would be confusing. Coronavirius is a classification of viruses. There are a lot of them. Vivie had one, but Covid-19 is a new, or novel Coronavirus. I hope that’s helpful!