Monday, May 11, 2009

Bilirubin, How I Hate Thee

So when we came home from the hospital on Wednesday, the on-call pediatrician told us she was concerned with Kam's bilirubin levels. He was a little jaundiced. At that time, they were 10. She wanted us to come in the following day to their office and get it checked again. So at 8 a.m. Thursday morning we went back to the doctor's office. This time, his levels were 16.5, so they had us rent a Bili Blanket, this light paddle we strap onto his back, to bring his levels down. They also told me to supplement formula with my breastfeeding, which I did not do because I did not see a need for it. He'd also lost 5 more ounces, so he was down 11 ounces from his birth weight, but my milk hadn't come in yet. The next day we had to get back out and have his levels tested, but this time we had to go to the hospital to the walk-in lab. Be assured that jaundice isn't the worst thing they test for, so we were obviously a little ticked that they made us get back out into a place where sick people come to get tested with a 4 day old baby. His levels were up to 18.5, but the doctor said that he expected that because the Bili blanket would cause his levels to peak. So they told us we had to do it again the next day, but we had to go to another hospital because the lab would be closed. We did, and they made us wait in the EMERGENCY ROOM for over an hour with a 5 day old baby. We were absolutely livid at this point. Especially when we found out that our county now has its first confirmed case of swine flu. We told the doctor about it when he called back that afternoon, and he said his levels were down to 16.7 but we needed to come back to the same place on Sunday to get them tested again. This time we were able to go straight to get the bloodwork done, but his levels had gone up a point to 17.7. Happy Mother's Day. Needless to say, I was pretty emotional for the entirety of our Mother's Day, which was actually fabulous. We got to spend it with Kaleb's family and mine, and it was an amazing feeling to know that I am actually a real mama now!! It was just very hard to hear that his levels were back up, and we hate how they are treating it. Everything we've read says that they usually don't start treatment this aggressively unless the levels are above 20. I understand they're trying to make sure they don't get that high, but they have now stuck my baby boy's foot every single day since he's been born and we are just tired of it!! Not to mention the fact that we learned that births involving pitocin have a greater chance of resulting in high bilirubin levels in babies, and the fact that most breastfed babies have jaundice and it just runs its course. We had to go back in and get it done at the same hospital again today and then went to our doctor's office. We don't know the results of the bilirubin test, but they weighed him and he is back up to his birth weight, so we are hopeful that that will at least stop the doctor from telling me to supplement with formula, which I refuse to do. We have many people praying that his levels are down, and he is peeing and pooping a lot more now, which is how his little body gets rid of this bilirubin, so we are trusting that God is working on our little man! Please help us pray that this goes away quickly. We are also going to try and bring the bili blanket back today as it costs $55 every day we use it and we've already had it 4 days and it's obviously not working that well! We have him swinging in the sunlight right now, and we're going to take him outside for a little while today and try to let him get some sun that way, too. I never knew jaundice was this big of a deal!

Anyway, that's what we've been dealing with. My parents and sister were here on and off last week, and it was sooooo nice to have all the extra help! Now it's just me and Kaleb and Kam and we are trying to get ourselves on a schedule of some sort. I know my mom expects new pictures of Kam every day, so I will update this afternoon with those! In the meantime, help us pray for his bilirubin levels!!

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