Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jaundice and Such

So, having a sick baby is a stressful thing- let me tell you.

On Monday, we took Baby (I mean, Eliza) to the pediatrician. She weighed 5 pounds, 11 ounces and had grown a full inch. Her weight was a little low, but Dr. Bartholomew (a very lovely man indeed) assured us that she would probably start gaining some serious ounces over the next week or so. While her weight and length were near the 50th percentile, her head was only in the tenth! Nathan and I found this funny considering the fact that he has a rather large noggin :) However, I am certainly grateful for her tiny little head. I mean, what an easy delivery I had! No wonder it only took three pushes!

The last thing Dr. Bartholomew told us what that she looked slightly yellow. Over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed her little yellow notice and wondered some. I was put to ease by her jaundice tests in the hospital that reported she had safe levels of bilirubin (bile count) in her system. Instead of being yellow really, Eliza has been red. SO SO red since birth.After researching a bit what causes jaundice, I am not surprised our little peanut has it. Jaundice is caused by the body breaking down red blood cells (which she obviously had an overabundance of) which turn into bilirubin in the spleen. Because Eliza is so little, her spleen has not developed enough to process all the bilirubin her body is producing.

The doctor suggested we take her to the hospital and have her bilirubin tested, although he predicted the levels wouldn't be too high. A couple of hours later, the doctor called back letting us know her bilirubin was at a critical level. We took her immediately to the hospital, where they put her on UV lights to break down the bile in her body. We stayed overnight and her bilirubin count had gone down enough to where we could take her home with a bilibed (a UV light therapy bed). We had her tested again on Wednesday. This time, the doctor said her levels were significantly lower, meaning we could take her off the bilibed lights.
I thought Eliza was getting over the jaundice until Thursday night. It was awful. She was inconsolable and sweating and just miserable. We were up ALL night. Becca and I took her to be retested yesterday and the doctor let me know her levels were high again. Back to the bilibed. My baby is still sick. She has slept all of today and hopefully, she will be able to sleep tonight. Poor Baby.

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