On Sunday, we had to go back to the hospital for his weight and jaundice level check, which is usually done at your Peds office, but with it being 4th of July on Tuesday everyone seemed to be closed so we had to go back and visit our hospital friends. We checked in and immediately they started to try and draw more blood from his foot…
Now after about 40 pokes in the last couple days I was a little sensitive to them taking more blood from him, especially since the order said that they would test his bilirubin levels with the head scanner! If something doesn’t seem right, always ask! Which I did! And after they reviewed the orders they determined we were not supposed to test his levels through blood because he had never failed the test.
We met with the nurse and she did a weight check first. His weight had dropped a little, but not enough to be concerned. Then she checked his bilirubin levels. She pressed the scanner on his forehead and checked the number… She looked perplexed; she checked it again. #5 was now jaundice according to the reader. She said she had to go talk to the doctor that was there.
She came back and said that doc ordered a blood test for the bilirubin levels to get an accurate number and she then informed me that the doctor wanted a sugar reading as well. What?! I thought we had moved on from that!
The good news was he barely passed his sugar levels test; the bad news was he barely failed his jaundice test.
The doctor came and talked to me and said that he wanted to see us back tomorrow (Monday) for another test. He also highly suggested formula to be administered through our SNS treatments, rather than expressed breast milk.
We went home and I fed him religiously every two hours to get rid of the jaundice. After feeding him I would pump for 15 minutes. I felt like all I did that day was nurse and pump. Try doing that all day with a two year old, not fun!
The next day his levels had spiked higher, way higher and the doctor told me if they did not go down tomorrow we would be readmitted to the hospital. He again told me that I should use formula… Mother’s intuition told me that formula was what got us into this mess to begin with when we started SNS treatments because of his sugars, I mean we weren’t jaundice before that and he was so backed up from all the formula he had received in early stages of treatment. I told him I wasn’t giving him formula. I had plenty of milk for feeding and SNS. I inquired about home therapy and he told me that it was essentially impossible to do light therapy at home.
I went home and I fed him religiously every 2 hours no matter what; we were going to beat this jaundice. Exhausted from hardly any sleep we returned to the hospital on the morning of July 4th for our jaundice test. Totally optimistic that he was better I only took my diaper bag. We went in and got tested, 17.9 the highest they had been.
The doctor informed me that we would be readmitted for light therapy for at least 24 hours. Again, feeling like an absolute failure of a mom, I walked with my baby in my arms down the hallway of the hospital with tears soaking my face knowing for at least the next 24 hours I would only get to hold him when he wanted to eat.
#5 was on phototherapy all day. I got to holdhim to feed him, but that was it! That night they tested his levels and they had dropped to 9.3! We were seeing all kinds of green gritty poo, which meant his system was cleaning out the jaundice. The next morning we stopped treatment and they tested him; he was now in the clear! We would retest him in 6 hours and if his levels were still low, then we would get to go home! 6 hours later we were headed home, again with no issues!
Since then, I am happy to report #5 is growing nicely and eating like a champion, weighing a healthy 12 pounds at 6 weeks! He is adored by everyone and is quite spoiled being held by everyone!
Feature Image Photo Credit: Michelle Thurgood Photography