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…
Consequently, 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! After reviewing the orders they decided that they were trying to do the wrong test.
We met with the nurse and she did a weight check first. It had dropped a little, but not enough to be concerned. Next came the bilirubin levels. They scanned his forehead and checked the number… She looked perplexed; she checked it again. TJ was jaundice according to the reader. She went to touch basis with the doctor to see what to do next.
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!
He passed his sugar levels test! The bad news was he barely failed his jaundice test.
Failing the Jaundice Test
The doctor came and talked to me and said that he wanted to see us back tomorrow (Monday) for another test. Formula was highly suggested by the doctor 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 jaundiced 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. The doctor ruled out home therapy stating it was not an option.
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.
TJ was on phototherapy all day. As a result of jaundice, I only got to hold him to feed him! 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 got to go home with no issues!
Since then, I am happy to report TJ 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!