Tuesday, December 22, 2009
William Henry Moss
Here's my little guy, William Henry Moss. We'll call him "Henry." He's a cuttie pie. Unfortunately, he's developed some Jaundice (extremely common) and needs to spend another night at the Hospital. Betsy is ready to come home, but will stay with him, naturally. Jaundice, incidentally, is when the level of a bi-product of the normal breakdown of red blood cells called Bilirubin gets too high in the blood. Normally bilirubin is filtered out by the liver and exits the body through the intestinal tract. But newborns have both high turnover of red blood cells and newly-developing livers, so often the Bilirubin levels get too high. Most of the time this will resolve itself naturally once the mother's milk comes in (exposure to sunlight also helps), but some Pediatricians (such as the one assigned to us by the hospital) are more aggressive about treating this than others. If we hadn't been in the hospital in the first place it probably wouldn't be an issue. But once we were transfered to hospital care from the midwife, we kind of lost control of that. We had never even met the MD who ordered the treatment until the nurse twice requested the pediatrician visit us. Interesting how our nurse let us know that our case was borderline and that it would be reasonable for us to go home and yet never actually directly questioned the doctor's judgment. Hmm. But when your nurse tells you to get a second opinion you know something is up. Anyway, the momentum was against us and the pediatrician was quite dismissive and rude and we're exhausted, so.... Henry is going get treated for Jaundice. (Oh, and did I mention that the pediatrician in question never even examined Henry? All she cared about was one number on the chart (Bilirubin level).)
Fortunately, the treatment is non-invasive. They put him in an incubator to keep him both naked and warm, and shine some special lights on him overnight. He can still feed as normal--but I anticipate a difficult night for our little guy.
Otherwise... things are definitely swinging back toward equilibrium. Family is coming into town today and that will be helpful. I'm home for a few hours just to get some stuff for Betsy and take a shower. Might catch a nap, too.