A Tale of 4 Micks

A Tale of 4 Micks

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Room 586

When we were discharged from the hospital, we were told to return two days later so Brynlee could get her bilirubin level checked again (nothing surprising, we had to do it with Fletcher too). We arrived and were taken to the room where the nurse lady Val, checked B's weight and bilirubin level. She didn't really say anything to us after she did it, just looked at charts and hmmm'd...which didn't seem very positive. Val finally questioned whether she was born quickly, and we responded with a yes. She then went on to say that Brynlee's level was reading high, 16.7, and the quick delivery and bruising could be a reason for a high number. She was going to call the pediatrician to see what she wanted to do...usually a blood draw is the next step to get a more accurate read. So, off the phone Val got and then she told us that Dr. Halbur wanted us to go down to get blood work done and then to head over to her office because she would give us the results and she wanted to see Brynlee. Before we left, Val informed us that there were likely one of two things that would happen, 1. we would be sent home with a bili-blanket or 2. we would be admitted to the hospital...neither of which I was happy to hear and both put me into a crazy frame of mind.

After we left Val, we headed back down to the first floor and went into the lab office. We checked in and were greeted by some very nice ladies. We were called back and phlebotomist Haylee, told us what she was going to do, reassured us that B didn't look very yellow, joined in a little small talk, did the draw, wished us luck that all was okay and then sent us on our way to see the pediatrician. I was becoming a bit more hysterical, as time was getting closer to an answer from the pediatrician. We got to the office, checked in and went to sit in the well-baby waiting area. Thank goodness there were no other people around, because I wasn't handling the situation very well.  Adam did bring up, what if we are admitted and I just shut him up with "I don't want to talk about it." Dr. Halbur herself, called us back. She had a look on her face that I've never seen before. We got in the room, the door not even shut yet, and she told us that Brynlee's bilirubin level was actually 20.2 and that we would be admitted to the hospital on the pediatric floor. There was no hiding the tears. She told us that it was the best place for her and that she would be in an incubator with special blue lights that helps the body with the break-up of the red blood cells. She also told us that most babies go home after a day, and rarely are needed to stay for two.

I tried to pick myself off the floor and regain my composure, but I was going to the hospital...with my four day old baby. Mind you that it was lunch time and the hallways from the clinic to the hospital were hoppin'. There were tons of people and I could feel everyone looking at me, with my red face and bloodshot eyes. The nurse that walked us to the 5th floor was kind of a moron. I didn't really care for her and the fact that she was trying to talk to us about random crap and not realizing that we had thoughts going through our heads about our baby being admitted. Anyway, we got to the floor and nurse Kari took us to the playroom while they got room 586 ready for Brynlee. She came down and got us when things were ready and then explained what she was doing, what the wires were for and explained how the lights worked. She told us that the longer B was under the lights, the quicker her level would go down. That she could get out to nurse or if she was really angry and needed to be soothed-hard words to hear about your baby that you just want to hold and cuddle.

{hanging out in her bed}
So, at about 2pm, we were as comfortable as you can be in a hospital room. At 4:30pm they came to draw blood again. "Snooki" (the girl had the poof and the night nurse and I referred to her as this) came in and pricked a heel. It was terrible hearing my baby scream and I couldn't even comfort her...anyway, the blood clotted so another girl came up a bit later and had to prick the other heel. Dr. Halbur came in shorly after 5:30pm and told us that it had dropped a little, 19.6. My parents came to visit and to return my son. I missed him A LOT, more than I thought I would.  We went to the cafeteria and had supper and then they left and Adam and Fletcher went home for the evening. The following morning, labs came in again and did a draw at 6:30, this time it was at 16.1 (usually go home with levels between 12-14). Adam and Fletcher came and we had breakfast together. We tried to contain a little boy, but being stuck in a hospital room with cords and buttons and machines is not a good combination. They left around noon to head home for naps and then would be back around 3:00pm when they would do another blood draw and hopefully let us go home. The results were still higher than they should be, 15.4, but the pediatrician was going to let us go home with a bili-blanket...a similar thing to the lights, but it just goes around her belly. At 5:30pm, we were saying GOODBYE to room 586!!!
 {brother loved reaching in and touching her}

{daddy getting ready to change a diaper}
The bili-blanket was a pain in the ass to deal with. There was a long hose that connected the blanket to the box that ran the unit. Moving her from pack n' play to nurse to change a diaper, back to her bassinet in the pack n' play was difficult to get used to. She slept in the pack n' play in the living room and I slept by her in the rocking chair...she actually slept on my chest for a few hours at night...I felt like I needed to make up for lost cuddles. Thursday morning we needed to head back to the hospital for another blood draw to see if we had to continue the bili-blanket therapy or if we could return it. We did the draw, ran some errands in Ames and waited for the phone call  from the pediatrician's office. The nurse called and said that the level had gone up a bit to16.4 (we were told  that it would most likely go up) and that we needed to continue with the bili-blanket and that Dr. Halbur wanted another blood draw done on Friday morning and then she wanted to see us.
{brynlee and the bili-blanket}

Friday morning, we made the trek back to the hospital for Brynlee's seventh heel prick. I was getting used to the process. At this point, I had my favorite heel prickers and there were a few I didn't care for. After the prick, we walked to the pediatricians office where baby girl was weighed (7lbs3oz). Dr. Halbur came in, checked her over and told us that her bilirubin level had dropped to 14.7 and that we could return the bili-blanket, but she still wanted us to come back on Monday for another blood draw to make sure that it continued to drop. At this point, bilirubin and jaundice were two words I had become very familiar with and didn't really care to hear. They had taken over my life and invaded my time with my new baby. I just wanted to look at her and not worry about anything, like if she looked more yellow today, or if she wasn't eating  well, or if she seemed more sleepy than normal, or if she was having dark poops which meant the bilirubin was coming out. With fingers crossed, we went into Monday's blood draw with hopes it would be the end...

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