Friday, January 7, 2011

Blame the Biliruben

Nikolai entered the world on the 22nd of December healthy and well. Sadly we did not leave the hospital until Christmas morning around 9 - 10 am. We were even moved to a room that we had to share with another couple and their baby. All that because Nikolai's biliruben levels went from 10.3 to 11 point something.

Things were going so well our first day there. We were expecting to leave Friday as we were told by the doctor. Well, my doctor anyway. I had assumed that we would be discharged together. Apparently that is not the case.  I was discharged on Friday. Nikolai was not. They asked if we could move to another room, and share with another couple, like we had a choice. What were we going to do? Leave Nikolai at the hospital and go home baby-less? I think not!

Well, we had to place Nikolai under this UV lamp, de-clothed and even diaperless. Well, diaperless was an option. It started out that way, but ended with a diaper on.  He hated it! He even had to have a little cover to protect his eyes. Poor thing. We called him our little falcon, because that was what it looked like. We tried to keep him under the lights as much as possible, only allowed to have him out from under them for half-hour increments. So we even fed him under the lights, just wheeled them up to the bed.

That was the worst night ever! He would not stop crying unless he was on one of us. He would not take a pacifier either. Which, of course made me feel bad because I felt his crying would disturb the other couple in the small cramped room. 

But, by 3 am they took his blood again to make sure that his levels went down, which they had to an 8. But, we had to wait until 8 am when the doctor (not even a doctor, a nurse practitioner) came in. We new his levels went down, and waiting for the discharge papers was the longest wait ever! We didn't get to see the NP until 9 and had to wait extra time for the discharge paperwork.

I just felt bad for Nikolai. His crying was something I could do almost nothing about. That was the hardest part. Listening to his crying and not being able to console him.

But at least now his jaundice has cleared up and he is healthy.

So I guess my suggestion would be to not keep your baby swaddled, allow sunlight in and feed your baby as much as you can (apparently passing meconium helps).  That way your experience is a little better.