Monday, July 26, 2010

Nore More Bed. . . Wait A Minute

I wanted to post a quick update on Emma. Her bilirubin levels climbed for a third time after a day on the bed, which was a little alarming, but we just kept doing the prescribed care. Yesterday, they dropped to 14. This is below the level that they would even treat an infant for (above normal, but not at all dangerous), but since we were already all set up, they are having us do a third draw this morning and keeping her on the bed until we know that the number is still going down.

The bed hasn't been awful, but I will be very glad to be done with it. It seems so wrong to hold a newborn so little. We literally take her out to feed her, hold her for a few precious minutes, and tuck her back in. I know it is what she needs, so I do it, but very reluctantly. I just want to snuggle her all of the time.

Also, I wanted to address the supply issue and feeding her formula. The nurse that came the second day weighed Emma before a feeding (eight minutes, one breast) and Emma gained three ounces in that single sided feeding. The nurse said this is fantastic. I am still pumping after most feedings to gain an ounce of milk here and there, so after feedings where she still doesn't seem satisfied, she gets a bottle of breastmilk. If there was no breastmilk and she was still hungry, I would give her formula in a heartbeat. I do not think there is anything wrong with formula and wouldn't hesitate to give it to any of my children. Will had it exclusively for a day at this age when they suspected breastmilk jaundice.

Edited: Ugh. SO frustrating. This morning, the nurse came and announced that we were all done with the bed. She packed it up and took it with her and I said a not-so-fond farewell to it. The nurse just called a few minutes ago and her bilirubin numbers went back up to 15.9. This is still not a dangerous level, but it does mean that the nurse has to come back in the morning for yet another draw out of my poor baby's little foot. Then if the numbers go back up again, they'll have to come back with the bed later on tomorrow.


Nicky said...

When LL, was born, his bilirubin levels were *constantly* in that in-between range where they wanted to do daily blood draws but they weren't prescribing the lights. Every day, they'd say "If his numbers are above X, we're putting him under the lights" and then his number would come in 0.1 below X. Every time.

The home remedy they recommended was to strip him down to just his diaper, maybe drape a burp cloth over his eyes, then put him in a sunny window. The window-filtered sunlight does the same thing as the light bed, but you get to hold the baby. We spent most of his first week or two with him lying in our laps, sunbathing.

BTW -- we were told that normal window panes block harmful sun rays, so no worries about sunburn, but whatever it is in the light that helps with bilirubins still gets through. It didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but every doctor at the hospital, including our pediatrician, recommended it. And you'll be able to help Emma AND cuddle! Might be worth a try until you get more info tomorrow.

Rachel said...

Ugh, hoping those numbers drop overnight and exceedingly impressed with your reasonable attitude towards formula.

HereWeGoAJen said...

I hope her levels stay where they are supposed to be so that you don't have to deal with that anymore.

It sounds like she is doing well!

peesticksandstones said...

The whole jaundice thing is very stressful -- and we only got a small taste. My son was almost held in the hospital an extra day for it, and that really took me by surprise. I just didn't recall reading much about it in any of the 10,000 books I'd read before his birth.

It's also awful seeing all those bandages on their itty-bitty heel after each blood draw. My son had many of those, too.

Hoping for much better numbers soon -- so you get on to worrying about the NEXT ten million things that come with a new baby! :)

Searching said...

Awwww, I'm so sorry!!! I know that is such a rollercoaster. Hate to stereotype, but I about cry every time I find out I'm seeing a baby with a young/middle aged intelligent white BF momma. I swear, I make them cry every time I have to set the bed up. I tell them how hard it is, that their baby will cry and all they will want to do is go to them and cuddle them and they can't. You can have contact with her in so many other ways, but what comes most natural- to hold her, you can't. :( It's horrible and the only good thing is that it is temporary.

I don't know what they told you, but the bili doesn't damage their brain until it gets wayyy high, like in the hundreds. But lower levels do make them feel yucky and of course you don't want her feeling bad when she could get over it in a few days. If you have a window where you can nurse and not flash the neighborhood, turn off the fan and nurse her in just a diaper in the sunlight. It's not as strong as the bed, but it's still something.

When they do the heelstick see if they will let you nurse her. I always suggest it if they are BF and it is much easier on the baby and mommy. Most don't even react, maybe just a few harder chomps but go on eating. Have them warm her heel with a wet washcloth and the blood will flow quicker and be over with sooner.

3oz is nothing to sneeze at! That is some awesome supply and an awesome eater!!! ESP so young! Sometimes it just takes a little time to gain the weight. A bit of formula won't hurt her, but there's no reason to beat yourself up w/worry. If she's hydrated, alert, doing well, and the ped isn't worried, then you don't be worried. She'll be okay. I can promise you won't let her starve! You are a GOOD mommy!!!

If the power cord reaches you can pull the bilibed into bed with you and kind of cuddle around her. Place something with your scent next to her so she still gets the scent contact with you.

I will be praying that level goes down! Tell that baby to poop really good tonight!

Oh, and you totally freaked me out- HELLP is NOT good, Katie!!!! Oy, so glad you didn't start her story w/that! So thankful you are both okay! Hang in there!

~Hollie said...

Bummer about the jaundice. I do hope you and Emma get some relief from this treatment, SOON!
Great perspective on the nursing. I wish I could have stayed that calm and collected. But it sounds like you are doing really well. Keep up the good work, Mom!