I am sitting in our hospital room with G in my lap asleep, nervously waiting for the neonatologist to come back to tell us whether G can be released today or whether they are going to send her to the special care nursery for a day or two to stay under the bili lights. Apparently her jaundice level is creeping up. My OB has already said that I can go home today, but I’m not leaving without my baby. So if she stays, I will be staying too.
Having her in an acute care setting under the lights would be VERY difficult for me to deal with, so I plan to basically beg the neonatologist to take her home and have lighst set up at our house and take her to the pediatrician every day to have her levels checked. I don’t know if he will agree to that, though, Of course, jaundice can be serious – especially in a premature baby – so I definitely want to take it seriously, but I am soooo hoping that we can find a way to manage her care at home. I really want to take her home…
Well, as you can see from the photo, G is now under the bili lights. After talking with her pediatrician and getting a second opinion from one of my best friends who is a doctor, we decided that we needed to be aggressive with the jaundice. They did give us the option of taking her home and then getting her tested again tomorrow, but if it hadn’t improved by then, she would have had to be admitted to Children’s Hospital. All of that sounded a lot more unpleasant and disruptive than staying here another night, especially since the incredibly kind nurse practiotioner bent some rules and got the bili lights set up in our room. That’s right, no more being taken to the nursery; she gets to stay here with us in her special lighted isolette until tomorrow morning, when she will be tested again. In the meantime, I can feed her on demand and be right here with her all the time.
As for breastfeeding, I think we’ve turned the corner (knock wood). She still wasn’t latching or even showing much interest in eating until after midnight last night, when my instincts told me that she simply wasn’t getting enough calories or hydration from the syringe feeding we had been doing since she was born. I decided to give her a bottle of pumped milk mixed with the high calorie preemie formula, feeding it to her with a special preemie nipple. Well, she gulped that bottle right down like she was starving – which she apparently was. And within an hour of taking the bottle, she was suddenly much more awake and alert and she began latching on and breastfeeding well. She nursed wonderfully all night. Then this morning she seemed to be lagging again, so I gave her a few ounces by bottle again and now this afternoon she is again breastfeeding like a pro. Her weight was down to 5lbs 2 ozs last night, but I’ll be t it will stabilize and start climbing within the next 12-24 hours now that she is nursing so well.
Jon and I are veeeery tired. I am pretty sore from the surgery and neither of us has slept much (or very well) while we’ve been in the hospital. I’m really eager to get home and get cozy in our bed with Baby G, C, and any of the other children who want to join us.
I’ve had two really special Henry moments while we’ve been here that I’ll write about later – in a day or two – when I am not so tired and can focus better. But suffice it to say that he continues to be present with me in this very special experience of giving birth to G.