Saturday, March 12, 2011

dangerously yellow baby

Well, we came home from the hospital Saturday, Feb. 12 only to return on Valentine's Day.

Sawyer turned more and more yellow during our time at home, so at his doctor's appointment Monday, Feb. 14 I wasn't surprised when the pediatrician ordered labs to check his bilirubin levels.

Once we left the lab, Josh and I went home and as soon as we'd got Sawyer out of his car seat and into his pack-n-play, my phone rang and the doctor informed us that we HAD to come back to the office and get some papers then head straight to the hospital because our baby's levels were at 25 and he needed to get under some UV lights ASAP or he'd need a blood transfusion.

Before babies are born, their mom’s placenta removes the bilirubin from baby so that it can be processed by the mother's liver. Immediately after birth, the baby's own liver begins to take over the job, but this can take time. Therefore, bilirubin levels in an infant are normally a little higher after birth. But when the levels get too high it can cause deafness, cerebral palsy or even brain damage.

So obviously, we were concerned.

We re-packed our bags and the baby and headed back to the doctor's office then to PCMH.

As soon as we arrived, the nurses took Sawyer to get an IV in his little tiny arm so they could push fluids. Neither Josh nor I could go to the treatment room to watch the nurses stick him for the IV, it just tore us all to pieces. Then they gave our little guy er a pair of UV goggles to protect his little eyes and then he was put into an incubator surrounded by 4 UV lights and a light for him to lay on called a "biliblanket". While I knew our baby wasn't in pain, it was horrible not being able to hold and cuddle him since he was required to stay in the box unless he needed changing or feeding. 

Speaking of feeding, have you ever tried to breastfeed a fussy child who has an IV in one arm, 3 leads attached to his chest/tummy, a puls-ox on his foot and a biliblanket strapped to his back? Yeah, it's great fun. 

We spent Monday night in the hospital and his BR levels dropped to 21 then 19 so they took down some of the UV lights and left him with just the biliblanket and 1 light.... But when they rechecked his levels they were back up to 21, so we had to stay another night.
Finally Sawyer turned a much paler shade of yellow and his BR dropped low enough for us to be discharged, but we had to take the biliblanket with us.

The worst part of our trip to the hospital (besides not being able to hold and cuddle with our brand new baby) was that we only had 2 nights at home and had sort of established a little routine only to have it interrupted. But thankfully our baby wasn’t in pain and was completely fine and after a week on the biliblanket at home his levels returned to normal.


  1. So glad to hear he's doing better!! I almost bought lil bro a Bourbon Street onesie in New Orleans this week. Too early?

  2. oh goodness girl, I'm sure that was super scary..glad he is at home and well! He is too cute!

  3. So glad to hear he's doing better!!! :) Poor little guy.. but those little UV glasses are too cute on him. <3