I noticed on Wednesday night that the whites of Isaac’s eyes looked yellowish. On Thursday during the trip home I thought his skin had a yellowish tinge too. He’d been really sleepy and not nursing for long periods of time either so I called my midwives when we were about halfway home and arranged a home visit with them.
Midwife Shannon came over the next morning and did a full check up on Isaac. The first thing she said was “Oh, you do look yellow!” Weighing Isaac revealed that he also had lost 11% of his body weight, and I guess they don’t like to see babies lose any more than 10%. She took his blood to test his bilirubin levels and said she’d call as soon as she had the results.
Midwife Aisia called around 7:30pm and said that Isaac was just at the line for jaundice. She called the pediatrician and they both agreed that we would see how Isaac does overnight and recheck his levels in the morning. I had to set my alarm to wake him up every three hours, getting him completely naked, poking him, tickling him, changing his diaper, using a cold wet wipe, and still he would only eat for about 10 minutes maximum. And that was with an hour of working to get him to wake up!
Midwife Aisia came by in the morning to draw more blood and called around 4pm to say that his levels were even higher and that we should go to the Peter Lougheed Centre for phototherapy for a minimum of 24 hours. We were at the Aasen’s house celebrating Estonian new years (3pm) and so we packed the kids up, stopped by the house to grab some overnight things and some food for me and made our way to the PLC. So thankful for the DVD player in the van that kept Ezra totally occupied, he didn’t notice (and therefore didn’t throw a fit) when Mama got out of the van and left him behind. He really likes all of us to be together all of the time.
Isaac and I had our own room and I even got a full bed (I was expecting just a fold down chair). He did pretty well under the lights but it was so hard on mama to see her baby in that contraption with his eyes covered and not be able to just hold him. The nurse weighed him and he’d actually now lost 12% of his birth weight.
I was able to take him out for 20-30 minutes at a time to nurse and encouraged to pump the rest to top him up. It was a full evening of nurses, doctors, and lab techs coming in and out with questions, pokes and prods. Add in nursing and pumping, and you’ve got yourself a busy evening!
Isaac started waking on his own after a short time under the lights, rooting and even crying out for food so that was a good sign right away. He did some cluster feeding between 10 and 1, and mama was exhausted! I thought he’d wake me, since he’d been waking and crying, wanting to nurse, every hour right before I went to sleep. But I guess he was sleepy too because the next thing I knew it was 4am! 5 hours between feeds (supposed to be 3 max!), whoops!
The lab tech came in to draw blood at 6:15am and by 8:30am the nurse reported to me that Isaac’s bilirubin levels had come down quite a bit and he had gained weight overnight! She was sure we’d be able to go home earlier than planned, and she was right. By 12:00 I was out the door, baby in tow.
So happy to have him in my arms again!