Saturday, October 11, 2008

"He had yellow eyes! So, help me, God! Yellow eyes!"

I'll tell my entire birth story in the near future, but for this entry's purposes, it's important to know that they used a vacuum to assist in Em's delivery. My pushing wasn't progressing as much as they'd hoped, and they learned that Em was facing up (or "sunny side up" as the doc referred to her) instead of to the ideal left or right side. That likely contributed to my pushing issues.

The vacuum caused Em to have a bit of a cone head, which is perfectly normal and has since subsided a good 95%, if I had to estimate. It also caused a big bruise on the top of her head, hidden mostly by her gobs of hair. As the bruise heals itself, it has contributed greatly, if not entirely, to a case of jaundice. (Jaundice can also be linked to breastfeeding, as well as other causes, but in our case it's likely from the vacuum bruise.)

When we took her for her first pediatric check-up on Thursday, they saw a tinge of yellow in her skin and tested her blood to determine the jaundice level. It was higher than they'd like but nothing to freak out about, so they had us come in yesterday for another draw. It had elevated just a bit further, so we did another draw this morning. This afternoon they called back, said the levels had risen again and asked that we re-admit Em to the hospital for at least an overnight stay under special lights to help break up the bilirubin, the chemical in blood responsible for the yellow in bruises as they heal (and the yellow tint noticeable with jaundice).

A hospital stay is usually a third treatment option, after indirect sunlight through our own house windows and then a home visit with special lights are exhausted. In our case, they decided not to waste time with the second option (and we didn't have much time to exhaust the first) and skipped to the third option.

After I freaked out a little bit -- ok, a lot -- at the thought of our little girl having ANY kind of medical issue, albeit on a tiny, tiny scale compared to most of the other kids here in the pediatric ward, I'm actually happy they're skipping the second step and nipping this thing in the bud.

We'll be here at least tonight and potentially tomorrow, depending on how Em's body breaks down the billirubin via her super special light bed. I told her to pretend she's on an island vacation, much like her mom and dad's Hawaiian honeymoon. This is after telling her to pretend that the foot prick they had to do to collect the blood was like a pedicure. I doubt she's playing along, although she does look super cute spread out in her little faux tanning bed. Lucky for me she passes out from breast milk bliss after each feeding, making it that much easier to get her to chill in the light bed.

And Brent says she looks like she's going to a Kanye West rave with her little white eye shades to block the UV light. (Brent and I have obviously kept up a good sense of humor about this whole thing, knowing that she's going to be just fine.)

Oh, I just received a phone call from a flower delivery guy who, I swear to God, sounded JUST LIKE the talking stain in the Tide To Go Pen commercials. (Brent and I love those commercials - so hilarious!) I couldn't understand him so he had to have his boss call me for instructions on what to do with the flowers since we're not at home to receive them. So, if the flowers are from friends or family members who are reading this, thanks in advance and I'm sure we'll get to enjoy them soon with our non-yellow daughter.

"Scott Farkus! What a rotten name! There he stood, between us and the alley. Scut Farkus staring out at us with his yellow eyes. He had yellow eyes! So, help me, God! Yellow eyes!" - Ralphie, A Christmas Story

27 comments:

  1. Aw - I can just picture little Em in her "tanning bed." I'm sure that'll do the trick and you'll be home in no time. We were almost there too. Sounds like you guys are doing great.

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  2. I'm sure little Em is going to be good as new tomorrow after her hospital stay! I'm sure it was scary, but she will be fine. Sending lots of healthy vibes your way. Keep us posted.

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  3. Glad everyone is in good spirits. She is one special little girl to get two homecomings! Hopefully the jaundice resolves soon.

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  4. Well, she looks perfect to me. :)

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  5. Zoe had jaundice too... we called her out little orange baby - like an oompa loompa, she was. It's never easy when they have issues, but that seemed particularly hard since she was so tiny and we were so new at bing parents. Sounds like you and Brent are handling it all great... and Em is gorgeous even with the tint. :)

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  6. poor little em :( hope it resolves quickly and you guys can get back home soon.

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  7. Em is in our thoughts. BenBen had to go through the same thing, although he was already in the NICU, so we didn't have to go BACK to the hospital. I'm sure that was hard. Hang in there. Here's a pic of Ben under the lights. Maybe they will give Em cute sunglasses like this:
    http://lamberti.smugmug.com/photos/213984917_zECVi-L-1.jpg

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  8. Awww, poor lil' girl!!! I can just picture her in the shades and it makes me smile a bit :) I'm optimistic she'll be back to normal in no time.

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  9. Aw, poor Em, and mommy and daddy too! Hopefully the lights will take care of everything and you guys will all be home soon!

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  10. Not to worry -- I'm sure little Em will be fine, and she'll have a golden California tan to show off as well.

    Loves the Christmas Story reference, btw. Maybe since it's so damn cold out, you can put her in that bunny pajama suit and make it a theme.

    Oh, and the flowers were from the edit team and a few other iMedia-ites who love ya.

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  11. She'll be tanned just in time for the end of summer. You guys are too funny!

    I hope she's back at home very soon.

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  12. Wait! You're going to tell us MORE than they used a vacuum to assist in Em's delivery. My pushing wasn't progressing as much as they'd hoped...? Yikes!

    Best to little Em. She'll be home again soon.

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  13. Awww don't worry, I'm sure Em will be good as new soon.

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  14. I'm sure it's scary, but I can't tell you how many of my friends' baby's have had this jaundice thing. It's really common, apparently. Most of my friends got to take the light home with them. I've never heard it linked to breast feeding before - did your Dr. tell you that? Weird.

    Anyway. I just wanted to pipe in to tell you it's really common and she'll be just fine!! :)

    Can't wait to hear about the birth!

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  15. i had jaundice when i was born and had to hang out in the tanning bed with the shades. reportedly, my brother clung to the incubator and didn't want to go home because he was worried about how I couldn't see...my mom just told him i hadn't seen for 9 months so a little longer was OK.
    all will be well!!! kisses.

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  16. Aww, poor Em. I hope you guys are out of the hospital by the time you see this!

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  17. Awww, you'll all be home soon!! Get some rest

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  18. the bean actually had a bit of jaundice too, but we were able to get by with option 1 - indirect sunlight at home.

    haha @ "breast milk bliss" - do you find that nursing knocks you out, too? i read somewhere that it's your body's way of sneaking in a little extra sleep for you, too. :)

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  19. Get better quickly little one!

    And ((Hugs)) to Nanette and Brent. Though, I'm giggling at "breast milk bliss". LOVE IT! You're such a wordsmith.

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  20. Sending happy, anti-yellow thoughts your way! You guys rock. Get well soon, Em!!

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  21. Hope she's perfect baby pink in no time flat!

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  22. Aww. We did the phototherapy with Alec too, but I was a wreck. He had to have an IV but since he was a tiny 4 lbs., they had a hard time finding a vein and he was crying constantly. It was that way for two days. Great, now I'm Debbie Downer. Sorry.

    Here's sending Em some happy pink thoughts.

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  23. Ack! Definitely not how you want to spend your first week with the wee one. I'm glad it's not serious though and she'll be OK. She'll be back to her pink self in no time. :)

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  24. Poor baby! I how she's better already. I'm adding you on Flickr because I wanna see her pretty yellow face!! Squish!

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  25. I am so happy you guys are being silly about the whole thing! Jaundice is quite common among newborns, so I'm sure little Em is going to be fine!

    And hey, maybe a little tan ;)

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  26. Hey! I suck. I haven't read or written blogs in a month and I completely missed Em Dash's birth!!! I totally get the pivacy thing with the name and pics... but if you HAPPEN to feel like snding an email... I woudn't complain. :) CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

    Also, Wyatt came via vacuum suction, too. I feel ya.

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  27. Jaundice seems so common. LG had it as well, and luckily, we talked our doc into ordering us one of those little tanning beds for our house. I hated those little sunglasses she had velcroed to her head, and I hated having to wear sunglasses myself in my own house, but I guess it was worth it. The twins both had a touch of it as well, but it was nothing like LG's level 19, so this time we got to skip the super special light box :).

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