Let’s Talk About Jaundice

Almost all kids deal with the thing called jaundice at one point or another.  (Well, I guess it’s usually within the first few days of life that they deal with it, but you get what I mean… it affects a lot of children.)  Junior was one of those kids. 

When we left the hospital, the nurses said there were no signs of jaundice.  24 hours later, his nose had a crisp yellow and the whites of his eyes were not very white anymore.  Therefore, we called the doctor and headed in that day.  When you have a baby, it seems you go to the doctor a lot.

It’s amazing how quickly you can get attachment to your child.  While I knew everything was going to be okay (again, most children get jaundice), it was still tough to know that there is something wrong with your baby.  Of course, it didn’t help that the nurse practitioner messed up the severity.  The first time she told us, and as we left the office, she had us believing that Junior was at “high” risk from jaundice.  In reality, it was moderate.  That’s a big difference for parents who are both good at worrying. 

Anyway, it led to an uncomfortable 24 hour period.  We had to sunbathe Junior:


We also had to feed him more..  Since we were breastfeeding it meant Stunning had a lot of work to do.. Here were the orders: 1) Feed Junior from the boob every three hours.  2) After feeding him give him a bottle of pumped breast milk. 3) Pump breast milk 1.5 hours after the start of a feeding.

That doesn’t sound too bad.  However, when you realize it takes this kid 30 minutes to feed, which means when he’s done feeding, she had 60 minutes before pumping.  Then she’d have to pump for 30 minutes to get enough milk. Then feed him 60 minutes later.  After pumping, she would wash everything, change his diaper, get him to settle down.  She did this for 24 hours.  Talk about torture and making you feel like a milking machine… 

Anyway, after all that work we went back to the doctor the next day and found out his levels had actually gone up.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because increased levels can be sustained as he gets older.  However, he was still at the “moderate” risk level.  This meant we faced another 24 hours of this torture. 

When we went to the doctor’s the next day, we discovered his levels had decreased and we rejoiced.  It was 72 hours of worry, torture, and pretty crazy period of his life.  He’s done with jaundice now though, so we can be happy.

However, I must say, for as bad as Junior had it.   His cousin had it much worse.  He had to go back to the hospital.  He got better after being under a light bath for 24 hours.  Now that’s torture!


Poor little dude.


Thankfully you didn't have to take him in to the hospital for treatment. We had a small problem with Jaundice from our oldest boy because he refused to latch on and eat for the first 24 hrs. But, after seeing the lactitian (or however that's spelled) things turned out ok. Glad to hear you pulled through it with flying colors too.

March 23, 2010 at 8:11 AM  
John said...

It's not much fun, is it Keith. Luckily, we're over it now and his two week doctor's appointment today went splendidly!

March 23, 2010 at 8:42 PM