Monday, April 18, 2011

The Bilirubin Diaries

Bilirubin (formerly referred to as hematoidin) is the yellow breakdown product of normal heme catabolism. Heme is found in hemoglobin, a principal component of red blood cells. Bilirubin is excreted in bile and urine, and elevated levels may indicate certain diseases. It is responsible for the yellow color of bruises, urine (via its reduced breakdown product, urobilin), and the yellow discoloration in jaundice.

Bilirubin...the stuff that causes Jaundice has been rampant in our little newborn.

Tuesday April 12...Jayden has a bilirubin level of 9.6 as we leave the hospital this is considered borderline but it is relatively low so I wasn't really worried.  Our hospital pediatrician recommends that he be seen by our family doctor by Friday.

Thursday April 14th..Jayden is looking a little orange and my mom comments that I might want to get that checked out...I agree and schedule an appointment for the next morning...

Friday April 15th...Jayden is looking mighty orange.  My mom and I take him to the doctor and he recommends a bilirubin test so after heading to the hospital lab we get done and take him home.  The doctor's office calls and tells me that his number is now double...18.2  and he is concerned and thinks we need to be seen at Children's Mercy for a second opinion.  I'm a little panicked at this point...and between my mom and I and Dan we get him to Children's Mercy.  They decide to admit him to have some intense photo that began one of the longest nights that I have experienced in my kids lives.

At 7:00 Dan and I left to grab dinner...Jayden started out in the isolette unit and was doing well so we felt comfortable leaving and I was STARVING and I could not stomach the thought of hospital food...we returned by 8:00 where the nurse let us know that Jayden was hungry and I nursed him and we got him back in to the isolette as he was only able to come out for half hour periods every 2 hours...I am exhausted at this point and Dan has me lay down on the bed in the room and he takes a shift....Jayden really isn't liking the light box at this point and is squirming, crying and either Dan or I had to take turns holding in a binky and rubbing his back, head or feet to help him remain calm...we go through 2 hours of this and feed him again...then the nurse comes to do a bilirubin level on him.  His level is now 16.5  down almost a full 2 points in 3 hours.

The doctor comes in a little later and we were basically told that we had over reacted and that Jayden would be fine and that it's normal and no big deal...well we were simply following the advise of medical professionals and we would not have done the hospital if it hadn't been recommended...well, she tells us we can go home if we want or's up to us...we decide to head home and around 12:30 we finally get home.

Saturday April 16th...Dan rigs up some plant lights and we sit under them for the entire day...keeping Jayden in the "sunshine"  by the end of the day his skin is looking much better...and we are encouraged by his progress.

Sunday April 17th...We don't go to church and spend the morning sitting under lights...the afternoon is spent cleaning house, mowing the lawn and other such projects.

Monday April 18th...first day for mom to be in charge of car duty...Baby has appointment with doctor at 11.  Doctor is encouraged by the way his skin looks and has us do another bilirubin test at the lab...and Praise God his level is now 13.5 and dropping!  So it looks like the saga of the bilirubin will soon be over!

We are thankful for modern medicine and that our baby will be okay!

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