Saturday, August 7, 2010


Bilirubin. I hate the word. I don't even really understand it, but I know that I am tired of talking about it.

Julian has, or had, jaundice. He is 7 weeks old and he still has a bit of yellow to his eyes. Normally, jaundice in newborns clears up much sooner. Usually by around 2 weeks. When Julian was 2 1/2 weeks old, his doctor advised us to take Julian to the emergency room to have his bilirubin level checked. It was 13. Higher than normal for that age but not dangerous, we were told. At his 4-week well baby appointment, his doctor advised us to get another blood test. The result: his bilirubin had gone up, not down, to 14. At that point, his doctor prescribed the biliblanket. A couple days later, his doctor examined him and said we should keep using the blanket during a five-day trip to Washington, D.C. Upon our return, we had Julian's blood tested yet again and his bilirubin was only down to 11. So, he's now 7 weeks old, and we are supposed to keep using the blanket, but now we also have to bring him back to the hospital this week for more blood tests and an ultrasound of his abdomen and liver. And, his doctor wants us to make an appointment for a consultation with a genetic counselor at a bigger hospital in a city. Not fun for any of us. Especially considering this kid wasn't even born in the hospital. (I know, I know, I haven't even written Julian's birth story, but I'll get to it. I'm going on very little sleep here.) All the while, I worry about Julian, even though, as far as we know, Julian's bilirubin level has never been high enough to be considered dangerous. But, his doctor wonders why his body hasn't cleared the bilirubin faster and what that means.

On top of everything else, our entire family, including Julian, have colds. Julian's is pretty mild and since he is nursing, I know he'll be fine and that it will be cleared up in a couple days. But, Jonah is snotty and coughing and irritable and can't sleep well and we are all a bit overwhelmed and cranky. And, I have a sore throat that I'm basically ignoring because I don't have time to wallow in my own sickness.

So, there you have it. Bilirubin. It sucks. Big time. ~ Nicole