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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Our little glow worm!

Turner came home from the hospital on December 7th. 2 days later, we thought he was looking more and more yellow. The hospital called to check on him (and me), and I got worried because he had not pooped since we left the hospital. I never knew I could be so concerned about poop, but again, things change in an instant with this motherhood thing! Anyway, Heath and I made his first doctor's appointment to check out his bilirubin level. I was very jaundiced when I was born, so I wondered if this would happen to him. I had to have a blood transfusion at 5 days old or so, so I was paranoid for him.
Anyway, we went to visit our new pediatrician's office. On a side note, it was very weird to call and find a doctor at 35 weeks pregnant for someone who I couldn't see! I was registering Turner Henderson for the pediatrician, and I had never met him!!
So, when he went to the doctor he had dropped to 6 pounds, 4 ounces. They said he looked fine, and they would call us with his bili level. She said 13 was about normal - he had 9 when he left the hospital. Well, we get home and they call and tell us it was 23! I panicked, but they were calm, and told me it was a different form of jaundice than what I had as a newborn.
Then, a home health care service calls and tells me that they are sending a bili bed - looks like this - to our house for him to sleep on.

It was like his own little tanning bed. However, since I was so hormonal, I was crying when the nurse brought it out. She told me we couldn't pick him up and hold him, that he had to stay on the bed. The light from the bed did something to break down his blood cells so he could get rid of that bilirubin. She said it didn't put off heat - just light, but it had a fan and was very calming. Needless to say, Turner loved it! I was a little sad, but he was very content. This was his first day on the bed - notice how yellow he was!

Do you see why we called him a glow worm? He was in his little suit, and could move his arms, but the rest was velcroed down. The only time I could hold him was to feed him.
Well, here is where we enter the drama. After I stopped crying, and realized this would keep the sweet quiet baby sleeping all day and happy, we were okay. Until 10 o'clock that night. I woke him up to feed him (had to when he was on the bed - the nurses made us chart everything). Well, he wouldn't really eat. And when we had taken his temperature, it was 96.1. But, the nurse was there for that, and said not to worry because he had just had a bath. And, he still hadn't gone to the bathroom. He wouldn't really wake up. He was very, very sluggish. I started to get a bad feeling. Luckily, Mom was up with me. I looked at her, and we decided he wasn't acting right. I decided to call the doctor's office and talk to the answering service.
They told me to rub a wet cloth on him and try to wake him up. He still didn't wake up! So, she told me to call 911. Well, I learn if you use the word 'lethargic' with 911, they will send an ambulance to your house VERY quickly.
The paramedics were great, said his signs looked good, but that he was really, really sleepy. So, they loaded us on an ambulance and we headed to Children's Hospital. I was calm, but I thought I was going to throw up. I was holding him, all wrapped up, and they strapped me on a stretcher. Heath followed in his car. Turner got the siren and everything. Go big or go home, right? Well, that little turkey. Don't get me wrong - I was very thankful, but as we roll off the ambulance on the stretcher, he opens his eyes! Wakes up. The whole ride there he would not do it - not even for the paramedics. Incidentally, they gave him oxygen through a little tube. Then they said, "Mom, this is for you too." Great - I guess I wasn't that calm!
Well, after he opens his eyes, we roll into a room, and he is wailing. So, they check his temp - 98.5. Then, he has an explosive diaper. Of course!! He just needed to be escorted to Children's to do all of these things.
Well, luckily the resident (who was very patient) sees all of these things. Then, he listens to me and the paramedics around me tell him what is going on. To which he responds, "We are going to do our standard procedure - admit him, give him a spinal tap, observe for a couple of days." At the words "spinal tap" I completely lost my mind. I began saying to him "Can I refuse services?" I wanted to drop kick the nurse, who ended up being extremely helpful later in the night, as she is telling me all of the things that could happen if I take him home and don't leave him there. Then I asked to see the attending. What was I thinking??? I KNOW they know far more than I do, but this mother's instinct is CRAZY! Well, the attending comes back and very calmly repeats the same things. Again, lost my mind at the phrase 'spinal tap' and refused everything. Poor Heath - he tells me that he signed some release form for just being treated, and I freaked out. I am yelling (in a whisper) "Don't sign ANYTHING! That is what they want us to do! They are using scare tactics!!" I admit I had gone officially insane.
Well, long story short the wonderful attending was very patient, and understood I was a first time mom (and completely neurotic). They checked his blood levels and bilirubin, and then we had a calm discussion. Sounds like me, huh? Ha. We compromised, and she said since his levels were fine and there was a nurse coming to our house the next morning (it was about 2 a.m. anyway), that we could take him home.
All of this at 4 days old. The night ended as we drove home about 3 a.m. and he got back on his bed. Nice. Part of his home health care included a nurse coming to our house 1-2 times a day to check on him. What a blessing! The nurse told me when she got there the next day that I had done the right thing to call 911, and the doctor told me that later. Maybe I am not completely insane, or at least they didn't want to tell me!
I will say, it made me grateful to God that he gives us symptoms. He was faithful to heal Turner's little body and my fragile psyche. I am glad He is in control and not me!! Also, thank God for the patient and knowledgeable doctors at Children's Hospital.
Oh, and update. He got off the bed last Friday - on December 12th. I got a little teary as we gave the bed back - he had grown so attached to it. Hormones! Bless Heath's heart!!


  1. Oh my gosh. I can picture the entire night, including your breakdowns. This blog is the best Christmas present ever.

  2. Kelly, I am so sorry for all the trauma! How stressful! Noah had similar issues and was in the NICU for a week after he was born. Turner is just adorable.

  3. Hooray for finding your blog! Turner is as cute as he can be!

  4. Oh gosh, I would have freaked out too! What a traumatic story, but I'm glad it ended up being ok! How is he now?
    I'm so glad you've started a blog! I've been trying to comment - but my mac wouldn't let me! Glad I finally can :-)