Remember when you were a kid and, after kicking butt while playing “Ms. Pacman,” an intermission sequence came on the screen where a stork dropped a baby Pacman into the arms of Pacman and Mrs. Pacman? Well, Annabel is looking like Baby Pacman right now. As I mentioned yesterday, she was looking a bit jaundiced on Monday, so we had some blood work done to test the level of bilirubin in her system. Getting the blood work done was less than fun as we had to take her to the hospital to do it, and that is not exactly the best place to have a ten-day-old what with all of the coughing and sneezing and measles and typhoid everywhere. I was hoping to get in and out, but of course our number was “5,” and they were at “76,” meaning they had to go all the way up to a hundred AND THEN start back at one. A good forty-five minutes passed and they were barely in the nineties. I was not happy, especially since randoms were stopping to comment on my having Annie there. My favorite comment: “Man, you sure are brave to bring an itty bitty baby like that up in here.” You know, because we were there socially. I didn’t want to do it, but eventually I went to the counter and did some complaining on account of my having waited with my newborn for nearly an hour and what not. We finally got back there and a nurse took blood from Annie’s heel. She took it like a champ and barely even flinched.
A couple hours later we got a call from Dr. Looove’s office. The results came back at 13.9 mg, which isn’t great. (18 mg or above usually leads to being admitted to the hospital so the baby can be treated under the lights.) Dr. Looove suggested we have another blood test the next day (Tuesday), and if that test resulted in a lower number, that meant the jaundice had peaked and Annie should be fine. Unfortunately – after another heinously long wait at the hospital – Annie’s number came back at 15.1 mg which is a bit worrisome. Dr. Looove’s diagnosis is Annie is suffering from Breast Milk Jaundice, where the mother’s milk “produces an enzyme that interferes temporarily with the normal bilirubin elimination pathways of the liver.” (Thank you, Dr. Google!) The awesome part of this is that this only happens to less than 2% of all babies (sarcasm). The plan now is to suspend breast feeding for 24 hours, and then test her again. In most cases, babies with Breast Milk Jaundice will have their bilirubin numbers back down to normal levels after 24 hours without the breast milk. Interestingly, they then can resume breast feeding without the jaundice reoccurring. Here’s hoping this works…neither Annie or I want to make a habit of getting her cute little heel jabbed at with a needle.
Not to mention I loathe pumping.
In light of Annie’s Baby Pacman impersonation, I thought it might be as good a time as any to try out taking some black and white photos. She is so yummy, like a yellow M&M.