Monday, October 21, 2013

Unexpected Doctor Visit

Friday when Jason got home from work, he noticed a few things that concerned him. Barrett's eyes and his belly button. His eyes still have a little bit of a yellow tint to them from birth. When he went in for his one week checkup, the doctor didn't seem too worried because she said the eyes are always the last thing to clear up when a baby has jaundice. Well...four weeks later and his eyes still haven't fully cleared up.
Since we wanted to make an appointment for his eyes, we also wanted to have the doctor look as his belly button. His belly button protrudes a little more than an outie belly button so Jason thought he might have a small belly button hernia. We also decided that since we were going to make Barrett an appointment then we should get Amelia in for her annual flu shot.  We thought that taking them in together sounded like the best plan.
I called the doctor's office late on Friday to make an appointment for the following week and was surprised to hear that they wanted us to all come in first thing Saturday morning. 
It wasn't really how I wanted to spend our Saturday morning but I knew we needed to get everything taken care of as soon as possible, especially since I'll be going back to work in less than two weeks. Yes, I'm only taking 6 weeks of maternity leave (I'll explain later).

We woke up and got ready for our 8:30am appointment. The whole family went, Nannie included, because we weren't really sure what to expect. Barrett was examined first and the doctor determined that he did have a small belly button hernia. She thought it would heal by the time he turned six months old, a year at the latest. If it doesn't heal by his first birthday then we will have to get it fixed. 
Once she finished looking at his belly button, she then focused in on his eyes. She saw the same yellow tint that we had been seeing and said that he did have a bit of jaundice that was lingering. The only catch was this wasn't the jaundice that most newborns have in the hospital or even shortly after they leave the hospital but his jaundice was because of my breast milk. Well, not necessarily my breast milk but breast milk in general. His body hasn't been able to respond correctly to the milk. Some doctors recommend to stop breastfeeding for 48 hours to formula feed and then resume the breastfeeding and others don't recommend any changes and to let the jaundice run its course. She said that this type of jaundice is so rare compared to the other one that not a lot of information is available. Because there isn't a lot of information available, she wanted to get some blood drawn so his liver function could be tested. The liver is what is affected when jaundice is present and since he's already 4 weeks old, it's better to be safe than sorry. Unfortunately she wasn't able to do the blood work in the office, we had to go to the outpatient lab at the hospital. We definitely didn't want another stop after we left the doctor's office but we agreed to get it all done that morning.

Once the doctor was finished examining Barrett, it was time for Amelia's flu shot. She's older and more aware of her surroundings so when the nurse came in, she knew what was going to happen. As soon as it was over, the tears stopped and we got out of there as fast as we could. Shots are not fun...not fun for anyone!!
Once we finished with our appointment we had to take Barrett over to the lab so he could get his blood drawn. Talk about horrible...he was so upset and in turn got Mommy upset.
Once the lab technician finished collecting her vial of blood needed for the test, I immediately started nursing him. Research shows that nursing right after shots (or blood work) helps decrease the amount of pain.
I was surprised how well he calmed down...such a big boy. We left the lab and we were determined to rest and love on the kids the rest of the day.
The pediatrician called with the lab results later in the day and said his levels were elevated but they were in the normal range and we shouldn't be concerned. The jaundice should clear up by his 2 month check-up. Thank the LORD!
Our unexpected doctor's visit wasn't quite what we planned for our Saturday morning but I'm glad that we were able to get some questions answered and that the results came back with nothing serious for our little man.

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