Bili-what?

We went to the pediatrician this morning since he is 6 days old. We knew he had minor jaundice leaving the hospital but they wanted us to get some blood drawn. Unfortunately, his numbers of bilirubin, the chemical in the blood that causes the yellowing, were not so great. Underdeveloped livers cannot process it. Sometimes just breastfeeding will correct it since the baby flushes it out in bowel movements. Well, the doctors thought his numbers were a little too high so now he’s on the Biliblanket. It’s really like a little backpack hooked up to an ancient electronic box thing. But it’s supposed to do the trick. Used to be babies had to go back to the hospital and sit under UV lights but this is the new technology so they can stay home. The bad thing is that he has to be on it ’round the clock until they reevaluate his bilirubin numbers. We go back in the morning.

Meanwhile, I feel like I’m manic/depressive. I wake up and feel ok but then I start feeling like I’m not accomplishing enough. And yet, the thing I AM accomplishing far outweighs anything else I could even hope to get done. One minute, I am very excited about the baby and the next, I feel completely overwhelmed and scared and OMG what if I can’t actually DO this? Supposedly this is all normal for moms to experience but it’s a crazy world right now for me. Luckily, I got a little bit of time for myself this evening and I got out to Borders. I bought a baby book that included a lot of cool things like a growth chart and carrying case. I had been working on this book while pregnant and it was a great thing to keep me interested and excited; it was a lot like blogging or journaling. Without it, I feel sort of empty, even with the most precious addition to our family. I also found a book called “You’re a new mom, now what?” and I started reading it in the store. I wanted to buy it but we’re trying to save all the money we can. But I sure do like those kinds of resources, if for nothing else but reassurance.

Of course, when I got home that was when the shit hit the fan. The woman from the home patient service dropped off the blanket machine and told us we had to take his temperature every fifteen minutes for the first hour he’s on it. Well, no one likes to give the useful gifts at showers, only the fun, cute stuff. So we hadn’t actually acquired a thermometer. I ran to Target and bought one that ended up being too big for his tiny ear. SO, I drive my ass back to Toys R Us and argue on the phone with Ash over which one to buy. I ended up buying one that does arm, rectal, and mouth. It seems to work just fine because I just finished that first hour.

I can tell that being a mom really is all about worrying.

I already know I’m going to be up all night making sure he’s ok. He means more than anything in the world right now; so helpless, so small.

Being a mom is hard work. I’m off to eat a hot dog, since I haven’t had one in roughly 10 months and, you know, they sound pretty good right now.

biliblanket.jpg

The UV light from the little patch on his back