Yesterday afternoon a nurse came to the house to check Stellan over — this is pretty routine, and a brilliant idea (since it guarantees someone with both expertise and a full night’s sleep will be around to make sure we haven’t locked the baby in the basement or overcautiously swaddled him in fifty blankets or something.)
We’d been having some breastfeeding problems, which the visiting nurse suspected was caused by a too-short frenulum, so after she left she called our pediatrician, who stayed long past the end of her workday to squeeze in an appointment with us.
Once we got to the office, all questions about feeding problems were quickly set aside: she rushed us into the lab where a tech (who was also staying long past the end of her workday to help us out) drew some blood, and then sent us upstairs to the maternity center so we could wait for the results. They fed us sandwiches, and generally bent over backwards to make us comfortable. (If it isn’t obvious, I’m super-impressed with the quality of medical care available around here.)
And the results were: jaundice. The cure for which, apparently, is to sit under a gro-light for a couple of days. Either that, or this is the awesomeist practical joke ever. So we’ll be staying at the North Adams med center for a while, completing our grand tour of the Hospitals Of Berkshire County, until all that blue light makes our kid less yellow.
Everything is fine. That’s the important part. This isn’t an uncommon problem, and if caught in time, which it was, leaves no lasting effects. If not caught in time, it can cause irreversible brain damage, seizures, and all sorts of other things nobody wants to think about their baby having. So I’m really feeling like we dodged a bullet: our regularly scheduled ped appointment wasn’t for another two days. Would we have recognized that the yellow tint in his eyes was a real problem and called in ourselves? No idea. Glad we don’t have to find out.