Widgets Magazine

Mar 29, 2011

Vampires, Dayglow Beds and Alien Babies.

Baby Doll was born a full month early in October and she had jaundice. They put her on lights in the hospital and after one extra day, they let her go home…with the lights. Her weight had dropped to 6 lbs, which was still pretty good for a preemie. She was so tiny and cute that the kids were devastated when they had to just let her lie there on the billi-bed. I was totally sleep-deprived and post-postpartum. I was NOT fun to be around.

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 **Editor's Note:  Mom didn't think it was funny but we all thought Baby Doll would make an excellent alien for Halloween.** After several days with her going in for a foot poke every day, her numbers dropped to safe levels so we sent the billi-bed back. Finally we could hold and cuddle her! Halloween was approaching when I took her in for her two-week appointment.  The doctor decided she was still too yellow so she ran more jaundice tests. The numbers had all gone back up and once again she was confined to the bill-bed and had to be subjected to the daily foot torture. Not only that, the doctor sent us to the hospital for blood tests to make sure her liver was functioning properly. Oh, and she wasn’t growing either. Her weight still hovered around 6 lbs. 

The blood tests were done at our local children’s hospital, but at a satellite clinic, not the main hospital. The blood guy promised me he was an expert on tiny arms and she would be fine. Bwa-ha-ha! But she wasn’t. He poked her four times before he was able to draw a tiny bit of blood. Each time he missed the vein and prodded that needle in her thin arm while she screamed her heart out. He brought in a supervisor. She poked what was left of her tiny vein and missed again. Then they brought out her little feet. They were already criss-crossed with scabs and scars from all the billi-rubin pokes. That didn’t stop them. Two big jabs together would make it bleed enough to fill the tubes they said. 


So they jabbed her. She screamed. The tears leaked slowly from my eyes and dropped on her blanket. I tried to comfort her tiny quivering body as they massaged the blood from her legs into her feet and then into the endless pile of tubes. "It’s drying up," complained the nurse. "Shall I poke her again?" The supervisor looked through her stash. "Maybe it’s enough…" she answered skeptically. "Why don’t you send them up to the lab and we will see?" She looked at me. "You can wait here until we know." The nurse left with the vials and the supervisor hovered in the room. She adjusted the light and closed the door. 

My Baby Doll whimpered on the table. They had strapped her down to keep her from moving. The vampire examined her tiny arms…first one, then the other. "I think I can fill that last vial from this one," she said as she snapped the gloves in place. When she plunged the needle one more time into that tiny arm, I learned something. I didn’t have to stand there and let them torture my fragile child. As soon as the blood didn’t flow smoothly into the vial and the needle started prodding, I spoke up. "No!" I said. "We’re done." 

Willem Dafoe "Shadow of the Vampire."

She pulled the needle away; I popped the straps on the bed and picked up my precious child. Her screaming subsided as I cradled her in my arms. Her health and welfare were my responsibility, but she was not a piece of meat nor was she an interesting challenge for the medical community. As it turned out, they had enough blood to run all the tests and she was fine. It took until the first part of December for all the yellow to leave her system. And when it was finally gone, she started growing like a weed. Now at nearly six months she is pink and round and chubby as a little butterball. She still has tiny scars on her feet, but at least there are no teeth marks on her neck.

4 comments:

Ann Marie said...

Poor baby.
My little boy had to do the lights.. and the blood work as well.. no fun!

Good call telling them enough.

Your blog looks like lots of fun!
It has to be with a big family!!

Katie said...

Im glad you told them to stop since they already had enough!

My oldest was also a month early and had jaundice. He was a big boy though, 6lb 12oz. He got to come home on time but we had to get a bili-blanket at home for him to be on for a week. Not very fun, but at least he is healthy!

Glad to hear your family is safe and out of Japan for now. Also, I would love to read about (and see, if you have pictures) any Precioius Moments things you may have :)

ForeverRhonda said...

Poor baby. I spoke up when The Hubs was in the ER. The nurse had poked him 8 times already and apparently he was just happy enough to be a pin cushion! Luckily I've never had that problem with our son.

Ruth said...

Oh my word! I would have been sobbing right along with my baby! I don't mind needles at all. In me! I usually watch the nurses fill vial after vial from my arm when I'm pregnant. BUT. My baby? The needles make me cry. I hate taking my babies to get vaccinated... It's horrible! (I don't think I could be a nurse. At least not one that sticks needles in babies!)

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