Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jaundice, Peacefulness, and Anxiousness for Tomorrow

I wrote in a previous post that Kayley is expected to have jaundice in the coming days. Well, that day was today. I woke up this morning to Kayley's triple strength lamp attached to her isolet (that's the medical term for "bubble"). The lamp is to help get rid of the high levels of bilirubin in her blood. This morning's test showed a bilirubin count of 10.6. I remarked to the nurse that the number didn't seem to high to me since Drew reached 18 after he was born. She quickly reminded me that Kayley wasn't born 8 lbs 8 oz like Drew and she's premature. Though this level isn't dangerous to her, it's high enough to act on.

So, Kayley lays in her isolet in the direct light of the lamp wearing her blindfold. And in NICU fashion, she receives routine tests to ensure her bilirubin counts are going down. As of 6 pm tonight, her count was down to 9.1. Although it's good that is going down, she will still need the lamp for awhile. Our night nurse informed us that when she gets down to 5 or so, the lamp will be weened off. Even then, the jaundice will surely not stay away forever. More blindfolding and lamps appear to be in Kayley's future.

Other than the jaundice, today has been a very peaceful day. Kayley has been a star. She has been very calm and restful. She is building the strength needed to cross the many bridges in her stay here at the NICU. One of the next bridges is to give another try at getting off the ventilator. We're still not sure when that will be, but given the very low settings on the ventilator and the amount she breathes for herself over it, the second attempt can't be far away.

So with the 3rd day almost complete, we look forward to tomorrow. It's a day that makes us very anxious. Kayley will have her brain ultrasound to check for brain bleeds. They are one of the many risks that come with being premature. Although she hasn't displayed any signs of a bleed, it is still very frightening. We won't get the official results for 24 hours. However, we are told that depending on the technician, we could receive some unofficial results soon after it is complete. So, let's hope and pray for good news and another bridge crossed in Kayley's journey.

**The photos are of Kayley in the isolet under the lamp, Kayley lying on her belly, and Kayley holding my finger. The last one is intended to show her size. Even though she is big for her age, she is still very small.


  1. While I knew she was small, seeing her little hand on Daddy's finger really clarifies it.


  2. She is small, but looks snug as a bug in her little nest. Andy, I can see why you would want one too.

    I hope the tests go well today. Thanks for the blog. It's great for those of us so far away.

    Love you!