Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Packing the UV Suitcase

Okay, let’s get everyone caught up, shall we?

Last week, Atticus went for his one week check up and his bilirubin count was a little high, making him more like one of The Simpsons than one of the Barrons.

Oh yeah, and who the hell is Billy Rueben anyway?

Actually, calling it “a little” high is me downplaying the situation; his count was 18. If it had been 20, they would have admitted him to the NICU for phototherapy under the UV blue lights. And while we didn't have to go to the NICU, it still brought back memories not that far removed.

But, since Atticus was just under the count, they sent us home with a UV suitcase.

What, you might ask, is a UV suitcase? It is EXACTLY what it sounds like. It’s a self contained grow light system that bombards the person laying in it with UV rays (the non-tanning varietal).
So, for 24 hours, unless Atticus was eating or being changed, he was under the lights.

The first hour I kept him company as he wore the little cloth eye patches to keep the light out so he wouldn’t stare at the lights, effectively blinding him. And I can see how that would happen.

After an hour of looking into the UV suitcase, everything looked yellow. It took 10 minutes for the effect to wear off; from then on, I tried to wear my sunglasses every time I sat with him. It’s a funny sight, me sitting in the master bedroom, wearing my sunglasses inside, at night.

What a difference a day makes.

His bilirubin count was down five points the next day and his color was much better. The next day he was well within the realm of normal.

Well, as normal as any child of mine could be.

Other items of note:
  • We’re still working on a blog name for Atticus; currently, At-At, Scout, and Finch are in the running. The geek in me likes At-At for the unspoken Star Wars reference, but Scout rolls off the tongue.

  • At the two week check up, Atticus had grown a ¼ of an inch and was above birth weight.

  • Fresh out of the womb, I thought his eyes were brown. But, they appear to be Barron Blue (actually, they should really be called Schlather Blue, because my mother’s side of the family has a darker shade of blue. But, since my last name is Barron, it’s Barron Blue).

  • Atticus is not the sleeper The Squeaker was… nor does he squeak like she did. He sounds like a Howler Monkey in a vise. Actually, he has gotten better… more of a squawk than a howl. Perhaps he should be The Squawker?!?

  • And finally, over all The Squeaker seems to like her little brother. Overall she plays nice and we only have to tell her “Gently!” every other minute.