Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday, May 2

So, remember when I said that we wouldn't need to go back to the pediatrician until the 2-month checkup? Well, they spoke too soon. The PKU test was unreadable by the computer, so we had to come back in today and redo it.

For those who are lucky enough to not know what this test entails, let me ruin it for you. The PKU test, which is required by law in most states, tests for about 50 genetic disorders. They stick the baby in the heel and draw enough blood to fill five dime-sized paper circles. Now that's not a lot of blood . . . except when you take it from a 1-day old. It's like saying "she only lost 1 pound", but when she only weighs 5 pounds, that's a pretty high percentage. And the thing about newborns, they don't have veins like adults, so you can't just stick a needle in their arm and get a vial of blood. They stick the heel with a little puncher (like when you go to give blood and they do the iron test, they stick your finger with a little puncher), and then SQUEEZE the blood out of it to get it on the paper. And if they didn't get a good spot, they stick him again. And again. And again. All the while the baby is screaming.

Now, most parents never see this, because most moms and babies spend at least two days in the hospital, and the pediatrician or nurse does the test in the nursery. However, I had my baby in a birthing center and was discharged after about 18 hours after the birth. The PKU has do to be done after 24 hours, so we had to go to our pediatrician's office and have it done (one reason they "don't like birth center babies", because they don't like doing it!). So we went the 12th, and got 3 of the 5 circles done, until the doctor stopped because he felt so bad for us. We were coming back Friday for a weight check, so we finished it then. I got a call a few days ago saying it was unreadable, so we went back this morning and did it again.

Funny thing about the difference between a 1 week old and a 3 week old, is that the 3 week old seems to be aware of his own pain. The first time, he just cried in his "i'm naked and someone is touching me and something's different and where's my booby" angry cry. Today, when the doctor stuck him, he got quiet for a second, turned BEET RED, and SCREAMED!!! It was clearly a "OOOOOWWWW THAT HURT!!!!!!" cry, followed by the usual angry "i'm naked and someone is touching me and something's different and where's my booby" cry. There were even real tears, at which point I was very torn -- one part of me was so upset that he was hurting, but another part of me was so proud that his tear ducts are now mature enough to produce tears. Awww.


But moments after it was done, he was fine. So we went to the Post Office and Starbuck's. Most productive day yet.

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