Friday, November 10, 2006

First Well Baby Check

I met with the doctor a long time and asked a ton of questions. His weight was 6-10 and length was 19 1/2. Length is never exact because it's hard to stretch out the baby straight. Doc thinks we can't compare weight in the office with what the nurses were getting at home. We have to go back once a week for the next 2 weeks to make sure he's gaining and check on the jaundice. She says, based on his eating schedule, she thinks he probably is gaining. She would like to see him back up to his birth weight next week, but that may be a stretch.
He's going to have the jaundice a while and may get something called "breastfeeding jaundice" around week 4. She showed me how to press on his foot and look to see if the thumb print is yellow. Right now the jaundice doesn't go to his feet, so if we see it on his feet, we know to bring him in and they will consider other treatment. His cord stump fell off a few days ago, which is a little early. It has been a little crusty and bloody. The doctor says his belly button is perfect. It will bleed and scab another 2 weeks. She recommends we just do the sponge baths instead of fully submersing him because the cord came off a little early and she doesn't want to risk infection.
We need to keep him really bundled up, but not to the point where he sweats. If he's using energy to keep warm, he won't grow. The hiccups, which sound so scary, are totally normal. It happens because his belly is full and it pushes up on the diaphragm. She says it's a good sign that he is eating enough. She says his feeding and sleeping schedule are perfect and we shouldn't do anything to try and change his days and nights now. She says he should sleep 22 hours a day. She says it's really good that he wakes up to eat. We just need to make sure he doesn't go more than 4 hours without a feeding.
She says he's gassy because his belly is very small right now and he's eating until he's full. It's not a problem. She recommended we use a pacifier with him and I told her we do. She says it's his little buddy right now and it's great to help him learn to comfort himself. She also said the Gerber NUK's are best for breastfed babies. I asked about visitors and she said he can go out and have visitors like normal, but we have to be hyper vigilant about germs. He shouldn't be near anyone that is anywhere close to being sick. If he even gets a little cold in the next 2 months, she has to do a ton of testing, including lumbar puncture, to rule out infection. If anyone visits, they have to thoroughly wash hands and not get in his face.
She said he's a very healthy looking baby. She showed how he reacts when she puts a cold hand on him and told me if he were a sick baby, he would just be floppy. She says he's got excellent muscle tone and it's hard for her to remember he's a preemie.

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