Week one did not go quite as expected for us. It was actually a really hard week for us trying to get adjusted to a newborn amongst everything else that had happened. I mentioned in my labor post that a few thing happened during the delivery of Jill that have been pretty upsetting and have given us a lot to worry about. I had some difficulty pushing out Jill, it may have been because I was given an extra dose of my epidural at the end and I couldn't really feel my contractions. Jill's heartbeat was also higher than normal and my doctor was anxious to get her out. I wasn't able to see what was going on during her delivery and also didn't realize that I even had an episiotomy. I do remember Jeff saying "Oh no!" at some point after they did manage to pull her out. Jill had been delivered with the assistance of a vacuum device and it had left a huge hematoma on the top of her head. It looked like a huge lump right on the top of her head and I noticed when they handed her over to me that several layers of skin were missing. The area of her head with the missing skin was very raw and red looking. There was also a circular indentation that almost looked black. It was just really upsetting to see. As upsetting as it was, I honestly thought that this was something that sometimes happened when a vacuum was used. Our pediatrician came in to examine Jill while I was still in the labor and delivery room. She took a look at the sore on her head was very concerned about what she saw. She mentioned that she had never seen a vacuum delivery look quite like this and suggested that we see a pediatric plastic surgeon the next day to see if anything needed to be done immediately to get it fixed.
The next day, the plastic surgeon looked over Jill and pretty much made the same comments to us that our pediatrician did. That he had never seen a vacuum delivery cause so much damage before. He recommended that we continue to use the anti-bacterial ointment that our pediatrician prescribed and to wait and see if there was any scarring once it had healed. After the plastic surgeon had left, there seemed to be a whirlwind of nurses and doctors in and out of our room. Everyone wanted to see our baby's head and give their opinion. The fact that so many doctors were coming into our room only made Jeff and I worry more. It was obvious that there was some uncertainty on what happened during the delivery that all these doctors wanted to check her out. A Neonatalagist was next to check her out and was the first to mention that her sore may not be the result from of the vacuum delivery. He mentioned that she may have a dermatological condition called Acutis Aplasia that just happened to be in the same location as where the vacuum was placed. Acutis Aplasia is mostly a dermatological condition in newborns where the skin doesn't fully form. He then starts to explain that because of where hers is located, brain damage may have occurred. That was just not something that we expected him to say. I have been worried sick about the possibility of brain damage ever since it was mentioned back at the hospital. The good news is that after all the doctors that have looked at Jill, all have determined that she didn't have brain damage and that the sore is dermatological. She has been such a great baby so far and has not shown any signs that anything would be wrong with her neurologically. It just really shook us up more than you can imagine with thoughts of our little girl having any kind of brain damage. I can happily report now that her sore has closed and there is no longer a large scab. There is a little red mark around the size of a dime that it on the top of her head that we have to watch and continue to put the anti-bacterial ointment on daily. She also wears hats all of the time to keep the area clean and so it's not disturbed. The sore looks so good right now that she will most likely not need any plastic surgery to correct when she is older. Our little girl may have a little bald spot and scarring but hopefully she inherited my thick hair and it won't even make a difference and it will be easily covered up with a lot of hair. It's hard to say what caused Jill to have this condition and the doctor's have not been able to determine a definite cause. Jeff and I have Googled the heck out of 'Cutis Aplaisia' and in a few articles, it does mention that an amniotic band may cause this. We will never know for sure, but we find it to be highly coincidental that I had an amniotic band whichis a rare occurence on top of Cutis Aplasia which is also a rare occurence. We will finally be seeing a pediatric dermatologist on January 11th for her to make a final diagnosis. I am hoping that she concurs everything that we have already know and that all we have to worry about is for it to finish healing.
On top of us having to worry about Jill's precious little head, our baby girl started to show signs of jaundice before they released us on the 23rd. So first thing on the morning of the Christmas Eve, after a very long and sleepless night, was to head back to the pediatrician's office to get Jill's billirubin levels checked. We were absolutely exhausted, the last thing we wanted to do was pack up Jill in the snow and cold and head back to the hospital which is where our pediatrician's office is located. All we wanted to do was SLEEP! After we returned home, our pediatrician called and reported that Jill's billirubin levels had increased since we had been discharged the day before and she wanted us to go to the pediatric ER the next day (Christmas Day!) to get them checked again. So after another long and sleepless night, we ventured out in the cold and snow again to the pediatric ER to get Jill's levels checked. If you have ever had a baby who had their billirubin levels checked, I don't need to tell you how awful the test is. They prick the heal of the baby and have to collect a huge vial of blood by constantly squeezing their foot. While doing this, the baby is screaming their head off in pain. It's just an awful sight and as a new mom, it was horrible to sit through. When it was all said and done I had to sit through the test at least 4-5 times. Our pediatrician called us again with our results, and again, they had increased. Our pediatrician told us to drive back to the hospital to be admitted overnight so Jill could be placed under the billirubin lights. The billirubin lights are basically a mini tanning bed for infants. Sadly, our Christmas Day was spent in the hospital and it was another long and sleepless night as nurses kept coming in every few hours to prick poor Jill's foot. Our sleep level at that point went from very little to non-existent. I had never been so tired in my life, I would just cry for no apparent reason. The nurse would ask me questions, I would cry. Jeff would ask what I wanted for dinner, I would cry. I was just that tired. We were released the next day in the late afternoon after Jill's billirubin numbers were finally showing signs of decreasing.
WEEK ONE IN PICTURES
Getting ready to come home:
Being discharged from the hospital:
Jill is finally home:
We tried fixing Jill's jaundice problem at home by sticking her in the sunniest room of house. However, we do live in Cleveland and that was a very small window of opportunity for us:
Jill's first bath:
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6 days ago