So far, my time at home with Coco has been pretty spectacular. Once she got rid of all the amniotic fluid she still had in her when she was born (evidently most of that typically gets squeezed out during delivery, but she popped out so fast that she still had a lot of fluid in her belly, which meant that she did not nurse well at all for the first 36 hours or so) and then figured out how to nurse without grinding my nipples into raw hamburger, the nursing thing has gone pretty well. My milk supply could still chill out a little bit, but I'm not going to complain about that when I know that it would be way kites stressful to have the opposite problem.
Overall, Colette seems like an easy baby--though I told my mom last night that I think a lot of that has to do with us. I felt like Zuzu was a chill baby, but I don't remember us really laying Zuzu down to nap when she was this little--she was constantly held and the slightest squawk would stress me out. This time, Coco has to squawk a little bit if she's put down in the pack & play while Zuzu is getting dressed for school and --guess what--by the time I've finished getting Zuzu ready, Coco is asleep and peaceful, and doesn't protest when I load her up in the car seat.
I'm enjoying the relative relaxation that comes with the second [living] baby--I know we'll figure out nursing, I know I won't always be so tired, I know how fast this time will go by. And while things haven't been perfect (bedtime is kind if a disaster these days), I've been relieved at how easily and enthusiastically Zuzu seems to have transitioned to being a big sister.
Seriously: Today I came in from the kitchen with Zuzu's milk and overhead Zuzu saying "I yove you, Coco." Swear to God. My heart exploded.
BUT (you were waiting for a but, right?), this week has had a few special challenges as well. I can handle explosive newborn mustard poop AND dog poop in the basement AND spit-up in my cleavage AND Zuzu being clingy at daycare drop off AND running out of vanilla Joe-Joe's.
But Monday night things got scary. I got a call from the pediatrician's office saying that Coco's newborn screening came back abnormal and needs to be redone.
Nothing like the phrase "abnormal test results" to make me feel panicky.
The nurse I spoke with was very reassuring and said that false positive results often occur when a baby has had the PKU testing before nursing successfully for 24 hours. She also said that 99.99% of the time, the second test comes back just fine.
(I, of course, automatically start calculating how likely it is for us to be the "0.01%" of people at our pediatrician's office whose false positive is, in fact, not false.)
I try to limit my googling, but I did enough to determine that Coco doesn't have the other symptoms that are typical of babies who have a genuine abnormality--she wasn't low birth weight, her head is not small, she's eating and pooping and peeing just fine.
But you know how it is.
The second screening meant that Coco had to have another heel stick today. The pediatrician's office said that my insurance required me to go to a specific lab to have the blood drawn, so I made an appointment for this morning. I dropped Zu at school and then Coco and I headed to the lab.
You guys. It was much worse than I thought.
I don't know what I was expecting--a quick heel prick, a smear on a piece of litmus paper or something?
I did not realize that her heel would get stuck and then SQUEEZED in order to make the blood fill up a vial. While she screamed and cried REAL TEARS. The tech started this process with her asleep in her carseat. Once I realized that this process was going to take FOREVER, I insisted on removing her from her car seat and holding her. Meanwhile, the lab tech is trying to tell me it will "go faster" if she's crying. WTF???
I was practically in tears myself and then the lab tech asked if it was my first baby.
I might have been just a little bit snappy when I said no.
So finally it was all over. Poor Coco dozed off in her car seat after I promised her that we would do nothing else but nurse and hang out all day.
We got home and I called David to tell him how horrible it was and to tell him that if I'd known how horrible it was going to be that I wasn't sure I would have taken her by myself and at least it was over and we'd get the results soon.
Instead, I got a call from the lab this afternoon telling me that they DON'T DO the newborn screening that my doctor had ordered.
So they had taken this blood from Coco, run a bilirubin test that she DID NOT NEED and which WAS NOT ORDERED, and now they were calling to inform me that my pediatrician should have sent me to a hospital because their lab doesn't do the newborn screening. (By the way, she's not jaundiced. This is not news. Thanks for NOTHING.)
(I was driving to pick up Zuzu from school when I got this phone call and you better believe I had to PULL THE CAR OVER because I was shaking with rage.)
So I immediately called my pediatrician's office. They were apologetic and said that they had a call in to the lab representative to see why this lab location didn't do this screening.
The only thing I cared about was whether the test would have to be redone. Like can't they just use the same vial of blood?
Of course it does have to be redone. The nurse started to say something about waiting to hear from their lab rep before rescheduling and I interrupted her to say that it made no difference to me if that location did the screening or not because there was no way I was going back there. She was very understanding.
So now I have to take my 11-day-old baby to a children's hospital tomorrow morning to have her OTHER little foot jabbed and squeezed and drained of blood. While we both cry.
And I try not to think about the small possibility that our test results might not be good ones.
What kind of lab tech draws blood for a test they don't do? Why didn't she READ the form before she stuck my baby?
Our pediatrician actually called me himself to apologize and make sure I understood that I won't be charged for this, that I'll have an appointment scheduled at children's hospital tomorrow, and that if my insurance tries to say they won't cover it, that I have the paperwork to say that I tried to go to the lab they work with but they wouldn't do the test. He was also reassuring about not being concerned about the test results--he basically said it's state mandated screening and rescreening if anything comes back funky, and reiterated that she had probably just been tested too early at the hospital.
David wants to call and speak to the manager of the lab. I just want the whole damn thing to be over.
I'm dreading tomorrow's appointment. I don't want to have to cause her more pain.
Even more importantly: I want to get our test results back ASAP and I want her to be okay.