We were back to Dr. G’s office today for Ellie’s two-week checkup (or more specifically, the 7-14 day checkup), and he was happy about her responses. She hasn’t had any jaundice at all, which surprised him, her reactions were good, and she also behaved well – looking around, flailing randomly (since her neurons are still gearing up). She’s also now above her birth weight: 7 pounds 12 ounces. And not crying much at all.
Until the PKU test.
We’d heard about this from friends; this was the one that I alluded to the other day. The doctor pricks the baby’s heel and squeezes enough blood to fill four or five nickel-sized circles on a sheet. Those blood samples are used to test for phenylketonuria, an inherited metabolic disease. As you can imagine, the baby isn’t too crazy about getting poked in the heel (the soft, soft heel). For some people we know, the test was harder on the parents than on the baby.
Kim decided to stay in the waiting room while I took Ellie to the lab room. The prick itself was quick, and she howled. I had to hold her arms and other leg out of the way so the lab tech could do her job: squeezing Ellie’s foot and leg to coax more blood out of the wound, which was then collected in a dropper and transferred to the test sheet.
But she did really well. I was able to calm her down from ultra-meltdown to just extremely annoyed, and in a few minutes it was over. We were also lucky with the timing: She was due for a feeding, so after undergoing the procedure, Kim was ready to soothe her with lunch. The ride home was pretty uneventful, as was the rest of the day.