Henry’s first trip to the ER


When Henry was five days old, he still hadn’t had a messy diaper (other than meconium diapers in the hospital). We called the doctor. They suggested we try the thermometer trick, and if that didn’t work, he needed to be seen at the ER of the Boston Children’s Hospital.

The thermometer didn’t work. Four hours later my Mom and I took Henry to the ER. Peter was at a job interview.

(At that point, Henry still didn’t have a name. When the hospital asked me his name upon arrival, I said, “Baby Boy.” That was not acceptable for them, they needed a real name. I tentatively told them they could call him Henry. Once this happened and “Henry Peter Sommerkorn” was written on his hospital records, it sort of seemed official, and sort of seemed like I named him right on the spot without Peter. It was weird.)

I don’t think I was actually that concerned. I thought the ER was a bit drastic.

Since Henry’s pediatrician had called ahead for us, we didn’t have to wait and we went right back into a room. They took his vital signs which were all normal, and then stuck a needle in Henry’s arm and took his blood. It was shocking how much blood they took from such a teeny (or not so teeny at 9 lbs 12 oz) person. All the tests came back normal.

The doctor suggested that Henry might not be eating enough, and therefore had no waste. The doctor weighed him, I nursed him, and we weighed him again in order to see about how many ounces of milk he was getting from each feeding. After we did that the doctor determined that it was probably enough. He determined that everything was fine and sent us home with the assumption that Henry would have a messy diaper soon.

As I paid the $50 hospital copay on the way out, I was ticked that we had wasted our evening and $50 for NOTHING. We were all (Peter had arrived towards the end of the visit) sort of grumpy as we left the hospital. Me because the whole thing was useless, expensive, and upsetting for my new baby (needle in his arm!!). Peter because he had come from a job interview and had to walk a few blocks from the train to the hospital in his nice shoes in the pouring rain. Luckily Grandma was there to cheer everyone up with takeout, including a large assortment of baked goods from the Au Bon Pain bakery. Thank goodness for Grandmas.

The diaper situation was resolved a few days later.


Note: Henry’s onesie is a Swiss flag. I purchased it while we were in Switzerland this summer. Many of the nurses in the hospital thought it was a Red Cross onesie and thought we had dressed him specially for his hospital visit.

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