I think this is the fourth time I've called Chana, my friend across the street, in a panic asking her to take my kid(s) so that I could go to the doctor/hospital.
Three-week-old baby + 100.3 fever = trip to doctor's office. Not the ER though, fortunately. Last night at 4 am Avtalyon suddenly went from being the calmest, mellowest, least stressed-out baby I have ever seen (much less had) to a sad cranky baby who cried a lot, didn't want to nurse, and was whimpery even while being held. I checked his temperature a couple of times this morning and was nervous to see it hovering around 99-something--all three of my boys tend to have baseline temperatures around 97-98F or so, at all times of day. (I know, I know, but I'm telling you it's true.) But at at around 2, it hit 100.3--close enough to the official "your newborn has a fever and you have to do something about it right now" mark of 100.5 that I called the doctor.
So, Barak and Iyyar went to Chana's (there is nothing like having amazing neighbors, is there...), I called a cab, and off we went--me toting a bag with three changes of clothes and a pile of knitting, because now I've been around the block with these things enough times that I didn't assume we were going right back home. But as it happened, the bag was unnecessary. The doctor thinks he is either a) fine, not having a "true fever" (apparently those 2/10s of a degree matter--who knew?) or b) coming down with something and it's too early to tell. I'm not sure either which it is, but something is for sure bugging him. Avtalyon is not eating so well, is breathing faster and louder than usual, and has lost a couple of those hard-won ounces since yesterday--more worrisome than that to me, though, was the difference in personality. He had little worry lines on his forehead and even while asleep looked so troubled.
Now, if this were Barak or Iyyar at the same age, I would think nothing of it. That was just the way they were--high-need, high-stress babies. But Avtalyon is different, and it was clear even in the hospital before the jaundice. No bets on how he'll be in the months to come, but until now, he's been the sweetest, easiest baby ever. He'll sleep while not being held. When he wakes up, he looks around for a while to see if anyone's coming before mounting any complaints; Barak would (and sometimes still does) start screaming before even waking up all the way. After the trauma of a diaper change, Barak and Iyyar needed time to calm down; Avtalyon protests at least as much (and usually pees all over the wall, just so you are clear that he is ANNOYED), but as soon as you're done he heaves a "Thank God THAT's over" sigh and resumes his inspection of the curtains or my shoulder or the side of the Kleenex box. So far, he's just a lot calmer and a lot more mellow. Ergo, the behavior is seeming odd.
He nursed a little bit when we got home, but not much; I checked his temperature again and it's 99.7. B"H he's sleeping in his carseat now, making little "I'm not so happy" noises but not really waking up. I'm hoping he'll get a good rest, wake up, eat a good meal and feel better. Stay tuned.