Since baby is finally taking a nap, I’ll try to finish up my birth story and get on with this blog (preferably more recipes).
After one day at the hospital, our baby lost over a pound and weighed around 5 lbs. 10 oz. On top of that, a doctor came into our room at 5am to tell us that her jaundice levels were too high and that she was to be taken to NICU. That was probably the worst moment in the hospital for us. Since I couldn’t even get out of bed, I didn’t even get to hold her that much, change her diaper, or even bond with her. The doctor started talking about possible brain damage due to the jaundice getting any worse. Chris said he was concerned with the baby being separated from us, especially since he heard that around 90% of babies in the NICU always catch another illness. Since I was a complete mess I just started crying, since I didn’t know whether going to the NICU or staying with us was a better choice. The doctor said she’ll come back later to make a final decision.
When she came back, she made a compromise with us. The baby got to stay with us in our room, and they’ll bring her the UV lights for her jaundice. We would get to feed her every couple hours, breast milk and supplementing with formula, to get her weight back up. We couldn’t cuddle with her that much though, since she was only to be taken out for feedings then put right back under the UV lights. If her jaundice levels went down, or didn’t spike, she would be allowed to stay with us until she got better. If she got worse, they would talk to us about taking her to the NICU.
Each day she seemed to be getting better, and everyone told us that she would probably get discharged soon. I was trying to get better myself, and Chris was stressed out worrying about my health and the baby. He eventually cracked and said, call your mom and tell her to come ASAP. If we were to get discharged, we needed help at home.
We barely got any sleep each night. Doctors and nurses were checking the baby around the clock and weighing her, counting how many diaper changes she had, taking blood tests. Doctors came in to check on my IV, blood pressure, heart rate, catheter, and swelling. By the 5th day I was eventually discharged. The baby wasn’t yet, but we were able to stay in the hospital room as the parents, as the baby was now the sole patient.
On the 6th day, doctors told us the ‘bad news’. Baby’s billirubin levels went back up and they wanted her to stay longer. We were frustrated. We asked to speak to an attending doctor since all the doctors we spoke to were residents, and rarely did we see the same one each day. Basically, long story short, the attending told us to go home, and not worry about brain damage due to her jaundice, since they weren’t high enough to cause serious damage (baby’s level was something like 12.4, and a level of 30-something would possibly cause brain damage). She made it sound like the hospital just took special precautions and that usually in these cases there’s rarely any concern once the baby goes home. Her jaundice would eventually subside on its own, with or without the billirubin lights. That was enough for us, so we made the decision to finally go home.
So that was Part 2 of my birth story. It was definitely one of the most exhausting, stressful experiences of our lives, but I’m glad the baby is happy and healthy now. It’s been almost 5 weeks and her jaundice is completely gone. She is a chubby 9 pounder too. I am still recovering (yes, it’s been 5 weeks, will it get any better?!) but getting out of the apartment with the baby each day. I’ll keep updating everyone as much as I can.