Day 1. Saturday
Baby screenings and circumcision. All went well!
I amazed myself by being able to walk around at Day 1 after labor and delivery, but then, I was drugged with hospital grade painkillers.
Day 2. Sunday
More baby screenings! Everything seems to be doing well with Baby Mark, as he was brought in and out of the nursery and my postpartum room.
Still under the ‘magic’ of painkillers, since early that morning I have showered and got dressed anxiously awaiting to be discharged. But by hospital policy, the baby has to be observed for 48 hours.
Hubby picked up Matthew from friends, who happily babysat for Matthew, for him to meet his baby brother Mark for the first time. It’s amazing to see Matthew mesmerized and just excited. He always wanted to show off his baby brother.
Later that day, we were discharged from the hospital and so happy to be home.
I am so happy to home! Thanks to hubby, we came home to a clean and well-arranged house. My heart just swells for him.
Day 3. Monday
I haven’t picked up my prescription yet and somehow because of my several plight up and down the stairs, I woke up so sore! I felt so sore in my chest from breastfeeding, and my pelvic area was still contracting, that I felt I needed another round of epidural just to get up. I’ve learned to take it easy since then.
At that time, we were bragging to friends and family that we have a good baby. Baby Mark slept through the night on his first night at home and he slept 7-8 hours earlier that day. Little did we know that he was already showing signs of lethargy – being too weak to wake up even for feeding.
Day 4. Tuesday
We have tried to set up an appointment to a pediatrician for Baby Mark’s Day-4 Check-up. We tried getting an appointment at Matthew’s pediatrician but he doesn’t see newborns. Mainly due to lack of know-who-and-where, we were about to blow off going to the doctor but it was suggested to bring him to Maxwell Air Force Base Pediatric Clinic. It was a long drive but it has walk-in hours, no need to set up an appointment.
We got there late that day, at about 2 pm. I was too sore to get up early.
At the clinic, Baby Mark’s blood was drawn for testing and vital stats were taken. He lost a few more ounces. We were meeting up with the Pediatric Nurse when we all found out his Bilirubin levels jumped 11 levels up! The Pediatric Nurse acted so concerned. She called the doctor.
Jaundice is a condition that makes a newborn’s skin and the white part of the eyes look yellow. It happens because there is too much bilirubin in the baby’s blood (hyperbilirubinemia). Bilirubin is a substance that is made when the body breaks down old red blood cells.
Jaundice usually is not a problem. But in rare cases, too much bilirubin in the blood can cause brain damage (kernicterus). This can lead to hearing loss, mental retardation, and behavior problems. [Read more about Jaundice in Newborn in WebMD]
Baby Mark under Photo Therapy
Later on, Baby Mark was admitted for Home Care for Photo therapy. He had Jaundice. I felt so bad. I didn’t even notice the yellow spots on his belly, which is one of the symptoms of jaundice aside from lethargy.
We thank Kristine, Spenser and Keshaun, for giving us the comfort of their home. They let us stay in their home during the duration of the therapy. We couldn’t go home for the baby’s therapy because the hospital who admitted the baby for home care can only go so far.
We were so unprepared for this that we didn’t even have toothbrushes for this stay-over.
Day 5. Wednesday
Hubby planned to come back to work that day but he can’t. Thank God, the people he works with and for understood, … well if they didn’t, oh well!
Baby Mark was strapped to the Photo Therapy machine. It’s constricting and must be very uncomfortable. I struggled to breastfeed him on a 2-3 hours interval.
His blood was drawn and we waited for the results. It’s the waiting that kills when there’s nothing else to do. His levels this time was at all time high, jumped 2 more levels up. He wasn’t going to be discharged just yet.
Also, he lost another few more ounces.
Day 6. Thursday
It’s Day 2 for the photo therapy. At this time, I was getting worried that he might not be getting enough milk from breastfeeding. We got a breast-pump, and since then, he was breastfed and bottle-fed with breast milk, just so I can see his actual milk intake.
Later that day, his blood was drawn again. Poor baby at his 6th day, he had 6 cuts on his heel to draw blood from. His Bilirubin level went down, but the nurse didn’t discharge him just yet. He was taken off the photo therapy machine but it was to be made sure that his level were going down on his own. So, he needs to be checked again the following day.
Day 7. Friday
Still worried and this time so anxious!
I brought him outside early that morning for some sunlight to his skin. We waited. Then the nurse came by to draw his blood for testing. And he was weighted. He gained back his lost ounces. And we waited again for the results.
At this time we are hoping that all the toxic Bilirubin are off his system on his own. Of course, I was still making sure he is well fed.
We got the numbers and his Bilirubin level was confirmed to be going down. He was discharged.
We headed back home in the afternoon.
Baby Mark is doing much better. Feeding well and may I say, pooping well! He’s looking much better, getting some color aside from yellow . He’s acting like a baby should – feeding, peeing, pooping, sleeping and waking up every 2 or so hours.
If I had written this earlier, there will be more emotions involved for it was a long trying, exhausting week! Also, while all this was going on with the baby, we have a toddler who is having a hard time adjusting to our divided attention …
Again, I’ve felt that being a parent is so difficult and so humbling! Feeling ordinary and helpless, asking for help and receiving favors. But we are so blessed to have family and friends who care.