Since I have been on a “maternity leave” of sorts. I haven’t told all of you about our first week home. Which frankly kinda sucked. I had been looking so forward to having my husband home with us as he had taken 8 days off but things were so crazy that I hardly ever saw him.
So what happened? Charlotte and I were discharged after 24 hours (Tuesday night) at my request since labor and delivery went well and I was feeling great, I was understandably eager to get home and be with my family. Little ones are required to stay for 24 hours due to blood test(s) that have to be done at 24 hours old. One of which is a bilirubin test. (Can you guess where this is going?) But Charlotte’s bilirubin came back at 9.6 which was normal at that point so we were discharged with no concerns and an appointment was set for her to see her regular pediatrician in a couple of days.
I knew (everyone knew) just by looking at her that she was jaundice. She was orange with really yellow eyes,( if you could actually get her to open them) it was obvious, as she looked like she had had a spray tan that had gone very, very wrong.
So our pediatrician checked her bilirubin levels again on Thursday, and she was at 16.8. Anything over 17 and local policy is to admit the baby and put them under the “Bili-lights” for photo-therapy. Since she was so high but still “okay” we had to go back for a third check on Friday morning to see if it had gone up anymore, and lo and behold she was over 18. Meh.
Now, if you must have post delivery complications with either Momma or baby, this is the thing to have. As long as the baby is being monitored and treated if necessary, jaundice is not a big deal, just a giant pain in the ass. That being said, if ones bilirubin level gets really high it can be extremely dangerous so it does need to be monitored.
Charlotte was then admitted to the hospital for photo-therapy. Which means I was admitted to the hospital because there was no way in hell was I going to leave my brand new baby, plus I’m breastfeeding so the food kinda needed to be there too.
For photo therapy, all that happens is the baby get stripped down, the eyes are covered, and put they are put under this special light which makes it look like a baby tanning bed and she had to stay under the lights unless I was feeding her. That was the hardest part. Not being able to hold my baby that I waited so long to meet… Ugh. I have no idea how premi Momma’s and Daddy’s do it, they have my utmost admiration for being so strong.
Then after 30 hours under the lights we were discharged from the hospital. Again. Pretty simple. Not that big of a deal, just a pain. The lights only brought her level down to 14-15 if I remember correctly, so we still had to go back to the pedi that following Tuesday. I love our pediatrician and all, but seriously we were seeing way too much of each other.
The biggest issue for us with Charlotte being jaundice is the fact that it makes babies so tired which leads to extremely difficult breastfeeding as a sleeping baby doesn’t nurse well. So it has been a long and frustrating breastfeeding road so far, and unfortunately we are still fighting the sleepiness because Charlotte has what they call breast milk jaundice but I’ll get into all of that in a different post though.
Since I didn’t have a whole lot to do while sitting at the hospital other than staring at Charlotte in the baby baker I decided to snap a few pictures. Although it was a less than stellar couple of days in her life (at least for me, I honestly don’t think she cared) it happened and it is important to record that. I must admit that the pictures are kinda neat too. (these picture are straight off my camera and I didn’t edit anything)