So after a few days of being home and enjoying our new baby we had a routine midwife visit. I knew Cleo looked a bit yellow, but on this day, she was very very sleepy, and not feeding very well.
The midwife took a look at her and said she was the most yellow baby she had ever seen and referred us straight away to the hospital where they ran some blood tests. She was quite a bit above the treatment line for photo-therapy and thankfully below the treatment line for transfusion.
We were admitted to the NICU. There my tiny newborn baby was taken off me, stripped naked down to a nappy, rather roughly strapped a pair of eye protection glasses onto her and placed her into a light box. She was screaming. I was told I could touch her as long as I didn’t cover any skin, but that I must not pick her up. I was allowed to take her out for feeding, but no longer than 20 mins at a time, and they preferred the intervals to be more than 2 hours.
So I stood next to that light box for the whole night stroking her face, singing to her, trying to make her feel like I was holding her. She cried from midnight to 4am when she finally gave in and fell asleep. She kept stirring and I managed to pacify her with a dummy….a dummy I said I would never give before 6 weeks old.
We tried desperately to find someone to stay over night with the older children so that Stacy could stay with us. My Mum had a cold, my Dad is useless, Stacy’s parents had some lame excuse about having to work the power point projector at church that evening.
I sobbed and sobbed at lack of support. I cried all alone in that room with my distressed baby.
By the morning, I could no longer sit down. The stitches in my episiotomy were so swollen and so bulging, the pain was immense. The staff came into the room to find me crying and asked what was wrong. When I explained my pain, they did the best they could to help me by finding me some ice and some cloths.
When Stacy came back, she let me lay on the bed. I slept for some time, but Cleo remained under the lights for the rest of the day. She spent a full 24 hours under the lights in total before her bloods came down low enough to stop the treatment. Thankfully, she was much more settled during the day time (she ALWAYS sleeps better in the day!)
When I was finally allowed to take her out, the feeling of joy were overpowering. I was allowed to hold and cuddle my baby! I will never take that for granted ever again believe you me! They kept us in for another day though monitoring her bloods and checking that the levels continued to go down rather than rise again. Thankfully they did still go down, and were were allowed home.
She is still quite yellow (day 13) and tomorrow we have another midwife appointment. They did say to me that if the jaundice was still there on day 14 that we would be referred back to the hospital. I am so nervous about that happening. Stacy goes back to work on Tuesday for a start! I can’t emotionally go through any more photo-therapy treatment either….it might break me. My midwife has diagnosed me with post traumatic stress following the birth and the re-admission. It is going to take me a while to recover mentally.
Please keep your fingers crossed tomorrow that we are not re-admitted. Even more blood tests might break me 😦
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