The next several posts were written once Gummi Bear was a week old. The dates posted are done more to keep track of where we were in the fun saga of the past week.
Part of the chaos of Sunday included a comment from our pediatrician that Gummi Bear was a little yellow, meaning she was jaundice. Sunday night included a blood test for jaundice and her levels were high (19), which meant Gummi Bear was going to spend Monday under a blue light to help clear the bilirubin from her system. The fact that she was about the right age for this to show up, that she’d been inside with little daylight exposure and the almost-dehydration when were having latching issues are the contributing factors for her numbers being so high…but I still felt like a bit of a failure. Knowing I survived being jaundice as a baby was reassuring, but still a blow after the problems already experienced. Add to that my parents being around only for Monday and it wasn’t shaping up to be a good day.
After a few hours, we’d all gotten comfortable with her being under the light. My parents had a good visit and did get to spend time holding her when she needed soothing while the Bald One and I would get set for her forced-feeding every two hours. It all started to blur together after a few cycles, and we fell into a rhythm. I got another good walk around the Women’s Pavilion and got to talk with my parents quite a bit before they had to leave. The funny of the day goes to the nurse tech who came to take my blood pressure towards the end of the day. Gummi Bear was being fussy because she wanted food as my parents were leaving…but they weren’t leaving fast enough for her to be happy. The nurse tech showed up then to take my blood pressure and we all watched it climb to the highest it has been for the entire stay. My mother actually commented it was probably her fault as they left, the nurse tech left with them and we were able to feed Gummi Bear.
Moments later, our evening nurse came in to give me the good news / bad news. The good news is that the latest numbers from Gummi Bear’s bilirubin were down but they still wanted to keep her under the lights for the evening. The bad news is that with my blood pressure being as high as it was, I needed to get in bed immediately and lay on my left side for the next fifteen minutes while thinking happy thoughts. The nurse tech came in after the appointed time and ran my blood pressure again, happily noting the lower level. She laughed and said she knew exactly who it was and why my numbers were so high but didn’t dare say a word. The Bald One encouraged me to stay in bed for a while yet and take a nap because while my numbers were better I could probably use it and our little one was doing fine under her light and in her bassinet.
The evening passed uneventfully as we found ourselves responding to the appropriate cues and getting feedings done. Gummi Bear was wheeled off early and re-tested, again having her levels drop – this time, enough for us to be discharged from the hospital. Our nurse that morning came to deliver the good news and asked what did we feel we needed to do before we left. This meant I got to give her a bath, followed by dressing her in an adorable little dress. We then went through all the discharge questions as I signed here and there before the final bit of paperwork. The nurse read off my wrist tag, Gummi Bear’s tag and the Bald One’s to confirm that we were a family and I signed my name one more time which allowed us to go.
I sat in the back seat of my car for the ride home to make the Bald One happy and we brought her home. The cats ignored her entrance until she made noise, at which point we had a bit of confusion and hiding, but no scary reactions. We then had to figure out just what we were doing in our own home. It’s one thing to set up a nursery, to know you have a bassinet for your bedroom and a swing for your living room…it’s another to be ready to change a diaper in the middle of your living room floor. We did eventually manage to put our hands on everything, but when you’re interrupting yourself every few hours to take care of a tiny human it takes much longer than you think. But, can’t think of how I’d rather spend the next few weeks.