Life Event: Birth (Part 2)

So the second reason it took so long to get back to blogging is after little Remy was born, we spent an extra 4 days in the hospital.

You see, Remy had jaundice. This isn’t entirely uncommon (apparently). The pediatrician explained that it takes a few days for the liver to “boot up” in a newborn, and sometimes can struggle to keep up with dead red blood cells. This was exasperated by the fact I have a different blood type.

This difference in blood types meant Remy’s body was attacking my blood still in his system. You know, all that blood I had been passing over to him through the placenta for the past nine months. NOW he hates it. Ingrate. As HIS blood production and liver are just booting up, they were fighting a war of attrition. He WOULD win (eventually) but prolonged high levels of bilirubin (the toxic stuff causing the jaundice) could cause brain damage. YIKES.

So he was born Friday night, Saturday the hospital started him on UV therapy. Don’t ask me why UV light helps break down my dying blood cells – I trust the doctors that it helps. It was very stressful as a new mom not be allowed to hold my baby as much as I wanted, but it made for some cool Tron-style pictures of him:

He literally was swaddled with these two pads of light against his skin. And it did help – we saw improvements in his numbers while he was on it. Unfortunately, we tried to take him off the light therapy Sunday night and he wasn’t ready. They ran a “rebound” test Monday morning and his bilirubins had spiked pretty drastically. Never into the “omg this is dangerous for him” levels, but the whole point was to NEVER get to those levels!

So Monday we were on the light therapy again. We also began supplementing my breastfeeding with formula (the more he could eat/drink the better to flush his system). This was awesome as well because it meant someone else (usually my awesome hubby) could feed Remy while I napped (again/more). I have been napping a lot these past few weeks. Something-something feeding every 2-3 hours…

We came off the lights again Tuesday morning – and Tuesday afternoon we had our second rebound check. It was good! We finally got to take our baby home Tuesday night. I can’t even tell you how excited I was to go home! Terrified and excited and happy.

The hospital staff was amazing. The nurses were so incredibly supportive and kind. Everyone was willing to answer questions and never made me feel like a dummy because I was a new mom who didn’t know something “basic.” I was a little terrified of coming home where we wouldn’t be able to call them if we had something we didn’t know, but you know – we’ve been doing alright. My husband had 2 weeks paternity leave (thank GOD) and it made a huge difference. HUGE.