Battling Prolonged Jaundice: Part 1

1:32:00 PM

My little princess was born on 29th February, 8.51 am via elective caesarean section. At 3.45 kg, she is a healthy baby and the doctors decided that we can be discharged after spending 3 days at the hospital.

Day 4, two nurses from nearby clinic came for a routine check up. One of them was examining my stitches when I heard the other one exclaiming, 'kuning ni, kena bawa pegi hospital check!'. Naturally I am worried, and off to the hospital we went. We arrived at the packed clinic, and I believe every single baby there was having jaundice too. 'It can't be that bad,' I thought.

Then it was my baby girl's turn to see the doctor. He look at her and did this heart stopping maneuver to test my girl's reflex. Luckily he explained quickly what he was doing or else he would had tasted my wrath. He then said she is indeed healthy, and I answered all his questions about the colour of her poop and feeding frequency. He said everything look normal but they still have to do a blood test to investigate her bilirubin level.

The procedure was simple, but it pained my heart so bad I ended up crying while little pup went through it coolly. After waiting for almost 2 hours, the result came and her total bilirubin was 233 umol/L. The doctor assured my husband and I that we shouldn't be worried because for her age, the level wasn't that high.

That evening the nurse called in to check on my baby's bilirubin and she insisted that the numbers was high. She asked me to bring my girl for another round of blood test the next day. Imagine my frustration! But we did go to the hospital to have her blood drawn. I showed the doctor in charge the past result and he told me the blood test wasn't necessary. I did a mental jump with fist in the air listening to that, and went home a happier mother.

Another phone call from the nurse set us scrambling again and the next thing I know, my girl had to be warded for phototherapy. During her stay, I couldn't remember how many times they poked her for blood. Looking at the tiny hands, I cried and cried, knowing no matter how I wish I could bear the pain for her, it remained a wish forever. Thank God her bilirubin dropped significantly and she was discharged the next day.

Even so, we had to bring her to the nearby clinic for blood test to ensure her bilirubin level decreasing each day. Alas, that didn't happen. Instead. she was warded again at 10 days of life. This time I was mentally stronger although I did break down twice while feeding her because her body was so hot due to the photo light. She was discharged with her bilirubin level at 239.1 umol/L.

2 days passed and its time for the nurses to come again. To be honest, I dreaded their presence even though I know its for my girl's health. We rushed to the clinic for another blood test. I was very stressed to hear her bilirubin level went up again. The doctor advised us to bring her to hospital for a detailed investigation. As usual, another blood test, but this time, 2 tubes of her blood taken. And urine sample too. They gave us a date in a week time to review the result.

After a week rest from blood tests, we went to the hospital with prayers in our heart. Alhamdulillah, she is indeed healthy, her thyroid was normal. We were told her jaundice might be due to breast milk or her liver is yet to be matured and it will go away sooner or later.

It was then I am able to spend the rest of my confinement period at my mum's, after 3 worrisome weeks. My baby's latest bilirubin level was 268 umol/L and of course, I hoped it will continue to go down to the normal level.

Sunbathing...1st day in the ward.

Cik Atun: To be continued...

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