Today I see lots of pictures about Kate and William bringing home the royal baby boy. It’s such an exciting news for people in Britain and in the picture, Kate seems to be beaming and happy 🙂 It makes me think, behind all the happy faces and “congratulations”, a woman now starts the journey to become a mother, all on her own…
Everyone thinks that when you’ve had the baby, it’s all wonderful. You read that once you’ve given birth and everyone’s come to visit, well, that’s the end of it. It’s all marvelous from then on… But in fact, it’s not. Sore stitches, backache, anemia, exhaustion, headaches, constipation, cracked nipples, engorged breasts, piles, thrush… However, nothing compared with the health of your newborn. And when the nurse informed us that Isabelle was “yellowish”, we got worried.
People keep telling us that jaundice is very common among newborns and it will be gone soon. When we hold her, we keep telling ourselves that “She’s not that yellow… Everything should be fine…”. On the third day after giving birth, my gynea was ready to discharge me, however, the pediatrician refused to release Isabelle as her bilirubin level was 12.0 (normal should be <10.0). He even ordered phototherapy for her, which also means that she would have to stay in the nursery and not allowed to be out. The nurse then asked me if I would like to stay in the hospital with the baby or I would want to go home first without her. I thought I would love to go home with her, so I decided to stay for one more day and see if her condition would get better. At that point, I still believe that she would be fine and will be able to go home with us tomorrow.
Isabelle was being put under the UV light and I need to walk for about 5 minutes to get to the nursery to “visit” and breastfeed her. I felt very emotional when I saw her being put under the light and when she whined, I felt so sorry for her as if I have gotten her into this.
On the fourth day, my breasts were engorged and it was really painful. I got up early and started packing everything, hoping that I could go home soon. Kelvin and I were eagerly waiting at the ward for the nursery to call and confirm if Isabelle could go home today. I remembered I was stressfully trying to figure out how to express milk using a breast pump. Until the clock points 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Kelvin couldn’t wait no more and he called the nursery.
“What? 14.8!!”, Kelvin nearly screamed at the phone. I looked at him as he slowly put down the phone, “She can’t go back right?”, my heart sank and start to feel sad and worried. “Is she gonna be alright? What if it goes up again? Can you please call the doctor now?”, I was on the verge of tears. With all the pain, baggy abdomen, sore stitches, bleeding and now engorged breasts, I really felt like an exhausted, defeated soldier. Considering my condition, my mum and Kelvin helped me with my stuffs and thought it would be better for me to go home and rest.
So we discharged without Isabelle.
My baby was so small, and she was left behind alone in the hospital, under the UV light…
I could help but felt so upset and wept silently. It’s a really complicated feelings of mixed emotions. She was so helpless while I didn’t know what I can do to help. I felt worst when I had to go home without her, it made me felt like I have abandoned her in some way…
I was depressed for the rest of the day. I left my heart at the hospital.
Normally bilirubin level don’t drop from 14.8 to 10.2 within 24 hours. But it happened. When Kelvin received call from the hospital the next day, we were overjoyed. God is good.
Before leaving the hospital, doctor told us to send Isabelle back to the hospital in one week time to check on the bilirubin level again.
So FINALLY, we head home and begin life with a baby.
Handling newborn is very hectic and overwhelming for me as I haven’t spent a lot of time around newborns before. There are too many things to learn: nurse, hold, burp, change, and care for the baby. But I am glad that Kelvin, my mum and my aunty were around all the time to take care of me and my baby. And His mighty hand holds me all day long…
Then I realized, When life gives you lemons, make lemonade~ I started to make jokes on seemingly bad situations, such as baby puking, my big fat thighs, smelly hair and even Isabelle’s “yellowness”, we are Chinese, shouldn’t we be “yellow”?? 😀 When you look at life optimistically, life becomes happier…
And very fast a week past and this was Isabelle’s first check up! Kelvin and I were bringing her to the hospital in the morning. It was so surreal holding her in my arm, sitting in the car moving in hazy weather. She was so tiny then.
We were instructed to bring her to the lab to have her blood taken for the test. The nurse told me to place her on the table and she was going to take Isabelle’s blood from her feet. Isabelle was sleeping so soundly and the moment the nurse poked her foot with the needle, she cried~ The nurse was squeezing her foot with one hand and holding the collecting tube in another hand. Isabelle cried so hard and kept kicking and struggling. I tried to wipe her tears and realized that my heart was crying too. It’s a sudden sadness that came into my heart and I felt so hurt when I saw her struggling and crying in pain. “You are a brave girl Isabelle. Mummy is so proud of you. It’ll be done soon okay?”. Even though it’s just a few minutes, but it really felt like a long time. I supposed this is the new emotion a mother feels. The loving feeling that now your heart is attached to another human being’s happiness 🙂
It took 2 hours for the results to come out. So after registered at the clinic, Kelvin and I were sitting at the far end corner, away from the crowd (worrying that Isabelle’s immune system was not fully developed) and wait. The nurse told us that it’s also very common for the bilirubin to rebound to a higher level, if the result today show higher than 10.0, they would have to admit Isabelle again for the phototherapy O.O So you can probably imagine how anxious me and Kelvin were within that 2 hours…
We prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed…
And then we thought, why don’t we take some silly pictures for Isabelle too!? So I used her small handkerchief to fold different hat and put on her head 😀
Okay, we are silly parents~ Kekeke…
10.0. The doctor was happy with the figure and we were even happier!
Well, that’s my story on embracing motherhood 🙂 I guess the passing storm of the fourth trimester is something every new mother has to weather. I begin to feel like a new version of my old self. If you are like me, keep asking yourself:
“Is this normal? Is this what every new mother feels like?”.
Yes, it is. So you are not alone.
Am I boring you with all the baby stories? If yes, please let me know so that I can try to write something else, such as maternity bra or choosing the right milk bottles?? Hehe… Just kidding 🙂 I am actually waiting for my body to recover before I can start on fashion blogging again 🙂 Hopefully I can shred off this 10kg on me in next 30 days *fingers crossed*
Thank you so much for reading. If you like this article, please share it with your friends 🙂
Till next time…
XOXO Eryn ❤