I remember how I broke down when we had to extend a third day at the hospital because Raees' jaundice. We ended up with home phototherapy and everyone was happy.
That's why this time with Razeen we decided if he has jaundice, we're going home anyway. And home phototherapy was our option.
Since his bilirubin reading was borderline, we followed the elders' recommendation which is to let him sunbathe instead of renting the home phototherapy machine (and save some $$$).
We brought Razeen for a follow up at Ara Damansara Medical Center when he was 6 days old. Oh boy, the bilirubin level didn't go down one bit. In fact it spiked...close to being 'very high'.
The doctor wrote a note to get Razeen admitted to SJMC ASAP for phototherapy. So we drove straight there and on the way I was considering my options: should I admit myself there to keep him company and breastfeed directly OR should I stay home and pass the nurses the EBM I have stored?
I was weighing the options and truthfully (although I hate to admit it) I was more incline towards leaving Razeen there with my EBM. It wasn't just the financial aspect that but I thought it was a chance to let my nipples heal (at that point I was still screaming during each latch).
So while I got Razeen admitted, Mer went home to get his EBM supply. Truth be told, that time I was still wondering if I made the right decision.
So my post natal blues hit me as I watched the nurses prepare Razeen for phototherapy. He was crying nonstop. And I tried so hard to control my tears too. I have this I-am-a-bad-mother feeling all around.
One of the nurses was saying,"it's normal for babies to cry a lot within the first few hours. It's because they're separated from the mother whom they have a very strong bond with."
OK..that didn't make me feel any better.
So we left 5 packs of frozen EBM about 4-5 oz each. They were supposedly able to last until the next afternoon. I was also hoping that Razeen could go home the next day.
Think I could get more sleep with no baby around? Think again. I set the alarm to go off every 2-3 hours as I needed to pump. Unlike when Razeen's around, I could just feed him while lying on the bed.
The next day came and Razeen's bilirubin level was much lower but still not low enough. So he had to stay another night in the hospital.
I went there in the afternoon bring 5-6 more packs of EBM (again 4-5 oz each) and breastfed Razeen. The post natal blues came crushing back as I held him in my arms and I apologised to him for leaving him alone.
I came back at night to breastfeed him again which made me feel better.
According to one of the nurses, among all babies in the phototherapy room, Razeen demands for milk the most. He's hungry every 2 hours and drinks about 3 oz at a time. Heavy drinker, this boy.
The next day was good news all around. Razeen's allowed home! Annnnd...my nipples healed! Well although not 100% but it was good enough to stop me from screaming :)
So that's how I overcame the cracked/sore nipples. A common problem amongst nursing mothers and I'm glad I'm able to get pass this stage. Let's just hope it doesn't recur!
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