The road to bring Mia home didn’t go as we expected. Feel free to check out my previous blog titled “Mia’s Birth Story” to hear how it all began. Mia was born a perfect 7 pounds 13 ounces, 21.75 inches, at 4:06pm on June 10th, 2019. With my first birth, Piper Lindsey, I was asking to stay an extra night at the hospital to get more help from the nurses, lactation specialists, and see my doctor again. And with my second birth, I was wanting to get home to be with our first baby and start life as a family of four.
We were so looking forward to going home the next day, the 11th. The nurses were so amazing and “fast tracked” our check out as quickly as they could so we could get home to Piper around 3:30pm (was the plan). In the meantime, they had us pack everything up and get ready to leave.
Then, the last result came back. Mia’s Jaundice levels were high (10) and we had to stay another night. I balled my eyes out. Any woman who has gave birth can relate – hormones and emotions were all over the place. I was crying because not only did we have to stay another night, I was worried about Mia’s kidneys (we have to see a urologist and praying it resolves itself), Mia’s jaundice levels, the pain, and being away from Piper.
All of the other tests were a piece of cake and she passed with flying colors. She was nursing wonderfully and had a couple bowel movements (which normally helps get rid of the jaundice). Her jaundice was checked again at 8pm and it was higher but trending down on the graph for how many hours old she was. The plan was to continue nursing, pumping between feedings and feed her more of my colostrum during each feeding with the tube while she is sucking. The next jaundice test was at 5:00am.
Feedings continued to be great. Mia was eating every 2-2.5 hours during the day and my plan was to wake her up every 3 hours at night. She needed as much as she could eat in order to pump the jaundice out of her system. During this night, I accidentally let her sleep five hours without eating. I was disappointed in myself, but I was sleep deprived and completely slept through my alarm (or forgot to set one).
On the 12th, between 4:00-5:00am, they checked her jaundice again. Poor Mia was getting so many pokes on her feet, it hurt this mama’s heart, but I was by her side every time and helping make the process smooth. Her jaundice level increased to about a 13.3, which meant more time in the hospital.
I was told that I had to make sure I was giving her an additional 10-15ml during each feeding through the tube while she nursed. I was determined to not give her formula as this was just my personal preference. I know supply has never been an issue for me and I knew I could produce enough. I felt like I was constantly either nursing or pumping, but every minute was worth it for baby Mia.
The doctor gave instructions for Mia to go under the bili lights around 6:30am. This was very emotional. Mia liked to be swaddled and held. She could do neither of those under the bili lights, where she needed to be every minute she wasn’t nursing.
Levi and I were both missing Piper terribly. Levi went home to be with Piper before and during her morning nap. After her nap, they came and visited us at the hospital. It was hard to tell if it bothered Piper or if she noticed what was going on. But I do know that it was much harder on her mama than Piper.
Levi stayed at the hospital while my mother took Piper home for her afternoon nap. We were hoping to go home (once again), but when they retested Mia’s jaundice levels between 4:00-5:00pm, it went from a 13.3 to a 12.3. We were thankful for the downward trend because before she was in the 95% percentile, which is scary, and now she was between the 75th-95th percentile. Although the trend was looking better after some time under the bili lights, we had to talk to the doctor about our options. If we really wanted to 1) go home with Piper, we could risk the levels going back up overnight, or we could 2) stay in the hospital another night under the bili lights and let the lights continue to help her get better. I knew in my heart, as much as I wanted to go home and be with Piper, that the best thing for Mia was to stay.
Levi and I agreed that he should go home to stay the night with Piper. It had already been two nights and she needed one of us home with her. I am so glad he did this and encouraged it greatly. I was very emotional that I wasn’t home with them, worried about Mia, and in great pain. The nurses were so wonderful as they encouraged me and were there to help. This night was a rough one though, with only between one and three hours of sleep between the emotions, pain and checking on Mia under the bili lights.
It was the 13th, and once again they tested Mia at 4:00am. The results showed a 10.3, but the nurse said something happened during the testing so they have to redo it to make sure they have an accurate number. I cried that Mia had to go through it back to back. It took awhile to get the results, but they were a 10.2, which was between the 40th and 75th percentile – Praise Jesus. This meant that we could FINALLY go home. At this time, Mia weighed a perfect 7 pounds 11.5 ounces.
This was easily my favorite time walking into the doors of our home. The start to our life as a family of four.
Home Sweet Home
Jaundice Story Continues
Although the jaundice levels were good enough for the doctor to send us home, the journey wasn’t over. The next day, the 14th, we had to go back to the hospital to get her jaundice checked to make sure it didn’t go up after leaving the bili lights. It did. It was close to the 95th percentile again, at a level of 14.3. I cried… a lot. We were able to stay home but we had to come back first thing in the morning to get it checked.
I was an emotional wreck in the waiting room on Saturday the 15th, as we waited to get Mia’s foot poked for the 100th time. It was not a great experience, but we got in and out as fast as we could. The results came via phone call from the amazing doctor that had been with us all week since Mia was born. The results were not great, but not terrible. She said explained on the phone how she calculates and graphs the results. She was not too concerned about Mia, but it was still high and needed to be checked one last time (fingers crossed). She instructed us to come back on Monday morning, continue to feed often as I was doing, and she was hopeful it would be Mia’s last test.
Praise the Lord
That Monday, the 17th, I was so concerned but after her test, we got a call from the doctor that we would no longer need to come back to the hospital for jaundice testing.
We could now rest assured that we would be able to stay home and figure out how to do life together with that off of our shoulders… as a family of four.
XO, KATLIN LINDSEY