Sunday, March 3, 2013


After two very long days at the hospital, my daughter and I sat waiting for pending blood tests. My newborn had been pricked 8 times in the heals for bilirubin tests. Her little heals were squeezed drop by drop into little vials. It broke my heart to watch but I held out my finger for her to grip and rubbed her little head. Not the way I imagined spending the first few days of her life.
When her blood test came back, we were told that we would have to stay in the hospital another night so she could stay under the UV lights. I burst into tears. Not only had I been up without sleep for two nights, but I had my boys at home who were eager to have their girls. What can you say though? I called my husband to let him know that we would be away from home another night. Thankfully my mom stayed with me so we could tag team my little sugar bean.
The UV bed looks like a tanning bed. Warm rays of light beat down on you, and in her case, fry up the incompatible blood. This sounds like heaven to me but A did not like it one bit. She was told she had to stay away from my warm arms, wear these horrible glasses to protect her eyes, and that she couldn't snuggle in a warm blanket. This makes for an angry baby.
My mom and I took turns readjusting her glasses to protect those sensitive eyes. We rocked her under the lights, rubbed her back, and tried to hold her the best we could. It was all going to be worth it if we could get those pesky bilirubin scores down.
I watched the clock...the minute hand slowly crawled around the clock like a marathon runner on the last leg of a race. 12 hours under the lights. Painful minutes trying to keep her awake so I could feed her. Hours of her yelling and protesting her discontent. 6 AM finally was time for the blood draw. Blood was quickly taken while my poor baby slept. Now we just had to wait. 1 hour for the results to come back...and they were putting a rush on it.
1 hour came and went.
1 1/2 hours later, the nurse came in to give me the score and let me know that the pediatrician would be in soon to let us know what the next course of actions would be. After 12 hours under the lights, her score was 0.2 better than the night before. My heart pounded in my chest. I did not want to stay another night and watch my baby cry and yell under the lights.
Almost 30 minutes later, the nurse returned to let me know that we would be going home. It was time to pack up our things and get ready to sign discharge papers.  I felt a whole village being lifted off of my shoulders. We were going home! I quickly called my husband to let him know that it was time to get us.
We were told that we would have to go back the following day for a follow up test to make sure that she hadn't gotten any worse. I was just relieved to go home. Our family would finally be put back together again. I couldn't have asked for more.
This was taken today...the WA sun finally arrived and we ventured outside to get some natural rays of light. A was delighted to get her rays from a real sun instead of artificial lights. Can you see the contentment on her face? This is a happy baby who is kicking some bilirubin booty on her own. YEAH!


  1. Elizabeth,
    Congrats on your new little bean! I remember reading your amazing slices last year!
    So happy to see your little one's sweet face! Glad you both got to go home! Take care and love your little babe!

  2. Wow! How timely the sun decided to visit WA! I am sure in 12 years of living out there, I probably could have counted the times the sun made an appearance this early in March on less than two full hands! You must have earned it well. Congrats on the little princess and prayers for good health!!

  3. I'm so happy you were able to go home with your precious new one! When my first son was born, we went through this exact same thing -- but he had to stay for nearly a week while I was sent home after 2 days. It was heartbreaking. Your thoughtful post made me remember how powerful all those emotions were when my tiny newborn son was lying beneath those same "tanning bed" lights. Glad all is well and the sun has come out again! Thanks for sharing your slice. :)

    1. Wow Kelly, I can't imagine my little one being in the hospital for so long. And then not being with her. Ugh! That must have just been horrible. I am thankful that our stay wasn't as long.

  4. I'm so glad you got to bring your precious bundle home. Oh how I remember fighting the jaundice with my son 30 years ago. She sure is a cutie. I hope you can get some rest now.

  5. One day you can share this slice with your daughter and say - these were the first days of your life. I didn't write anything down and after 18, 17 and 8 years it's all blurry.
    The last picture shows one happy girl.

  6. Congratulations! She is absolutely beautiful!