Jaundice

“This was Gods way of punishing me for calling other peoples children ugly for all of those years…

Here’s something I never thought I would talk about. When Elliana was born, she was diagnosed with Jaundice. Now being first time parents, we had no idea what that meant. The doctors and nurses at the hospital all said it was really nothing to worry about, but WebMD said fuck all that, your baby is turning into a Bat. Seriously, never check WebMD for anything. Obviously we were frightened and worried. HP didn’t understand what or why this was happening. I knew why. For years people would show me pictures of their kids and their babies and I would always think to myself “That baby is not cute. Bald. Looks old. Looks like their ugly ass daddy.”, and now I was cursed with a baby with yellow eyes and skin. This was Gods way of punishing me for calling other peoples children ugly for all those years and now, my child is a Simpsons character.

10 Days Old. You can still see some of the yellow in her eyes.

Jaundice is common in newborn babies because babies have a high number of red blood cells in their blood, which are broken down and replaced frequently. Also, a newborn baby’s liver is not fully developed, so it’s less effective at removing the bilirubin from the blood. So what that meant for Ellie and us in simpler terms was, her liver isn’t working well yet and you guys are going to have to stay here at this hospital longer than expected until this baby starts to shit on the regular. Most hospital stays after the birth of a child is 2 days. We were there for four. In fact the hospital discharged HP after 2 days and we were only allowed to stay because Elliana was still a patient. They stopped feeding us. Here we were, two first time parents in a hospital hungry while our newborn child was in a glass tube with goggles on and a blue light on her for days.

That was the worse part. That damn glass tube. To Elliana’s credit, she took it like a champ. She was in that thing for hours but she never cried, never whined. She just laid there until it was time to breast feed. So in order to reduce the Bilirubin in an infant, they are put under UV lights for hours at a time. Ellie was in there so damn long cooking that her umbilical cord fell off after only 3 days. I’ll give the doctors and nurses full credit at St Peters, they checked on my baby round the clock. The pediatrician sat us down and said, “Look, I know you guys want to leave and go home, but I’m just trying to do right by her.” From that moment on, I didn’t worry. I knew she was in the best hands. That doctor knew what was most important, Elliana. After day 4 they released us all. Elliana still had some yellow in her skin and eyes but her Bilirubin numbers were way down and they assured us that after a couple of shits, she’d be fine. And they were right. The Jaundice was gone after a couple more days and 3 months later, my big, bright eyed baby is doing just fine. So to the doctors and nurses at St Peters, THANK YOU SOO MUCH!! And to all the kids and babies I called ugly over the years, I’m sorry. It wasn’t your fault.

Her eyes now 🙂 Big and Bright

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