The week without baby K

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A few hours after wheeling K to the nursery, I was informed that the oxygen level in her body was not high enough, hence she has to be sent to the neonatal ICU for further monitoring. The oxygen level is measured through a test called pulse oximetry which uses a little light sensor that is taped around a baby's wrist, palm of a hand, or the bottom of a foot. In K's case, it was taped on her foot. A pulse oxygen level of 90% and above is ideal in neonates. K's was 90% which is at the borderline. The PD was not too comfortable with this and ordered an oxygen hood (the transparent box around her head) to improve the condition.

However, after a day, the oxygen level did not increase. K went for more tests and was found to have polycythemia, a condition where there are too many red blood cells in the blood. The blood was too thick, the PD told me. She had to have a partial exchange transfusion to "dilute" her blood. Sounds scary and serious, and I quickly googled to find out more about this. Whispered a prayer for her too. That night, I couldn't sleep well. My mind was all about K, and how she was fighting for herself, alone. Plus, the patient next to me (was in a twin sharing room as the hospital 'ran out' of single rooms) had to feed her newborn, so nurses came in and out of the room.

The next day when we visited K, she was all hooked up to different machines. It made my heart ache to see her in that state. Every time I visited her, I would whisper a prayer for her, and sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, a song L sang to her when K was still in my womb.

K, please get well quickly...

So, what's life in the ward without a baby for 2 days? 

No interrupted sleep, no sore nipples. Kekeke!
Instead, I had plenty of rest (was transferred to a single room the following day) on a more comfy bed, and was on a 3-hourly pumping program. Once a while, I almost forgot that I had just delivered a baby, and was not having a hotel stay!

The few days, after I was discharged, were spent shuttling between home and hospital to deliver my "gold" for K's nourishment. It was tiring for my body during this postpartum period, and I suffered tremendous back aches. I found myself walking like a penguin to ease the pain from everywhere. The rewarding part was that I got to buy the delicious goreng pisang (fried banana fritters) from Longhouse food centre. Yum yum!

K started getting jaundice after the fourth day and had to receive photo-therapy. I was worried, as I had a bad experience about
jaundice with Lucas. A close friend lovingly reminded me that K will be well taken care of by the hospital staff. Those kind words gave me strength and I put my trust in God and in the hospital staff.

During this whole week, I was showered with lots and lots of love, gifts and encouraging words from friends at church, workplace etc. You have warmed my heart greatly! Thank you everyone!

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  1. hugs to you! that 1st week was not easy indeed! glad K's happily at home now!


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