Two weeks ago Little I entered the world looking the picture of perfect health. The midwives all said she had a lovely colour. In the car on the way home two days later I couldn't help but notice something odd about her, she looked rather yellow...
The following day the midwife confirmed my suspicions. Little I was jaundice. By the weekend it had gotten so bad it looked like I had spray tanned my baby. Visitors all said 'isn't she a lovely colour' or 'doesn't she look healthy!' at which point I had to explain that healthy glow was actually her liver playing up... Come on, no way Husband and I can produce kids with that colouring, with his ginger genes they are destined to get sunburnt just looking out the window.
Neonatal jaundice occurs in six out of ten newbies and is caused by excess bilirubin in the blood stream. Bilirubin is a byproduct of the breakdown of fetal haemoglobin and the immature newborn liver often struggles to filter these dead red blood cell out of the body. By two to three weeks the liver matures and the jaundice clears up as the filtering finishes.
Fast forward and Little I is over two weeks old. The jaundice should have passed by now but it is still hanging about. We can't be signed off until she is pink. She spends most of her days sunbathing in front of the window (phototherapy) and I have to make sure she feeds regularly to help flush her kidneys. Tomorrow we find out if she has officially graduated from yellow to pink. It is going to be touch and go!
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