Blogging, babies and bilirubin…

I don’t know why I wanted to start a blog. I’m not the kind of person that trumpets my achievements, or publicly bemoans my misfortune. I’m smart enough to know most people don’t care about my opinions. But I also felt like I needed somewhere to hammer out my thoughts. Like another avenue to develop my reactions toward what is going on around me. And the biggest thing going on around me right now is my newborn daughter.

Avery Grace was born October 2 at 6:18 A.M., a healthy 7 lbs., 1 oz. And any first-time father can tell you, seeing your child born is a feeling that you never get over. One minute you’re squeezing your wife’s hand, urging her to the end of her pregnancy, and the next minute, your life changes completely. They took her away to clean her up and check her vitals, but that first cry is something you don’t forget. I knew right then and there I would die for her without a second thought.

We went home after a night in postpartum, exhausted and cranky. And that carried over into the night. After we laid her down, I fell into a deep sleep and woke up to the sound of crying. Both Avery and Jen in tears. Apparently I slept through two hours of hysterical screaming where Jen couldn’t get her to rest. It was terrifying. How did I sleep through that? How in the world could my wife and my daughter be in such a state while I stay unconscious? It took about 20 minutes to calm Avery down and get her back in bed, but I couldn’t sleep again.

The bad news came the next day, when Avery’s test for bilirubin came back too high. Bilirubin is a chemical present in the baby’s blood that the liver should filter out. However, sometimes there’s too much, and the baby has jaundice. Of course, it all sounds terrible, and it can be if it goes unchecked. Thankfully, the treatment is easy. The doctors put Avery under some blue lights and let her sleep there overnight.

The treatment worked beautifully, but another problem arose. Avery now isn’t urinating enough. Now it’s possible Jen and I overlooked it in her diaper (because, let’s face it, the poop is pretty impressive), but the dry diapers are a possible sign of dehydration, or worse, kidney problems.

So that’s where we are now. We’re now just hoping she starts peeing a lot and the doctors let us go home. Because staying in a hospital, surrounded by babies born way too soon and with way too many problems, can be depressing. We’re just ready to get our new family at home for good.

UPDATE:

We’re finally home! Avery is eating, peeing, pooping and sleeping as good as any newborn in the world. Amazingly, I think her two-night stay in the NICU was a blessing. Jen and I learned a ton of new information and tricks to better take care of her. Though it was one of the toughest few days of our lives, I think it’s going to make us better parents in the long run. Thank you all for your enduring support.

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