I have this theory about having babies that everyone pays their proverbial dues at some point along the way. Some people having trouble getting pregnant, others endure very difficult pregnancies, while still more have long, painful, or even dicey deliveries. That is why I should not have been surprised when my wonderful pregnancy and comparatively easy delivery gave way to the ugliness of jaundice. I know, I know, as baby problems go, jaundice is really not very bad. However, for us it was the darkest time, and one that I won't soon forget.
The image of her first heel stick in the doctor's office is one. She was too dehydrated to bleed properly and had to be stuck a second time. I swear watching that occur was more painful for me than anything that happened to my body during the delivery. I also remember her first night strapped to the light bed. I sat in the chair next to her, breast pump in hand, and tried to express milk that was not there. I cried more than she did that night.
I am certain much of this hard time was due to my own hormones. Still, there is something very singular about having a baby. You love them so much that it literally hurts sometimes. I think it was my friend K who said it is like learning to live with your heart outside your body. The tough part is that it leaves your heart very much exposed to bumps and bruises that would not normally have been a problem. My mom has pointed out more than once that the baby herself will not remember any of this, and I certainly hope this is true.
So here we are in the after times. I am pleased to say that her jaundice is almost completely gone, and she is now much happier and more energetic. Her color is much closer to roses than bananas these days, and she has surpassed her birth weight. It helps very much that my milk came in during her time on the photo therapy bed, so I was finally able to feed her and feed her and feed her as much as she would take. It does my mommy heart good to see her so much better, and I really, really hope we've now paid our dues for the foreseeable future. Regular life never seemed so sweet.