A Taste Of Love & Guilt… Being a Mum 101

“His jaundice level is very high, 20.1, he will need to be warded today.”

We had an appointment with the paediatrician, Dr Ong, today at TMC for TJ’s Day 5 checkup.  And he reckoned that TJ still looks yellow and recommended a blood test to check on his jaundice level. When TJ was discharged on the 18 Sept, his jaundice level was 9.9 and Dr Ong had told me to put TJ out in the morning sun in just his diapers so as to rectify the problem.

However, the first few days of bringing home baby were a huge matter of getting used to one another and feeding TJ took up our time and strength. The sunbath took a back seat and now, I feel guilty for not doing it… maybe I had caused the increase in his jaundice level.

I tried to be strong but became utterly emotional on hearing the news. Ok, my eyes were teary and I had to go to the toilet to let it out a lil’ after we settled TJ in the phototherapy ward. Maybe it is the kinda feeling that only mums feel when they have kids, or maybe it’s the fact that I am just a Day 5 mum myself. It feels overwhelming to have this happen to our lil’ one. Anyway, I am more at peace with myself now; D told me that it affects him too but he needs to be strong for TJ and so must I.

And frankly this isn’t like a severe ailment, most kids have experience with jaundice and I think I would have taken it better if this had happened while TJ and I were still in the hospital earlier this week. To go to a PD appointment with a baby and coming home without one, it sux.

Mostly TJ is fine, albeit underweight but that is easily solved. My milk production is generally picking up and we have decided to supplement with Enfalac formula so that TJ will get his sustenance. Somehow, I feel bad, guilty even, that I wasn’t able to give him sufficient milk during these first few days. And as new parents, we weren’t sure how much he should be consuming and we ended up giving him much less than what he is capable of.

Oh, I have more or less given up on traditional breastfeeding since it takes too long for both TJ and I (at least 45 min per feeding session and taxing during the wee hours), and have decided to express my milk regularly and bottle-feed TJ instead (takes about 10 – 15 min and anyone can feed him). But milk expressing takes time (today, I can express about 120 ml in about 45 min, a marked improvement) and I need the discipline to do it a few times each day.

And I suppose that just sum up what it means to be a mum.

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