Isabella was born with jaundice, a yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes. Very common in Asian babies, Olivia had it, so I was not worried. The hardest part was leaving without her from the hospital because she had to stay an extra day for observation. The jaundice is treated with a couple formula bottles during the day (breast milk slows down the liver getting rid of the bilirubin, yellow-colored pigment of red blood cells causing jaundice), ultraviolet light from the sun, and time. It usually takes a few weeks for the jaundice to go away.
A bilirubin blood test is taken to get the level of jaundice. Newborns get their blood taken from their heel. As a mom, this is painful to watch, especially when they would take blood every six hours in the hospital.
Isabella loved the sun. It just put her to sleep. And of course because she can’t wear sun block, she only sun tanned before 10am or after 4pm for no more then 15 minutes.
We had a small scare when Isabella was three weeks old. Her skin and eyes were getting more yellow and her bilibrubin count was increasing. At her age, if the count continued to increase, there most likely was something wrong with her liver. We doubled up on the formula bottles and increased the number of sun tanning sessions during the day. Thank God her bilirubin started to decrease. I’ve had many stressful days at school and work when there were big deadlines or presentations. But nothing compares to the stress and worry you have when there is a possibility of something wrong with your child.