The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Part 3 (finished)): The Battle of Three :the Days in ‘Kinderklinik’ children’s hospital)

The room where my baby and I stayed for the next 5 days was located on the fifth floor of the ‘Kinderklinik’ if my memory serves me right. The days and night there had been rough, and full of tears and fears. For every second of my life I witnessed my baby being placed ‘ONCE AGAIN’ in the incubator, but this time was with higher blue ray light. It was more intense than the one in the maternity hospital. ‘ONCE AGAIN’ the only time I could hold my baby was when she needed diaper change, and to drink. Not only did she struggle in the battle of being healthy, but I did mine too especially regarding my milk supply, and it was rough.

One day, a lactation consultant suggested by the ‘Kinderklinik’ came  to me to talk to me about the problem of my milk supply which was  low. I felt happy  for I had someone to talk to, even though I really had no idea where to begin to tell her the reasons of my low milk supply. How was I supposed  answer that question when the lactation consultant asked me that on the first place of our first meeting?. The lactation consultant asked me to note down how many ml of milk supply I could produce every day and every period of time during the day. I did not make any dramatic progress on my milk supply. Here were the suggestions :

1. Pumping, pumping and pumping ( I think I needed to pump because it was not possible to take my baby out of the incubator too often or without the nurse’s permission.)  so in order to keep the milk flowing, I needed to pump it. I pumped whenever I could while I kept on hearing this ‘Beep’ sound coming from the incubator. When my baby moved, I heard this ‘BEEP’ sound.

2, Drinking 2 or more litter of water a day. This was a bit difficult as I was not used to drinking 2 litter of water or more a day. But I forced myself! I drank many glasses of milk, some cups of breastfeeding tea, and two bottles of mineral water. My stomach felt full of water, and I felt like my breast was full of milk. I went to pump, and put the milk  in a special bottle for mother milk provided by the ‘Kinderklinik’. I put a name tag on the bottle, then I handed it to the nurse to be kept in the fridge. and whenever my baby needed it, the nurse would give me the bottle for her. There was this stressful scene whenever I handed my bottle with my mother milk inside as a result of pumping it. The nurse opened this special fridge full of bottles from other mothers who were staying there too. Oh my God! what I saw was a jaw-dropping scene, the bottles were all full with mother milk, you know when I said FULL means like 200 ml, 150 ml whereas mine was only 50-60 ml. But, I had done my best, and thanked God for the progress.

3. Eat a lot. I remember asking my husband to bring me some honey, and he brought me these little jars of  different kind of honey. He is such a patient person!

I remember of some nights when I could not sleep, or when it was just still early to go to bed, I stepped outside on the balcony of our room to take a deep fresh air while looking up above the sky and praying that God would take away her jaundice.

I remember shaking every time some doctors who handled my baby came to me and told me the news every mother would not want to hear: that there was no significant progress of her jaundice being dissappear.

I remember trying to be strong and  not to cry for I did not want my baby felt what I felt too. I believe in mother-and-kid connection feelings. You know, it’s like when a mother is sad then a kid can feel it too or vice versa, especially when the kid was just still a baby, a pure angel like her.

I remember receiving a message from a dear friend telling me that  she would be OK.

I remember talking to my dear sister far away in Indonesia on the phone. She is a mother of two now, one then. We were both cyring, but she gave me some spirits.

I remember one day, one night:  a doctor came to take a blood sample of my baby. This time she would be injected on the forehead! I could not help but crying. It must have been hurt as I could hear her cry on the otherr room that night while I was staying in my room.

One DAY, one FRESH MORNING, six doctors came in. I was prepared for the good news. I was wondering why 6?? It was dramatic! It was scary. I was told by only ONE doctor that OUR  BABY COULD FINALY BE HOME WITH US!

I was crying, and oh my I am crying as I am witing this. THAT NIGHT, after the news, the very very GOOD news, there was no more this sucking incubator anymore in our room. The view now was MUCH AND MUCH better! The incubator was goone, and the baby bed was already in our room, and yes with our baby slept soundless there. That night, she was thirsty. I hugged her, kissed her, breasfed her while I was in  tears of happiness. I looked at the sky from the window of my dark room. I saw some stars sparkling, oh yes  I remember witnessing a clear sky that night. I could not wait to see my husband the next morning. He would pick us home!

Sayang, we can go home tomorrow! I have prepared your bed, it is nicer there. I love you!

I thanked GOD many many times over! It was indeed a battle of Three: My wonderful strong baby, my patient and loving husband, and I

Today, our baby is 2 years old! Truth be told, she has never been sick up to the time I am writing this. I hope she will stay healthy forever. She is a smart and energetic kid. Anyone who knows her knows that I am not exagerrating. HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear!

The End

Bunda Lulu

PS for all mothers: Jaundice is indeed a normal condition for newborns, but when it does not disappear soon, then your baby needs some medical examination. Jaundice can be dangerous!!

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The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Part 2: the Worrisome Days)

The worrisome days continued…

I kept on looking at my baby’s face until the time she had to go back to her incubator. It was heart-breaking moment everytime a nurse came and asked me to put her in her box to be moved to the incubator for her jaundice. Jaundice is indeed a common condition on newborns, and that fact which made me feel somehow calm, and was sure that it would pass soon.

The more the  baby latches on to his or her mom’s breast the more mother milk she will produce.

That was what I’d been reading and what all the nurses there in the hospital kept on telling me. I was suggested that I pump as well. I might not have been lucky that I had never produced so much milk that  I did not need to pump. Some friends said that pumping is actually less effective. I did try to pump for the sake of my baby who was in need of my mother milk to help her get rid of her jaundice.

Forgive me ‘sayang’ , Bunda’s mother milk was only this much ( less than 50 ml).

I had consumed breastfeeding tea, drunk a lot of water, ate well (in fact, the lunch menu served in the maternity hospital was great! the dinner was plain: German dinner) but still I could not produce more mother milk. I sensed it as my baby kept on crying one hour or less after I breasfed. I think producing mother milk is a matter of hormonal, I do not know for sure as of I am writing this.

I was desperate because my mother milk was not much whereas my baby needed a lot especially after being taken out of the incubator. I still remember the way she smelled soon she was  taken out of the incubator for drinks and diaper changes: she smelled machine, smelled like something burned. She got red all over, and the nurse kept on telling me that her jaundice would soon be gone. Soon as she was put on my breast, she latched on well, and drank like she had not drunk for days. She was drinking while she was closing her eyes. Only sometimes did she open her tiny eyes and look into my eyes. I melted, I cried. I stroke her hair and kissed her many times.  I touched her tiny fingers, and kissed them gently. For sometimes, the nurses let her be with me and sleep with me for they thought she needed to relax a moment.

It’d been a week that I stayed in the maternity hospital. The nurses started to get worried as it had been long already that she was put in the incubator. One time, a nurse asked me to put her in her incubator, I was shaking for I needed to put eye protector on her so that the light would not damage her eyes. She was kicking here and there, trying to let the eye protector go.

Sayang, it will be dark for a moment, and it will be warm there, but you will sleep well, and the next morning you can go home with us. I love you a lot.

Then I went out, she was crying. Yes crying in her incubator without my being able to hold her in my arms.

Time went on…..
I think it  was our 8th day in the hospital. One sunny morning in the warm summer of August, as we (my husband and I) were having breakfast with our baby next to us in her baby box, we got good news that the hospital would let us home:

It might bring a better effect for your baby. It would be stressful for her and for you both if you were here too long. Finally you all can go home today.

We went back home on foot. I decided  to hold my baby in my arms all the way home. It was warm and sunny. I was glad she was finaly home. Our home smelled a baby now! our baby!

The next morning…

As I opened the window, I saw the light coming in. I held my baby, and I was worried as she was still yellow. My husband and I decided to give her some light, not direct sunlight as it had been told by the nurses to get rid of the jaundice. My husband kept on calming me:

Don’t worry. She will be OK. She will have her first visit to a pediatrician tomorrow, she will be checked.

The appointment with the pediatrician..

The pediatrician took her blood, and had it sent for a check. He would notify us as soon as he got the result from the lab. I was waiting patiently at home, and praying that she would be okay. My baby was in a jaundice condition for long. I was rung by her pediatrician, and it was a bit of panicking voice. Well. maybe it was rather like a direct-command voice rathern than panicking.

‘ You have to go to the children hospital right now.’o

of course it was in German.

My husband was already at work, I was rather panic. I called him directly to come home immediately. We went to the ‘Kinderklinik’ or children’s hospital next to our room! thank God of the nearby location!My daughter was checked, and again she was being injected on her feet. It had been few times that I witnessed her feet being injected for a blood sample. In short, the pediatrician told us that her bilirubin was too high.

You are lucky because it is not too late. It can be dangerous if it is too. late. YOu need to stay in the hospital today.

I am proud of how the German pediatricians did all the test within some hours, and called us directly to ask us what to do. I do love the system here!

The Delivery

The days in the ‘Kinderklinik’ continued…

(to be continued)

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