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My first month with my newborn

We’ve celebrated Daniel turning 1 month old some time back. I had some time today and decided to reflect on how my first month with my newborn went.

Before Daniel came into our lives, I’m scared of them babies. They cry and I don’t know what to do if they cry.

But this isn’t just any baby. It’s MY baby. Truth be told, as the friendly nurse at TMC Hospital tucked Daniel and I into the taxi and said goodbye to us when we were discharged, my mind was racing to find all the questions I have on how to take care of Daniel. All the what-ifs.

These days I kept wondering how do these caring nurses just let so many new parents go home everyday with infants who are super fragile! Wouldn’t it be worrying?!

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No amount of reading will prepare you for the first month with a newborn. It is extremely distressing. Suddenly you are the main caretaker of this child that’s yours. You and your husband will make the final calls on what to dos. I remember on the first night with Daniel, I was sooooo scared that he’ll do something and kill himself.

I didn’t sleep a wink all night even though I was mad tired and having just given birth, I was also feeling weak. Every squeak from him got me jumping out of bed to see if he’s alright. I found myself sitting at the side of my bed waiting for him to wake up for his 3-hourly feedings. It was quite crazyyy those nights.

Just when I finally relaxed and understood that his squeaks aren’t always calls for attention or emergency, he developed colic one night and cried and cried and cried. He wouldn’t be soothed at all. We didn’t know what’s wrong with him.

My back hurt. My head hurt. It was 4am. We even woke my mother-in-law up to see if she knows what’s wrong with Daniel. She carried him and soothed him. I was at my wits end. I just lay down on the bed and tried to feel ok. My body couldn’t take the standing and carrying that I’ve been doing that night.

Thankfully he quietened down and slept thereafter. The next morning he seemed fine again. That was one helluva night.

I had him to worry about, and whether I was able to produce enough breast milk. Thankfully, my MIL took care of all my meals and the grocery shopping so that’s at least one thing off my mind.

Round the clock, every 3 hours, my days and nights were dedicated to Daniel. I slept when he slept. We were advised to let Daniel have some sun everyday to help with his slight Jaundice and since only the morning sun works, I had to wake up super early and get the little boy to sun.

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He was such a sport about it too.

Just before the New Year (2014), Daniel went to see his PD. I was all excited to be able to go out for the first time after giving birth (and during my confinement too!). We wrapped him up and brought him out. Our first outing as a small family. But the day didn’t end well. Daniel had a bad case of Jaundice that worsened since we last left TMC and the PD recommended that we bring him back to TMC Hospital to receive treatment.

I cried. I couldn’t bear to bring my young baby back to the hospital where he was just discharged so soon before! I was so worried. Would he be ok? His eyes were admittedly getting yellow and so was his body. After a few hours of researching our options, we hurried our way down to TMC. We considered renting a machine to treat Jaundice at home but we decided that the nurses and the PD would take better care of him than we could.

I was heartbroken to leave Daniel there. I cried. Peter and I went to TMC twice a day everyday that he was there to give him breastmilk, to play with him, and to give him love. We kept our visits short because we wanted him to receive more of the treatment.

Mummies who go through this, please don’t worry too much and send your child to the hospital asap. The earlier the better cos then he gets more time under the phototherapy machine for treatment. There is the option of renting the phototherapy machine at home but then you’ll have to monitor your child and bring him for tests again thereafter. It’s quite a lot of work and we aren’t even sure if we can effectively make him better. The phototherapy equipment rental fee costs about $200-300 for 3 days and 2 nights depending on the equipment you would like to use.

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My PD did not recommend the home rental unit and advised that the hospital is a better option. Daniel was discharged after 2 nights. I missed having Daniel at home to care for, for 2 nights. It was good rest though.

Daniel had his newborn photography done as well at 9 days old just after he got discharged. :)

As if the little heart attack of Jaundice wasn’t enough, he developed cradle cap on his eyebrows just before his full month party. We were worried. It was quite bad. He had heaps of scale-like stuff forming on his eyebrows and some were flaking off. Thanks to a dear friend of mine, she recommended that I put some baby oil on the affected areas for awhile then gently rub the “scales” off. Daniel got his baby smooth skin back shortly after. :)

And just like that, my confinement month + Daniel’s first month of life just flew by like that.

Here are all my other stories on Daniel, lovingly written month on month. :)