First Week with a Newborn: You Aren’t Prepared as Much as You Thought

Me with my little one in a carrierBefore our little one was born we took all the prenatal classes that the hospital had to offer. They were very beneficial and shed some light on some topics we hadn’t even thought about. Overall they were worth going to. They also gave me a sense that we were well prepared for our little one’s arrival.

Unfortunately, that was a bit of false security. There is no way to prepare for everything that will happen or could happen after your little one arrives. There are many variances and of course, every baby is different. Plus newborns are very small and still developing so things can happen so quickly.

We were fortunate and the delivery of our little one went extremely well. All was good and she was born pretty healthy. We opted to breastfeed. Our little one seemed to latch well and seemed content with her feedings. The night before our discharge, they informed us that our little one’s bilirubin levels were on the high-risk side but that they would do another test in the morning to make sure she didn’t need any type of treatment. In the morning they checked again and said that she was back to being low risk. So when the hospital discharged us, we felt pretty secure that everything was good and we were excited to take our little one home.

Once we brought our little one home, she seemed very lethargic and her skin was more yellow than before. We became concerned but I thought surely they wouldn’t have sent us home if her bilirubin levels could increase that quickly. Luckily for us, we already made an appointment with our pediatrician for the next day. When the pediatrician saw our little one, the lack of activity she displayed and the yellowing of the skin caused her to have some concerns. She suspected that our little one wasn’t transferring any milk and was just going through the motions like she was feeding. Our pediatrician had us do another test and requested rush results.

Before we even got back to our house, our pediatrician called us and said our little one’s bilirubin levels were dangerously high and we needed to get back to the hospital immediately. So as soon as we got home we grabbed somethings and we went straight back to the hospital. They checked us in and we had to supplement our little one’s feedings with formula to make sure she was actually feeding. They also started her on UV treatments. She looked so sad with her eyes covered and her having to be constantly under the UV lights. It was a very long night for us.

Once morning came, they had to test her bilirubin levels again to see if the UV treatments were working. Luckily they did and we were told we could again take her home. This was such a relief for us. Unfortunately, the worry was not over. It was really nerve-racking wondering if she was eating enough, if the bilirubin levels would go back, or if something else would happen. I was seriously in a constant state of worry.

This was definitely not how I imagined the first week with my lovely bundle of joy. The worry is definitely worth it for her though.

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I was originally born in Missouri, but traveled around most of my childhood. My mom finally got tired of moving while we were in Dallas, Texas and I have been here ever since. After high school I started college at the University of North Texas (UNT) and started working in the computer field. I currently work for JCPenney as a front end software engineer for their e-commerce website. Before this I worked for AT&T about 12 years and started with them in 1999 (when they were Southwestern Bell). I have many passions and I really love photography. Besides photography I also love sports. I not only like to watch it, but I also love to play. Currently my friends and I play indoor soccer and flag football.

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