I have waited a while to write this post about Alyson's prolonged jaundice. I write it now as I'm seeing signs of recovery after 2 months and I've got pictures to show it. Plus I would prefer to let her heal first then tell people about it than having more people to advise and suggesting things for us to do and making me more worried...
Now back to how it all began... We started noticing Alyson still being yellow on day 6. With Ben, we have already admitted him to the neonatal ICU (that's the only place with the bili lights) on day 5 and Ben was much much yellower than Alyson. Plus, Alyson was still alert, active, feeding, pooping and sleeping like normal with no signs of fever or anything.
But still, on day 6 we brought her to see our paed, Dr. Lam. He was a 70+ old man who is a professor in one of the leading university hospital. According to him, since it was already 6, the jaundice would have already peaked and stabilising now. He did mentioned that if we were still worried, we could bring her to the hospital. We didn't but we do continue to monitor her situation daily and even brought her out to sunbath every now and then (I actually woke up few days in a row around 7-8am in the morning and sat her on my lap and basked in the morning light)
At almost 1 month, Alyson is still yellow. To be honest, I was not at all worried but as I posted more and more pictures of her on my Facebook and we started going out as a family of 4 after 1 month, I kept hearing friends and even strangers telling me 'She looks yellow. How many weeks is she now?' and I had to explain everything. Over and over again.
As time goes by, I got worried as I kept getting and hearing and explaining about the prolonged jaundice.
Alyson at 3 weeks old...
Then I had to go for my 6 weeks postnatal check-up at the hospital where I delivered both Ben and Alyson. My gynae immediately wrote me a referral letter and postphoned my check-up and told me to get my daughter checked instead because he said my daughter looks yellow and for a 1 month old baby it is not normal.
Oh, gee! Thank you for quadrupling my worries and fears! I was herded along to register her and let the staff nurse took her blood and urine sample for testing after consultation with one of the paed there as according to the paed doctor there, jaundice after 1 month is ABNORMAL. The doctor said it could be caused by urinary tract infection, hepatitis B or thyroid. He also mentioned breastmilk jaundice and immature kidneys.
Now, I don't know how the blood and urine sample was taken as I was told to wait outside the procedure room. We have to wait for 1 week to find out the results.
Alyson at 6 weeks old after the procedure...
One week after that, I called up the hospital to find out the results. According to the nurse in-charge, Alyson's blood test was OK but there are traces of E.Coli germs in her urine and we were advised to go to hospital to collect this antibiotics for her (to finish in 7 days) after which, another urine test will be repeated to find out whether the germs are still there or not. I tried calling our own paed to seek his opinion for the next few days but nobody pick up the phone (turns out our paed was involved in a minor accident and then we had a public holiday as well which is why there's nobody at the clinic)
We then decided to take the antibiotics and started her on it the next day. For twice a day I had to measure the antibiotics and gave it to her orally via a plastic syringe. I tried some and it was sweet. No problem at all for her taking it though it pains me to see her taking medicine at a young age and we really do not want her to rely on antibiotics if possible.
Pains my heart to see my girl taking medicines at a young age...
At 2 months, we brought Alyson to our paed for her monthly vaccination and I told our paed what happened. He advised us to reconsider going for the subsequent test as firstly, we do not know how the urine sample was collected in the first place. Now nobody is saying the hospital lacks of standard or anything, but according to our paed, in order to test the urine properly, the hospital staff need to collect the urine from the purest and cleanest environment, meaning no touching other body regions or even diapers, meaning it should be taken from the urethra itself.
Everybody has germs and if not collected properly, there are bound to be germs in the urine. What if the subsequent test revealed germs again? Higher or stronger antibiotics then? My paed gave his diagnosis as immature liver for our girl because for a 2 month old baby who is eating, sleeping, peeing, pooping and active all the while and even gaining weight about 40g daily, why worry?!
Btw, my paed's grandson had jaundice for 3 months and like Alyson, was otherwise healthy, thriving and normal so they just waited it out.
Sigh... we then decided NOT to go to hospital for the repeated urine test and let it be. And guess what, these few days, I did noticed there are no more yellow tinge in her eyes. Antibiotics working? Liver maturing? Only God knows but I for sure would not want to put my girl under anymore medication or procedures unless it was absolutely necessary.
I mean come to think of it, she is healthy and active and normal. Why oh why do we go for the antibiotics?
Alyson at 8 weeks old...
So, here is the post to document down what happened. Of course, I don't mean to say that all prolonged jaundice case are normal but for our case, if we only have stronger faith and confidence (we did since we didn't rush her to hospital like Ben's case)
Alyson at 9 weeks old...
So there you go... my girl is a such a fighter!
Sorry Alyson, mummy put you under unnecessary medications!
Thank God for healing you!