Re-learn how to care for an infant

It has been a month since Daniel is born and he is fast outgrowing the clothes that he used to be able to put on a few weeks ago. His 0-6 month rompers are a bit tight to put on him now. From 2.966kg to 4kg, it’s time to look into changing the sets of clothes in his drawer.

He is growing fast but I’m still adjusting to my new role as a mom to an infant. It has been five years since I have a newborn and I need to jig my memory on how to swaddle a baby, how to bath a newborn, how to breastfeed and so on. There is new challenge when caring for a baby boy – he urines when we least expected while changing his diapers and bath time. A small newborn baby can create quite a lot of laundry for us to do!

Daniel-afterbath

5 day old, after his bath.

He is having 100% breastmilk and we have to wake up about three times at night to feed him and change his diapers. There are days when we aretotally depleted when he cries and fusses for several hours. We are clueless why he is crying incessantly after I have fed him, changed his diaper and even burped him. Recently I realize that whenever he could not latch on continuously, crying and letting go in between, he is having “wind” inside him, making him uncomfortable. We have to try to pat him on his back for several minutes to get the “wind” out of him. When he has burped, he is ready to continue latching on or he will go to sleep.

It is painful to see Daniel’s delicate skin raw and inflamed with nappy rash. We learn that we have to apply the nappy rash cream generously to his bottom to prevent diaper rash.

No confinement lady but a good “confinement” man

I had a scheduled cesarean section procedure. Jay took on an important task of caring for me, baby Daniel and Dot, as we didn’t engage a confinement lady. He would faithfully bring me lunch and dinner prepared by my mom every day.

A sick baby is no joke

Towards the start of Daniel’s fourth week, he had high fever of 38.5 degree Celsius. We brought him to family doctor and was advised to bring him to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) instead. He said that a feverish baby below one month old needs to be brought to KKH.

Daniel was admitted to the hospital and a series of tests was conducted to test whether there is any infection in his blood, urine and even brain. He was put on drip and was given a few doses of antibiotics and one dose of paracetomol.

It was heartbreaking to see baby Daniel having to go through all the tests with needles poked into his hands and also other part of his frail little body. I almost wanted to cry when the nurses removed and re-insert the needle again into his almost “invisible” vein when the drip was not flowing properly.

Daniel-KKH

We prayed that Daniel would fight the sickness and recover soon. Our little fighter won the battle and his temperature dropped to normal range the next day and maintained for more than 24 hours when were in the hospital.

My post-delivery confinement was spent in the hospital with Daniel. I still breastfed him throughout our 3 days 2 nights there. I hardly slept during the first night as the machine that measures the amount of oxygen in his lung and his heartbeat was beeping on and off. The nurses who came in and out to check on Daniel also disturbed my rest.

Grateful that Daniel was able to discharge from the hospital after maintaining normal temperature for more than 24 hours. We were advised by the doctor that he had viral infection. As Dot had slight fever and rashes on her legs earlier, it was very likely that Daniel was infected by the virus that Dot had earlier.

As we did not have an insurance plan in place immediately after Daniel is born, we had to pay the expensive hospital bill, which came up to about $2000.00 to 3000.00 (estimated amount as we will only received the actual bill 2-3 weeks later). We realised the importance of having an insurance plan for our baby immediately after his birth.

We are thankful to all our friends who prayed for Daniel’s quick recovery, and also grateful to my sister who let us use her car so that Jay could continue to bring my meals from my mom.

As Dot was still coughing, we thought separating Daniel from Dot would be better. I was home alone with Daniel for a week during the day, while Dot stayed with my parents. Jay would go to my parents’ place for dinner and then returned home with my dinner.

Home alone with a baby

Home alone with a newborn baby is a challenge for me. The incessant crying made me so flustered that I was worried that I might go crazy. My only solution is to pray and ask God for His grace, mercy, peace and wisdom for each day. I really need a right frame of mind to care for my baby and myself.

Caring for a baby is a 24-hour job with little rest. I survived home alone with Daniel for that week, and I learn to be joyful in the Lord. :)

I’m very thankful to Jay, my parents, siblings and friends for their love and support too.

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