Life With Megan

Tuesday, 26 January 2016
It's been 3 months since our crazy, overzealous family of three became four and we've all more or less adapted to having Megan in our lives. As you can tell from my lack of updates as compared to before, life with two kids has been quite a handful for me. My maternity leave will soon come to an end and I'll need to learn to cope with being a full-time working mom of two but I'll worry about that when the time comes.

Megan has been a pretty fussy baby. She constantly wants to be carried and she's quite a light sleeper (much like her mommy) so she doesn't nap very well during the day. She's been sleeping relatively long stretches through the night though (around 5-6 hour intervals) so yay for that!

I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that Megan's actually born a preemie at 36 weeks and 4 days. & even though she's only a few days premature, we did encounter some new challenges caring for her that we never had with Kylie. Although they're only very minor, it made me think of the pain and difficulty of other parents whose child's one or two months premature. I can only imagine how hard it must be to feel so helpless. Thankfully for us, Megan has no major health problems. I never thought how a mere few days short of her being full-term (a baby is considered full-term at 37 weeks of pregnancy) could bring about certain health/medical issues even though they weren't severe.
Not Nursing Well
For a start, Megan was really sleepy in her first two days of life. She refused to wake up to nurse so I had to pump out colostrum and the nurses had to syringe-feed her. The lactation consultant said it was probably because she still had sugar in her system that hadn't been "used up" while she was in the womb (since she arrived prematurely) that's why she could sustain so long without feeling hungry. Before we brought her home, she started feeding a little more but it wasn't enough because she still kept sleeping and I was advised by the paediatrician to watch the clock and wake her up to nurse her.

Choking
When she did start nursing well though, she had troubles drinking and would often choke on the milk while she fed. Babies learn to swallow when they are inside their mother's womb - that's why the longer they stay in the womb, the better (of course, not exceeding 42 weeks that is) because they've all the time they need to develop before entering the world. Because Megan arrived almost 4 weeks before her due date (due date is calculated based on 40 weeks / 9 months of pregnancy) she didn't have as much time to learn how to swallow which resulted in her often choking. On a couple of occasions she turned blue when she choked on the milk, good thing the first time it happened, nurses were with me and they taught me what to do while I was panicking. So every time it happened after that, I managed to stay calm, sit her up right and pat her back. One night, when she was less than a week old, Megan regurgitated her milk and some went into her nose, she started screaming with her back arched cause she couldn't breathe through her nose. Her screams were piercing and it lasted for a good 15 minutes, I felt so helpless and was on the verge of crying before I recalled a video I had watched months back on what to do when an infant chokes. So I placed her face down across my lap, started patting her back and to everyone's relief,  she finally calmed down.
(Can't find the exact video but I'm adding this video below because you never know when you might be able to save a child's life!)




Jaundice

Jaundice is very common in newborn babies, it's a condition in which a baby's skin and eyes turn yellow due to excess bilirubin in the blood stream. For babies born before 38 weeks of gestation, the odds of jaundice occurring is higher because their liver is still not mature enough to effectively remove the bilirubin from the blood stream. I gave birth to Kylie at 38 weeks and she had mild jaundice which went away on its own. For Megan however, within a week of her birth, she developed jaundice and the bilirubin levels in her blood was pretty high, partly because she wasn't nursing very well (breast milk aids in the breaking down of bilirubin) & because she was born at 36 weeks gestation, so she had to undergo phototherapy where she stayed in the hospital for two days. She recovered well like most babies after that!

Umbilical Hernia
When Megan was about 3 weeks old, she developed umbilical hernia. All of our friends and family had never heard or seen anything like it before until Megan.

As you can see, her belly button is extremely protruded, I did a quick search on it and found that it happens because the umbilical cord passes through a small hole in their stomach muscles when the baby is in the mother's womb and it usually closes on it's own but in some cases (like Megan's) the stomach muscles don't join completely and causes the intestine or other tissues to bulge through this spot (i.e. the belly button). It's painless and when I press it, it actually goes down but I consulted a doctor about it and she said to wait until Megan's 9th month check up and see if it will resolve on its own. I also have to monitor to ensure that it isn't red and inflamed and that it can go down when pressed. If not, she'll have to go through surgery. So far, the hernia has reduced in size so I'm praying it'll go down completely so she doesn't have to go through surgery!

I honestly never knew what difference a few days in the womb can make but thankfully, other than the hernia, Megan's a healthy, normal baby.

Kylie The Big Sister
My biggest concern with Megan's arrival was to ensure Kylie didn't feel neglected. She loves Megan a lot but we had to reprimand her a few times when she attempted to pick Megan up from the bed on her own. Just a few days ago, I had to remind myself to stop reprimanding her and to tell her nicely instead because she got upset and said "I don't love Mei Mei!" but she was alright after I talked to her. Ky loves it when I ask her to help with Megan, like assisting in changing her diapers and all so I try to involve her as much as possible and not leave her out.

Megan's growing really fast and although I can't wait for the day she starts babbling and playing, I'm relishing her days as an infant for now. 

6 comments:

  1. Hey Esther! I just saw your Instagram that you wanted to embrace your current pregnancy cos you hid your belly when you were pregnant. It happened to me too. I had my first at 22, second 23, but I hid it all along. Posted only a few on facebook but I didn't specifically say it's my child or anything. No one could tell I was pregnant at 7 months for the first one cos I wore lose clothes. Until like 8 months so I understand how you feel. Thanks for sharing dear, you're not alone! God bless. And we got married during pregnancy too

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  2. Hey Esther! I just saw your Instagram that you wanted to embrace your current pregnancy cos you hid your belly when you were pregnant. It happened to me too. I had my first at 22, second 23, but I hid it all along. Posted only a few on facebook but I didn't specifically say it's my child or anything. No one could tell I was pregnant at 7 months for the first one cos I wore lose clothes. Until like 8 months so I understand how you feel. Thanks for sharing dear, you're not alone! God bless

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    1. Hello! It really warms my heart when people tell me how they can understand where I'm coming from! Thank you hun! & god bless you too!

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  3. Hi! Came across your post when I was googling on umbilical hernia. My 8 weeks old boy has this too. Was wondering how is your baby girl now? Has the bulge gone down?

    Breaks my heart seeing it there!

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    1. Hi Charlene! Megan's belly button went down on its own! I hope your little boys' hernia will go down too! *big hus* don't worry okay love? :)

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  4. Hi! Came across your post while googling on umbilical hernia. My 2 mth old boy has this too and it's breaking my heart looking at it! Was wondering if your baby girl still has the bulge?

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