Tuesday, October 11, 2011

So thankful.....

Most of you, though not all of you are aware that Zain developed jaundice a few days after his birth. At first I wasn't worried about it at all, since Yasmine had jaundice and the dr's in Canada never even tested her levels, they just told me to feed her constantly and that she would get rid of it through her urine and stools. So I never thought much of it until we went to our 4 day after birth dr's appointment. The dr seemed pretty concerned and wanted to take Zain's blood. He told me to be prepared to have Zain admitted to the hospital for 3 days to undergo photo therapy. I still wasn't worried, but I guess that is my own ignorance of jaundice and how it works.

We received a phone call about 2 hours later stating that Zain's levels were high and that we should admit him. The dr. isn't the one who phoned, it was the lab technician and she didn't say it was an emergency. We called a few friends who have been through this here and Junayd and I decided to bring Zain in the morning, and that I would continue nursing him frequently and put him in sunlight in the morning.

What Junayd and I weren't told, was that jaundice can take on a more serious case in second born babies whose blood type matches the mothers. Zain and I were both A+, and apparently it's a physiological reaction. This was NOT specified to us nor were we told it was urgent to take him in that night.

When we finally were admitted, they took blood from Zain again and his levels had risen 4 points over night. He had to be fitted with an IV and start 24/7 photo therapy. It was heartwrenching. I was already experiencing mild postpartum depression (just crying at the drop of a hat), which I never experienced after Yasmine's birth, even with the death of my mother.  Zain was such a trooper and the nurses made me leave when they inserted the IV. I guess mothers can get a little frantic seeing that, and I know I would have probably freaked out. I had an iv for both Yasmine's and Zain's birth and it was painful and uncomfortable. I could hear him crying, and I sat with Yasmine  on the other side of the room, I had to try and remain stoic for her, because I didn't want to freak her out.  She was with us the whole day, as both my in-laws were working. And Junayd and I didn't want her to get scared seeing us both so worried.

Finally we were brought to our private room and waiting for us there was this cold, hard table, that my baby had to lay on in a diaper, all alone. The bottom was glass and there was a light underneath and a light over top. The kicker, was when they fitted Zain with baby cotton goggles that he had to wear the whole time as to not hurt his eyes. When they put him in this bed, he cried so hard and I couldn't do much to soothe him other than sing to him and hold his hand. Seeing him in this "bed" made my knees buckle and I had to go to the bathroom and cry so that Yasmine wouldn't be worried. It was hard to control my emotions.

The worst news was yet to come when the dr. came by to our room and told us if Zain't levels didn't go down 4 points he would need a blood transfusion. This was when all hell broke loose and I could not even control my tears at this point. What kind of blood would they get for my child? I was in a developing country where I didn't know their practices and principles on blood testing. The dr.s told us if we wanted a friend to donate we would need to be prepared for the worst and have the blood ready to go in the 3 hours we had until the test would be retaken. After crying and freaking out and literally getting on my knees to pray, Junayd and I went into action. I got on the phone and called my bestest girlfriend here in Hyderabad Tracy. I needed someone to coordinate stuff at the hospital, and get on the phone to our friends to find a+ candidates who could donate blood for Zain. We were told no relatives could donate due to some reason with jaundice. Junayd's manager from him work came over as soon as he heard the news from Junayd and both of them were on the phone to friends. Tracy was the the hospital almost minutes after I told her the news.

When I moved to India I had no idea the group of friends I would make here and how importnat they would all become at this very moment. 2 of my friends, Helen and Robyn and one of their husband's, Terrence rushed to the blood bank who were a+ to get screened and tested and 2 of Junayd's friends were on their way to the blood bank as well. In the meantime, Junayd and his friend Navneet rushed to the blood bank to coordinate the possible candidates there. Tracy pretty much took control at the hospital and frantically was the middle man between Junayd and the dr's and nurses at the hospital making sure all the info was given to the blood bank and also was on the phone with friends searching for a+ blood.

One of my friends Kris, who has 2 of her own children rushed to the hospital with snacks and toys for Yasmine.  I had prepared nothing because I thought Junayd would just take Yasmine home. We did not anticipate this news. Kris had brought a portable dvd player with Dora, blocks for her to play with, yogurt and fruit and snacks for us in the hospital. Tracy had also rushed home and got diapers for Yasmine and Zain, her breast pump (in case he did get the transfusion) and toothbrushes and body wash for me, because I was not leaving that hospital for one second.
I just don't know what I would have done without these wonderful women. The ones who went to the blood bank and the ones who came to the hospital to help and hold my hand. It was overwhelming. I never thought I'd meet and make such great friends here, and it was in this time of need that I really saw how special these women are.
My mother-in-law was also there and sat by my side throughout this as well, and the next day she came with a whole slew of food for us for lunch and dinner. It was extremely thoughtful, but I also know that she suffered alongside us as well.

The hardest part was calling my family and telling them the news, because I knew they were aching for Junayd and I, and wanted to be here to help us through it. My dad remained calm and kept me calm and my sister cried with me and allowed me to feel the pain I was feeling.  I never thought I'd feel the way I felt when my mother died, but this was almost worse. Seeing your own child who was only 5 days old go through this pain, and possibly have a blood transfusion was agonizing.

The best news of the day came around 930pm, when we were told that Zain's levels went down 4 points and that he would not need the blood transfusion. It was the best news I could have heard.  I immediately called Junayd who was still at the blood bank and told him the great news! We were all so relieved.

Over the next day Zain's levels came down slowly and after 2 nights in the hospital his levels came down so much that we were released in 2 days instead of 3. Those days and nights in the hospital were long, but Junayd, who took yasmine home at night came and spent the day with me and brought Yasmine and we made it as bearable as possible. Junayd was a rock and really came through for me and took over with Yasmine so I could be there for Zain. The only time he could come out of the light was bed was when I was nursing him. It was so hard not to cuddle him for hours, but I knew it was best for him to get as much of the light as possible.  The doctor said most babies don't even sleep much for the treatments and she thought Zain was amazing, because he slept a lot of the time. But if you know my husband....a real sleeper!! I didn't get much sleep because after every nursing session it took me a while to console him once he was back in that bed. And I didn't blame him...it looked extremely uncomfortable.

I'm so thankful it's all over, and I have him home with us and he is doing fantastic. We took him to the dr's today and there is no more signs of jaundice.

I'm also so thankful to everyone who helped out, it meant the world to Junayd and I and made this whole terrifying ordeal so much easier to deal with. I am so lucky to have such great caring friends and family. Also I am thankful to the wonderful nurses and doctors at Rainbow hospital who did everything they could to make this easier on Junayd and I and who took great care of our son.

I know the saying that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger....but I have enough strength now for a lifetime..I don't need anymore.


Anonymous said...

Ohhh Shelley....I had no idea what your family and Zain were going through...I am sooo glad to hear that it all worked out and it sounds like he is one strong little man! I am glad that you had all of the support that you needed! Take of yourself and know that I am thinking of you often!
Kim (-:

Maria M said...

Shelley, I wish I could have been closer and there for you. I am so happy that things are better, and that you have a strong boy in your arms!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Tam told me of your recent blog...Wow! you are amazing. Such a scarry ordeal you and Junayd went through. I could not have done it. I love all your friends for coming to your aid...Pls thank them all from all of us so far away from you. Kisses & Hugs for Yasmine and Zain...& yes, you too my brave Niece. Love, Auntie Diane

Anonymous said...

Updates, please!

Anonymous said...

Any chance we can get some updates? I used to follow your blog and miss the posts!