Archive for March, 2007

Our bout with Jaundice

Posted in Baby Talk, Erin Chloe, Home Front on 28 March 2007 by Leah

Who would have thought that our precious little Erin would develop jaundice just because of dehydration? I really thought that jaundice is an infection or it is something that results from blood type incompatibilities. Period. It turns out that newborns can also get it if they are not getting enough milk for nourishment. (Trivia: Protein helps break down bilirubin. Milk is a good source of protein.)

A midwife visited us last Wednesday afternoon (21 March) as part of the hospital’s discharge program to check on us both. Unknown to us, Erin had lost a significant amount of weight (300 grams) since the day she was born. This only meant that she wasn’t getting enough milk from me. This also explained why she had been waking up every hour to feed and she had been crying incessantly the night before. In short, the poor thing was hungry! 😦 This prompted the midwife to take another blood sample from Erin’s heel to check on her bilirubin level. She advised us to do top-up feeding as well which required us to feed her an additional 40 ml of formula milk and expressed breast milk every three to four hours while we wait for my milk supply to increase.

That same night though, the midwife called us up to inform us that Erin should be readmitted to the hospital for phototherapy and rehydration because her bilirubin level was at 300 plus. J and I went back to the hospital that night and Erin was stripped down to her nappy. She was placed in a bassinet made of clear hard plastic which was placed directly under the phototherapy lamp to help break down the bilirubin at a faster rate. It was very difficult for us to get any sleep that night because we had to make sure she was settled in the bassinet and we had to get up every three to four hours to feed her.

By morning, Erin gained back 115 grams and her bilirubin level was down to 298. She was also excreting the bilirubin from her body, as shown in her poo. Thank God! The nurse in the morning shift who had been tending to Erin told us that we might be going home later in the day due to Erin’s progress. We just needed the go-signal from the neonatologist (we later learned the doctor was also a Filipino). In the early afternoon, the doctor arrived to check on her and to ask us about our past medical history. While conversing with the doctor, I noticed that he didn’t have an Australian accent and that his name was vaguely familiar (another Filipino friend mentioned his name earlier in the week). I couldn’t help myself so I directly asked him if he was Filipino and he said yes. So since then, we conversed in Tagalog. 🙂

Anyway, I digress. 😀 Doctor G said that the ideal bilirubin level is actually 250 and that we might have to stay another night for more treatment. I pointed out that the nurse told us earlier that we could go home already that day so he took the time to check for us if it was truly fine to go home in spite of Erin’s bilirubin level. He came back to give us the go-signal to go home and to just continue with the top-up feeding and indirect exposure to sunlight. A midwife would also be visiting us the following day to get another blood sample from Erin to monitor her progress. By Friday, the 23rd, Erin’s bilirubin level was now down to 260. By Sunday morning, her weight went up to 2640 grams.  Yesterday, she has gained another 60 grams, bringing her back nearly to her birth weight.

We’re still feeding her formula milk to this day, but since my milk supply has steadily been increasing, we’re trying to lessen her intake from the bottle and go more for the breast. Next week, we’re going to the clinic for another weight check and we’re hoping she’ll reach the 3k mark. All’s well that ends well. 🙂


A little breather

Posted in Meme on 27 March 2007 by Leah

Got this from Jean

Take the list below, paste it into your own blog, and mark them as follows:
READ for those you’ve read;
WANT TO next to those you are interested in;
AGAIN & AGAIN next to those you’ve read and loved, over and over;
REPEAT for those you’ve read more than once, without necessarily loving them;
MEH for stuff you read and weren’t impressed by;
STARTED for those that just never got finished;
and leave blank those you don’t care to read.

Title Rating
1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) Read
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee) Read
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)  
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)  
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)  
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) Read
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)  
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)  
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) Read
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)  
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) Read
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling) Read 
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)  
18. The Stand (Stephen King)  
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien) Read
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) Read
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) Read
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold) Read
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) Want to
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) Read
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)  
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) Want to
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)  
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom) Read
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)  
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) Read
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)  
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)  
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)  
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb) Want to
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)  
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) Read
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)  
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) Read; again & again
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb) started
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)  
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)  
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)  
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling) Read
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough) Read
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) Want to
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger) Read; again & again
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)  
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)  
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)  
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) Started
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) Read; again & again
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding) Read
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez) Read
73. Shogun (James Clavell)  
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. Tigana (Guy Gavriel Kay)  
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)  
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving) Read; again & again
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)  
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White) Want to
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)  
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)  
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)  
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)  
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)  
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)  
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)  
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)  
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)  
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck) Want to
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch) Read 
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)  
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Hmmm… not really much there. And I don’t think there’ll be more anytime soon. 😦 Little EC can be quite a handful. As for the rest of you booklovers out there, why not take this meme for a little spin on your blog. 🙂

Birthing Story

Posted in Baby Talk, Erin Chloe on 25 March 2007 by Leah

Okay… Finally found the time to blog about my birthing experience. It is a bit long so please bear with me here.

Where was I? Oh right, my last long entry was actually the day before I delivered little Erin. Let me continue the time outline.

17 March 2007, Saturday
8 PM: Contractions are coming in regularly now at 10 to 15 minutes interval. I’m feeling more pain (menstrual cramp-like pains) in my lower abdomen and sometimes in my lower back. But pain is still tolerable and I can still manage to joke around with J.

10:30 PM: Regular contractions now at 7 to 10 minutes apart. I ring up the Delivery Suite because it was getting to be really painful and uncomfortable. The midwife who answered my call (Agnes) told me that it was still too early to come to the hospital and that I should try to get some rest/sleep. Duh! How can you get some shut-eye if the contractions are quite regular? Anyway, so I put down the phone and head to bed. I asked J to put a hot water bottle on my lower back, hoping that it would somehow ease the pain. By this time, things were growing more intense by the minute and it was getting harder for me to move around.

11:30 PM: Contractions were now at 5 to 6 minutes interval. Oh the pain!!! I tried to huff and puff but believe me, it did not help me at all. The pain was excruciating that I had to hold on to J for support and squeeze his arm so hard to somehow relieve me. At this point, I was already cursing. So, with whatever strength I could muster, I rang up the Delivery Suite once again and Agnes was there at the receiving end. I told her the current situation and guess what she told me? “What do you want to do?” Duuuuhhh!!! I said of course that I already wanted to go to the hospital. And she replied, “Okay, we’ll check your condition but if all is okay, we might just send you back home.” What is wrong with this woman?!?

Continue reading

New Addition

Posted in Baby Talk, Erin Chloe on 23 March 2007 by Leah

Welcome, Erin Chloe! 🙂

Erin Chloe at 5 days old

Birthing story and lots more to follow! 🙂

Still here…

Posted in Baby Talk, Home Front on 17 March 2007 by Leah

Yes, I’m still here AND still pregnant. 🙂 Just thought I’d post little by little the progress of the impending delivery of our baby.

16 March 2007
At around 4:15 PM, J, my mom and I went to the hospital as instructed by the midwife I talked to on the phone earlier. We brought all the necessary things that we might need just in case the staff at the Delivery Suite decided to make us stay. We went to the DS on the third floor of the Maternity Building and was immediately entertained by one of the midwives there. She asked for my maternity record and for my Medicare card. After which, she led us to an examination room where we waited for a few minutes to be attended by another midwife named Sue.

Sue measured my vital signs first (temperature and BP) and then took a peek at the pad that I brought from home which had my ‘bloody show’ on it. She then asked me to lie down on the bed as she hooked me up to a fetal monitoring, strapping an ultrasound transducer head to my lower abdomen to check on the baby’s heart rate and a pressure gauge monitor to the middle of my belly to time and check the intensity of my contractions. This was done for about an hour.

Sue came back with my maternity record to say that for now there is no cause for worry as the baby is fine and ‘happy.’ And since contractions were far and wide apart and there was no more bleeding, the attending doctor advised us to just go home in the mean time and to just call back if there are any changes. We left the hospital at around 6:15 and had dinner at Westfield Woden. After which, we drove home.

17 March 2007
1:30 AM & 3 AM: I woke up separately to one episode of painful contractions.

5:45 to 9 AM: I started having painful contractions at irregular intervals of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 minutes.

9 AM – present: I’m feeling the contractions at 5, 7, and 10 minute intervals now. The contractions are definitely more painful and intense but still tolerable.

So maybe today is THE day. Then again, maybe not. We’ll soon find out. 🙂

Showers Galore!

Posted in Baby Talk, Home Front on 16 March 2007 by Leah

I’ve been meaning to blog about this but was too caught up with the latest mishap in our other blog. Friends and family here have been kind enough to host two baby showers for our little angel. We cannot thank them enough for their thoughtfulness and generosity.

They prepared a little program for each party and even prepared some games for the guests. And of course, the food! Yes, all were home-cooked, even the wonderfully yummy cake!

And last but certainly not the least, the pressies! 😀


It’s exactly a week now before my due date. My mom is already here from Manila and my bag is also packed. Everything is set and ready to go. It’s all up to the little bub now. 🙂


A little update: At 12:30 this afternoon, I just had my first real bloody show! And it’s not just any mucous plug with a pinkish tinge. It was like having my period back. I called up the Delivery Suite at The Canberra Hospital to ask for their advice on what to do next and they told me to just call back if the amount of bleeding increased or if I was having painful contractions within the next two hours. It was actually the former that occured after less than two hours since I talked to the midwife at the hospital. Now, she has advised us to go to the hospital so that they can check on the quality of bleeding, to see if anything was abnormal or if it would still take me some time for other things to start happening and go into real labor. If they see that the delivery of the baby is not anywhere near, they just might send me home and make me do the waiting here.

Right now though, we’re all set to go to the hospital and have myself checked. I may or may not be back in a few hours. Who knows? I’ll keep you guys posted. In the meantime, please pray that everything will be alright.


Posted in Ramblings on 13 March 2007 by Leah

Oh dear… another Bloxster maintenance bug. Now, I’ve lost most of my old posts. I’m just left with only nine and that irritates the hell out of me. Sheesh!  

What’s next bloxster? I really am seriously considering of transferring our blog to a different host now. Problem is, I have no idea how to retrieve all those previous posts. Ayayay…