My daughter Daisy was born three weeks early at home. We hadn’t planned it that way but it was a very quick one hour labour. We were taken to hospital by ambulance and everything seemed fine. We stayed overnight and it was as the midwife was doing her final obs on Daisy before they discharged us that she noticed she looked a slight yellow. I must admit I didn’t see it - she looked fine to me.
Daisy was tested for jaundice and we were told she needed to go under a UV light. After 24 hours under the light, her bilirubin levels went down and we were sent home. For two weeks, the midwife came every other day to check her bilirubin levels. They were up and down but never so high that she needed to be re-admitted to hospital. The midwife also did regular checks on her weight because although she was feeding pretty well, she was struggling to put weight on. Once the bilirubin levels went down and Daisy got back to birth weight, the midwife discharged us.
Around three weeks went by and I kept seeing her colour go more and more yellow although only in certain lights. I asked what my partner and my mum thought and they said she looked fine, but I just knew she didn't look a ``normal`` colour. So I took her to my local GP and he said she looks a slight tinge of yellow but seems OK. However he could see that even after three weeks she was still only at birth weight, so he referred us to our local hospital, Bolton Royal, where they did blood tests, scans and urine tests and still couldn't find the cause for the jaundice so they referred us to Leeds Royal Infirmary where they have a specialist liver unit.
At Leeds they did more blood tests and a more in-depth scan of her gall bladder where they saw that something wasn’t quite right. It was at this point that a doctor told us they were 95% certain Daisy had biliary atresia. I didn't know what this was as I'd never heard of it before. It was when the doctor went into details of just how rare it is and how she needed an emergency operation, my heart dropped and me and my partner looked at each other and didn't know what to say. When the doctor left the room, we were silent and didn't know what to do. It didn't kick in for me until my partner left and it was just me and Daisy in the room, I was so worried for her I couldn't help but cry!
The next day Daisy had her Kasai operation which took six hours. Seven days later we were sent home and I am happy to say she is now doing amazingly!
I do think though that the maternity team and health visitors should make parents more aware of watching the colour change in babies’ poos and wees because, even though Daisy isn't my first child, I still didn't have any concerns about this as I didn’t realise it wasn’t right. It was just the colour of her skin being yellow that caught my attention.