Why Baby and Sunshine?

Why Baby and Sunshine?

Being a mom blogger, I am on the constant hunt for the best and most useful products for babies and toddlers. Even though bloggers and influencers often get a bad rep for promoting everything that comes their way, I can say with pride that I only promote products and work with companies I believe in. Given that I work full-time and I am a mommy, I make sure that the rest of my precious time is filled with purpose and causes I believe in. I recently found an amazing company that I have collaborated with called Baby and Sunshine. In recent articles, I have already talked about their amazing subscription boxes filled with premium quality items for mom and baby. I have also embedded a video of me opening my second super box where you can see the exclusive items that were sent to me. But today I would like to talk a little more about the company itself so you can see how special it is and who you would be supporting when purchasing Baby and Sunshine subscription boxes.

The beginnings of Baby and Sunshine

Baby and Sunshine is owned by the Washington based couple Thao and USMC veteran Jeremiah. While the parents of two beautiful baby-girls love parenthood, they are also aware of the challenges that can come with it. Mom Thao says about pregnancy and the newborn stage: “When I was pregnant with my two daughters, I went through Postpartum Depression with both of them before I even gave birth. So months, years of constant mental turmoil and anguish. Dada here, did his best to be my rock, and for the babies too. There were days when I was happy and doing just fine, then there were days when I literally could not stop crying. And my husband had to pick up the slack – he’s gotten very good at changing diapers, cooking, cleaning, you name it! [lol] He’s a USMC veteran and I think taking care of babies is harder than his tours to Afghanistan! Laughs aside, through all this, we realized that when you’re building your family, on the outside there’s all this joy and cuteness, but on the inside, there could be a great deal of pain and struggle.” In addition to emotional struggles, the couple also had to struggle with their two babies’ sensitive skin. They were constantly on the hunt for the right fabric that would be gentle on their skin. However, not only did they spent a fortune in clothes their kids would outgrow in a heartbeat, but the clothes also tended to lose their softness after a few washes. Thus, they were looking for ways to make mom’s life easier by providing premium quality items for mom and baby. And this is how the idea for Baby and Sunshine was born! “Basically, your one-stop shop for parents who want to provide high quality and comfortable clothing for their babies and take care of mom at the same time. Then I realized, when you’re dealing with Postpartum Depression (before you even give birth), you don’t want to do anything, life basically loses meaning. Another mother in my shoes could struggle through the most menial task, including shopping and preparing for baby and herself. So that’s when we made the change to subscription boxes, this way we can be of service even more,” says Thao.


How are their subscription boxes different from others?

Baby and Sunshine takes a lot of pride in what they are doing and it shows. The company is very generous and truly believes in their products. Instead of filling their boxes up with paper to make it look like more (like a lot of other companies do), the customers will receive a box packed to the rim. To name an example of their generosity and commitment: the company recently sent me matching shirts from my family. When I sent them a picture, they noticed the shirt was rather big on me. Since they care about happy customers, they offered on their own to send me an extra short that would be better fitting. The owners comment “We want to provide incredible value through our boxes. We don’t make much profit at all per box, sometimes we break even or even lose a little bit. If you do the math, it comes out to around $10 per item. If you search for any other organic cotton footed onesie, it could cost you $20 or even $30+ for each piece. Not to mention our sleep sacks, to get this same quality anywhere else, you’re looking at $60 or $70+ each.” I personally can attest to that. My son has the Baby and Sunshine sleep sack and is extra comfy and so fluffy. It must feel like sleeping on a cloud. I have not found any sleep sack like that in any of the typical baby stores. When speaking about their overall mission, Thao says “Our ultimate goal is to make parents’ lives easier without costing them an arm and a leg. Everything that we do with Baby and Sunshine, every change that we make, we do through the eyes of being parents ourselves. We treat each and every person that interacts with Baby and Sunshine with as much care and generosity as we can, because we believe what you put out into the universe can either make it better or make it worse, and we certainly want to make it better.”


Affiliate Program

In addition to offering premium quality products, Baby and Sunshine also offers customers to become part of their Affiliate Program. Through this program, customers can create a link and share that link with friends and family. If someone purchases through the said link, the customer will receive a whopping 20% commission on each sale. Baby and Sunshine is very committed to making moms’ lives easier and offering them to generate income through their platform is part of their mission and their #SAHMenabled (stay-at-home-mom enabled) movement. With Baby and Sunshine, (1) the store offers you amazing boxes full of high-quality items at an incredible price, (2) their Affiliate Program creates a great way to make a high commission, (3) the #SAHMenabled movement gives moms a great opportunity to connect, grow, support, put food on the table, and so much more! Baby and Sunshine is committed to put as much goodness out into the universe as they possibly can.

What does the future hold for Baby and Sunshine?


One of the main goals for 2021 is to expand to global shipping. As there is a lot of interest from Canada, the UK, Australia, and other countries, this is definitely going to be one of the company’s priorities to figure out reasonably priced shipping outside the U.S. Another future goal for the company is to create a “used items” program that allows moms and babies who no longer can fit or use the items to gift them to a parent who can’t afford our boxes but desperately need items of quality.

I am glad I was able to give you a little more information about this wonderful company. Also, I have exciting news. This week we will be running a giveaway on Instagram where we are gifting a Super Box valued at $124.99 to one lucky winner. Check out the link below and give us a follow at @themiamimami_ and @baby_and_sunshine

“5 Things you need to know about having your first baby,” Part 2

“5 Things you need to know about having your first baby,” Part 2

In my last blog post “5 Things you need to know about having your first baby,” I covered some of the issues moms can expect after giving birth; however, there is just so much more to it that I felt like writing a part 2. I remember there was a lot that caught me by surprise after I had my first child. When I talked to other moms, a lot of them had the same experiences. But it seems that there are certain topics that people like to avoid talking about. Personally, I believe that it is very important for new moms to have a community where they can share their experiences about the good, the bad, and the ugly of motherhood. Especially, this year where moms are bringing kids to this world under the “new normal” and new challenges are arising. Therefore, I will talk about some of the more uncomfortable truths about motherhood hoping that it will help someone.

 1)     Female hygiene after childbirth

After a woman gives birth to a child, the body has to recover from the amazing job it has done of creating human life. Her body now has to rid itself of all the extra blood and tissue it needed for your baby during pregnancy. Thus, women experience bleeding for up to six weeks after giving birth. The hospital – or midwife if it was a homebirth – usually provides the new mom with all she needs for her postpartum care. This usually includes some sort of big pad, epifoam (or whatever recommended for any tearing), and mesh panty – often referred to as the adult diaper. In all honesty, it does look a bit weird and you really won’t be feeling the sexiest wearing this but the big silver lining is that this phase will pass and everything will go back to normal eventually. While you are still in this uncomfortable phase, it is important that you wear very comfortable clothing. Additionally, you want to make sure to only wear fabric that is soft to your skin. Due to the change in hormonal levels, you may be experiencing allergies on your body which is why it is important to be gentle to your skin while you are recovering.

2) Nursing and its side effects 

While many women are not very excited about having to wear adult diapers, the look of their postpartum breasts usually makes up for that. Once the milk comes in, a woman’s breast size grows by a few cups. While some may be delighted by the sight of their new boobs, it is very important to take all the necessary precautions. First, women should not wear any bras with a wire while breastfeeding or pumping. The milk needs to be flowing freely and a wired bra could lead to a clogged duct or painful mastitis. Postpartum bra and especially nursing bras are the way to go for new moms. For pumping moms, I would highly suggest to also get a bra that can hold the pump since it is very time-consuming. Also, you may be leaking milk so I can once again reiterate that it is important to wear comfortable clothing that is not too tight. In addition, nursing pads to catch any leaking milk are very helpful as well.

3) Take it easy on the movement

While you are still recovering, it is recommended to not work out for the first 6 to 8 weeks until cleared by your doctor. You want to make sure to drink a lot of water and make sure you’re resting. Try not to run around the house too much taking care of things. Most women experience postpartum swelling after giving birth which is why they are given compression socks for your legs in the hospital. Try to put your feet up and relax. However, if you want to get a head start on bouncing back before you can do any sort of physical activity, you can wear a postpartum belly binder. They come in three pieces and will help you bounce back into shape.

4) Social distancing during COVID-19 

Besides all the struggles moms normally go through during pregnancy and after childbirth, the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 has made things a little harder on new and expecting moms. Normally, a pregnant mom is celebrated throughout pregnancy and ends up getting most of the items she needs during the baby shower. I remember even outside of my baby shower, I had people come over bringing me clothes and other gifts for my bundle of joy while I was pregnant. However, 2020 put a big damper on this celebratory time. Most baby showers were canceled and due to social distancing most expecting couples couldn’t have any visitors. Subsequently, most expecting or new moms did not receive as many gifts for the baby as it used to be the case. 

Certainly, having a child can be tough on the body. Therefore, self-care and having help is crucial to postpartum recovery. Getting help this year might be a little more challenging than during previous years but rest assured – you are not alone, mama! Baby and Sunshine has an amazing subscription box service that delivers all the items you need for your little one right to your doorstep. Your box will include comfortable high-quality clothes you can wear during your postpartum recovery, functional nursing bras, as well as belly binders. If you are expecting or if you just had a baby, you can let them know what items you need and they will compile an awesome personalized box with the cutest and most efficient items so you won’t rely on anyone else. If you know a new or expecting mom, brighten up her day by ordering her a one-time box to her house. Not only will you help a mom who needs support now more than ever but you will also support mom-owned businesses. Baby and Sunshine has made it their mission to collaborate with mom and pop owned businesses. Most of the September boxes already included items from two small business owner moms Happy Momma Merch and Adry’s Boutique. This month they’ll be adding another SAHM-business Crochet Crafts by Sandy who will be providing handmade crotchet baby blankets and adorable baby hats. Check out Baby and Sunshine under this link and have an awesome month of October!

5 Things you need to know about having your first baby

5 Things you need to know about having your first baby

My pregnancy with my first child was a time overfilled with joy but also with uncertainty. We were so excited to be expanding our family but at the same time, we were clueless about what to expect. I used to think of parents as people who have some naturally born expertise in having children but I realized quickly that no one has a clue what they are doing when having the first baby. But that is ok since parents usually end up figuring everything out. My husband and I would spend so many days (and nights) researching the best baby gear, going to different childbirth preparedness classes, and I read several books on pregnancy and having children. However, we all know that theory and practice do not always match. While being pregnant, I would envision some peaceful scenario of me snuggling peacefully with my little sunshine, exclusively breastfeeding him, all while simultaneously getting back in shape in a heartbeat. But reality turned out to be quite different. A lot of things ended up not being as easy or natural as I thought I would. Here is a list of challenges you might come across and solutions to these challenges.

  1. Life in yoga pants

Before I had a child, I vouched that I would still want to look great as a mom. I saw a ton of pictures of bloggers and influencers looking absolutely stunning when taking their newborn home from the hospital and in the weeks after. Subsequently, I was planning on doing the same. However, it is easier said than done. In the first couple of weeks of having your first baby, you won’t have a lot of time to do anything for yourself. This applies to eating, showering, and even going to the bathroom. Needless to say, you won’t feel like putting on make-up or dressing up. As a matter of fact, as a new mom, you will find yourself wearing the most comfortable clothes sometimes for days at a time because you will mainly be spending time at home taking care of your little one. I was basically living in yoga pants for the first weeks after having my baby boy. Baby and Sunshine offers extremely comfortable yoga pants in all different colors as part of their subscription box. They are very high quality and also make a great shape. I also get a lot of compliments when I wear mine.

Yoga Pants

2. Breastfeeding may not come as natural as you thought it would

Exclusively breastfeeding was another expectation of mine that was crushed by reality. I thought it would come naturally and would be a piece of cake to breastfeed my child. However, I struggled with it a lot. A lot of factors came together that made it impossible for me to solely feed my child through this method. My baby didn’t latch correctly which I later found out was due to a lip-tie. Also, he had had high bilirubin levels which made me decide to supplement with formula. However, the supplementing lowered my milk supply. While this journey was disheartening, I still tried to breastfeed as much as I could for the first six months. What helped me a lot with the right feeding technique was the right nursing pillow and nursing bra. Baby and Sunshine offers awesome nursing pillows with baby head support and bras to make your nursing journey a lot more comfy. I also relied heavily on pumping since I already started working a month after giving birth. Having a pumping bra was such a lifesaver and timesaver at the same time. You get to multi-task and take care of things while the pump does its job. Baby and Sunshine has all sorts of nursing bras even a model where you can pump on one side while feeding your baby on the other side which helps tremendously in increasing your milk supply.

3. The mommy tummy

Like mentioned above, I looked at too many pics of public figures that looked quite amazing after giving birth that I had the unrealistic expectation that I would bounce back immediately after having my first baby. To my surprise, I still looked pregnant for the first couple of weeks after giving birth. As a matter of fact, it will actually take a while for the uterus and hence the belly to shrink back. Sometimes, it won’t shrink back at all and women keep having a visible lower belly pouch often referred to as the “mommy tummy.” One way to prevent this is to use a post-partum girdle. Baby and Sunshine has an awesome 3-piece belly binder for postpartum recovery that can help you prevent getting that mommy pouch and help shrink your uterus back. Once you are a few weeks postpartum, you can use their high-waist body shaper which will further help in shrinking your tummy. My son is two and still wear mine every day since it helps with a flatter stomach.

4. Buy useful things

I remember when I was pregnant, my husband and I would go to Target to buy a few things for the baby but almost 400 dollars later, we came home with a ton of fancy baby outfits. We just had to buy every single baby tuxedo and tiny businessman outfit we could get our hands on. And we committed an even bigger mistake: we bought all of these in newborn size. Obviously, we did not even take him out anywhere until he had his 8-week doctor appointment. All we really needed where comfortable baby clothes that can be changed easily due to spit-ups and diaper blow-outs. Needless to say, we only used the fancy outfits for pictures and he never wore some of them. Baby and Sunshine will make sure to send you not only useful clothing items for your baby but also very high-quality ones. You will find a lot of soft pajamas, onesies, and bodysuits made out of premium quality materials that are gentle to your baby’s skin.

Soft Baby and Sunshine PJ’s

5. Making baby feel comfortable and adjust to the “outside life”

There is a reason people call the first couple of months of a newborn baby the fourth trimester. At times, the transition from inside the womb to the outside world can be a bit rough on the little ones. That is why it is important to keep them extremely comfortable to adjust to their new environment. Swaddles are a great way to achieve this goal. They are meant to keep them snuggled, tight, and warm like they were inside mommy’s belly. Baby and Sunshine has some wonderful, soft swaddles for babies made out of premium materials such as bamboo, organic cotton, and wool. This will help your little one sleep better which of course, leads to mommy getting more sleep as well – and you will need all the sleep you can get during the newborn phase. Once they have outgrown their swaddles or they constantly try to break out of it, you can transition them to Baby and Sunshine’s comfy sleep sack. It keeps your little one extra warm and it is so ultra-soft that it makes them feel like they are sleeping on a cloud.

Mamas, if you are taking away only one thing from this article is to please choose comfort over looks during your challenging postpartum life. If I could do it all over again, I would worry less about how I look like after giving birth and cute outfits for the baby and more about being comfortable and bonding with the baby. Thankfully, Baby and Sunshine is here to support you in getting exactly what you and your little one need after childbirth. If you want more information on how they can help you with your hospital, please read this article. Other than that, please check out their website and have them worry about what you need. You stay healthy, mama, and enjoy your new bundle of joy!

All of mommy’s and baby’s needs in one box

All of mommy’s and baby’s needs in one box

Every new mom knows how exhausting life is after you just had a baby. And by exhausting I really mean, it’s absolute craziness! Before I had my first-born son, I had no idea what was coming for me. Sure, I had heard a lot about sleeping a little less with a newborn but figured it couldn’t be too bad.

While I was pregnant people often gave me the advice “Sleep when the baby sleeps” to which I sarcastically responded in my head: “oh yeah? And then I do laundry when the baby does laundry?” You will notice that you will not have a lot of time for yourself or to do anything including basic functions such as showering and eating. But you know what? I am here to tell you that it will be o.k. This will pass and holding your bundle of joy in your arms will be the best thing in the world. However, you do want to make sure beforehand that you are well-prepared and as comfortable as possible while getting to know your little sunshine so you can focus on bonding with each other. Unfortunately, I was not that well prepared nor did I buy the most useful items, e.g. I had bought a ton of cute little baby tuxedos which ended being completely pointless as I didn’t even take the baby out of the house for the first couple of weeks. I should have focused on buying useful items for me and the baby but was just overwhelmed and unsure. But it doesn’t have to that way! I wish I would have discovered baby and sunshine subscription boxes earlier. They personalize the highest quality items for you and your baby. They carefully handpick every item tailored to mommy’s and baby’s needs.

Premium quality pajamas from Baby and Sunshine

The hospital bag – what to pack? 

The question what to pack in the hospital bag was a major mission in my third trimester. I probably spent weeks packing of stressing about everything I thought I would need. I ended up taking a bunch of things that ended up being completely useless such as shirts and dresses not fit for nursing. Thankfully, the staff at Baby and Sunshine are experienced professionals who know exactly what mommy and baby need. They will handpick high quality onesies for your baby, a comfy and pretty outfit for you so you have one less thing to stress about. Moreover, you will get comfy socks for mommy and baby which is very important since hospitals tend to be extremely chilly. They will also add nursing bras and tanks that will make it easier to breastfeed. Also, if you let them know your due date beforehand, Baby and Sunshine will ship out a “hospital essentials” box a month before so that you would have most of what you will need to go to the hospital to give birth. Trust me – you will appreciate having someone else care of the content of your hospital bag so you have one less thing to worry about.

At home with the baby – what now?

Once parents are home with their newborn baby, they are usually overfilled with joy but also with fear about doing everything right especially if it is their first child. One thing all parents want to do is to create a peaceful environment for their little ones to grow healthy and happily. Since mommy will have a lot on her plate, from feeding to changing diapers all under a lack of sleep, it is important to make sure that she is taken care of as well. The subscription boxes include comfy nursing pillows that make sure that mommy can bond with her little one in the most comfortable position avoid any back pains or other discomforts. Clearly, nursing pillows have a lot of advantages since you can use them later for tummy time and other developmental stages such as sitting up. The boxes also include high quality swaddles so your little one feels cozy for the many little naps he’ll take throughout the day and night.

The mommy tummy 

Let’s talk about something most women do not like to talk about. The so-called mommy tummy! I had the unrealistic expectation that I would bounce right back after giving birth and was quite surprised that I almost looked as pregnant as before for the first couple of days after giving birth. As a matter of fact, it will actually take a while for the uterus and hence the belly to shrink back. However, a good post-partum belly binder can help expedite that process. Baby and Sunshine offers and amazing 3-piece belly binder that will help flatten the belly and get a better posture. Like I mentioned before, unfortunately Baby and Sunshine was not around when I gave birth. But I do have one of their waist trainers and wear it every day. It is one of the most comfortable and effective waist trainers from all the ones I have tried.

Already gave birth but your child is still less than two years old?

If you are like me and you already had your baby and think: “What a shame I didn’t know about these subscription boxes earlier!”, don’t worry! Baby and Sunshine has A LOT in store for moms of babies from 0 to 24 months old. As a matter of fact, I have only received my first box recently. And I can with all honesty say that all the items are extraordinarily beautiful and high quality. All baby items are made out of the comfiest baby fabrics such as organic cotton, bamboo, cashmere, wool, and more. Having a personalized box delivered right to your door will save you a lot of time that you can spend with your baby instead. Moreover, most of these items are only available for Baby and Sunshine subscription holders. You can choose between a box only for mom, one only for baby, or one for both.  I received the Superbox for Mommy and Baby. I loved the fact that they sent sanitizing wipes with every item. Keep reading for the contents of my box.

Here is what was in my box:

For Mommy:

Shape fitting leggings: These yoga pants look amazing. They shape your legs very nicely and are extremely comfortable at the same time.

Cover-Up: They also sent me a beautiful white cover-up that I was able to were during our large beach vacation since it is very loose fitting.

Waist Trainer: I already spoke highly about my latex waist trainer with steel bones in one of the previous paragraphs. I love that this one is not too thick and bends with you. I sometimes wear it all day and forget to take it off. That’s how comfortable it is.

For Baby:

Sleep Sack: This ultra soft 3-layer bamboo baby sleep sack is a lot softer and higher quality than the regular sleep sacks you can buy. Even though my son is already 2 years old, he loves his sleep sacks. He doesn’t like blankets and just kicks them off. Thankfully, this sleep sack is fairly big and keeps him warm throughout the night.

Hooded Towel: This plush bamboo hooded baby towel has two ears which makes my son look too cute when wearing it. On top of it, the fabric is very soft.

Cute and soft hooded towel from Baby and Sunshine

Very comfy pajamas: Very cute and soft 2 piece pajamas that say “I’m the apple of my father’s eye and the center of my mother’s heart.” The material feels so nice that I turned this into his “special occasion PJ’s.”

Onesie: Very cute kimono onesie that says “Let’s Go” is made out of bamboo.

Diaper Caddie: I also got a beautiful diaper caddie bag. In my opinion, you can never have enough of these so you can carry the baby’s items from one room to the other for bath time.

I think you got an idea about how enthusiastic I am about my subscription. And in all in honesty, what’s not to like? With the subscripton box you get

  • Exclusive access to premium items for mom and baby that are only available for Baby and Sunshine subscriptions
  • A personalized box customized for your needs delivered right to your doorsteps
  • You can choose if you want monthly or less frequent deliveries
  • You can have them send you your hospital bag contents in a bag so you have more time with your precious bundle of joy
  • Never worry again about what gifts to bring for a new or expectant mom
  • You can cancel at anytime
  • All of this will save you a lot if time and money!

If you would like to order a box or know someone you would like to order one for subscribe HERE.

The roughest day of my life

The roughest day of my life

When I first found out I was pregnant with my first child in September 2017, I was overjoyed and at the same time I really didn’t know what to expect. But I wasn’t too worried. I figured the mom instinct would kick in naturally and I would learn everything by doing. Also,  I pretty much had the “perfect pregnancy.” By that I mean, I was completely healthy the entire time with barely any morning sickness. I gained the exact amount of weight you were supposed to gain, the baby developed and measured as it was supposed to be. It was almost like clockwork. Nonetheless, to make it all perfect, I decided to educate myself as much as could to ensure that everything would be a 100% and I wouldn’t have to worry about anything!

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The final countdown

I took TWO childbirth classes that consisted of several lessons just to make sure I would be fully prepared. I learned a ton of things about sitting bouncy balls when you’re in labor, bringing esoteric oils to the delivery room and to chill out once the contractions kick in and not run to the hospital right away. The latter was actually a helpful advice. When the day finally came at 38 weeks and a few days pregnant (a baby is considered full-term after 38 weeks of pregnancy), I was still working from home all day and did two conference calls all while having contractions until I decided to make my way to the hospital after rush hour traffic. The delivery went smoothly and quickly.

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Reality is kicking in

When my son David was finally born, things were surreal. I remember they had my husband go to the nursery with the baby which is a common practice. My husband had told me they informed him that the baby tested Coombs positive which meant they the baby and I have different blood types. I still didn’t think anything bad. After all, I hadn’t heard of it in any of my classes, so I can’t be a big deal, right? Granted, those first 48 hours after giving birth are just complete insanity but I still felt things were under control. I did notice though that the nurses were being very on top of me about feeding him every 2 hours. I didn’t understand the urgency since I never heard of that. I thought babies would wake up whenever they feel hungry. At one point, I fell asleep for 3 hours while the baby was asleep and the nurse was frantic when she realized. From then on, they checked on me every two hours almost like I was in the military so I started to realize that something was off. Before I delivered, I swore to myself I wouldn’t give him any formula and I would exclusively breastfeed him (everyone is a perfect parent before they actually have kids). But things were different now. I started to understand that he had very high bilirubin levels (which basically means he had jaundice) and the only way for him to get rid off of it was to pee and poop it out. After birth a woman’s body produces only produces colostrum – breast milk does not come in after a few days after. Colostrum is a very thick substance but it has a lot of nutrients; therefore, small quantities are enough to nourish a newborn at the beginning. However, I was worried if it was enough given the condition he was in. I made the call to supplement with formula so his body can get rid of the bilirubin.

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Nothing had prepared me for that!

The day I was released was the day when all came crashing. After two nights of staying at the hospital, the OB determined in the morning that I am good to go home and signed my release order. They would run the baby’s final bilirubin level tests in the afternoon and if they were fine, then we could go come together with the baby. IF! I had my last visitors stop by to bring me lunch that day. The nurse kept coming to my room but left when she saw there were people there. I immediately started getting a bad feeling in my stomach. I couldn’t wait to hear what they would tell me but got so worried at the same time. When the hospital’s pediatrician came, she gave us the news: his bilirubin levels were still too high and the baby would have to stay in the hospital for light therapy until he gets better. Alone. Without us! My world broke apart. Nothing had prepared me for that! I had never even heard about this in spite of taking all these classes. My eyes started filling with tears. My husband who held my hand teared up, too. I couldn’t help but wonder if I could have done anything different to avoid it. I felt so guilty and started blaming myself. By that time, the pediatrician had come over to me to console me. I asked her: “could I have done anything different? It’s my fault, right, because I didn’t feed him for three hours one time? I shouldn’t have given him formula…” I kept beating myself up! She assured me that it wasn’t my fault at all and that these things are very common. Again, why weren’t they talking about this in the birth preparedness classes instead of bouncy balls that I never even used? I couldn’t shake off the feeling that it was my fault. Every single person working that day who had helped me during my stay (nurses, lactation consultants, etc.) all came to my room to try to cheer me up and to confirm it wasn’t anything I did. They all were so compassionate and felt bad for me. We still did not want to face reality that we would have to leave our newborn baby at the hospital. Our world came crashing down. It felt so incredibly empty to leave the hospital with all the flowers, gift basket and arrangements that were sent to us but WITHOUT the baby. That was not what I imagined it to be. I imaged me leaving the hospital happily taking a pic with the baby in an outfit I had picked for him like I had seen so my families do before. That was the saddest car ride we had experienced in our life. Even though we had just “met” the baby two days earlier, it felt like a huge part of us was missing. It kept hitting us throughout the evening. At night when I walked by, my husband looked at me and said to me in the saddest voice “Oh, you’re not pregnant anymore.” Psychologically, it was unbearable for him to see me without my pregnant belly but with no baby at home either.

 

The longest day

We visited the baby that night and I was on a mission to pump every two hours to make sure my breast milk would come in ASAP so I can feed him. There were people that told me that I should see it positively since I would be able to rest that night. They were completely wrong. I did not sleep at all that night. I called them at 5 am to see how he was doing. We went there all day the next day and stayed with him during visitation hours. It felt so absurd to me to call to see how my baby is doing and to have hours where I can visit my baby. It was so hard seeing my baby in the incubator and only being able to touch him through the glass. I felt like Dumbo’s mom in that scene where they locked her up and she was only able to touch her baby with her trunk through the bars of the cage. But on the other hand, this experience was a bonding experience and the first real challenge for our little family. They left him in the nursery with the healthy newborn babies (and not on the NICU side) . All day we would witness new proud Dads walking in with their babies which was a beautiful experience.

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The verdict…

At night, they took another “fate determining” bilirubin test to see where his levels were at. We were so nervous because the results would determine if we could take him home or he would stay another night(s) which would have been devastating for us. They finally came with the results: his levels had dropped! We would take him home FINALLY!!!  We had to stay outside the nursery for their shift change between 6 pm and 7 pm so I used that time to freshen up! These 72 hours were absolutely nerve-wrecking. We got our happy ending! I ended up getting my “taking the baby home” picture and this car ride with him was a much happier one. He gained weight quickly in the first weeks and all his tests after were fine. He has developed perfectly without any issues. He is turning 18 months now and is such a happy and healthy baby! See for yourself!

 

Note: I am fully aware that there are parents who have to leave their preemie babies in the NICU for weeks and months. My experience probably does not seem like a big deal compared to what they have gone through. I am not writing this for pity and neither am I claiming this is the worst thing that can happen to someone. I am writing this hoping I can help parents with the same experience or even more importantly, that I can make parents-to-be aware that this could happen so they aren’t caught by surprise like I was. I wish I would have learned anything about this beforehand and hope this will be included in child birthing classes in the future.