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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Yellow (11/12/09)

TITLE: Sunshine
By Amanda Lynch


“Tell me about all the colors I turned when I was born.” My daughter waited with baited breath for me to tell the story of her birth. Countless times, we've snuggled together, recalling the joy, excitement and fear surrounding her birth. Sometimes I think I need to hear the story just as much as she does. She needs to hear about the love and anticipation we felt at her arrival. I need to remember the important lessons I learned about trust and love.

See, Nora came into this world blue as a blueberry. After a few endless seconds, we heard her first cry. As her face turned from blue to pink, we relaxed confident that she was just fine. Twenty four hours later, the nurse came in to check on me.

“How are you doing?” she asked. “Has the doctor talked to you about Nora's color?”

“No,” I replied, waiting for more information. The nurse went on to tell me that it was probably nothing, but Nora looked a little jaundiced. If her bilirubin levels were high, she would spend a few hours basking in some ultraviolet lights, her first trip to a tanning bed.

The doctors weren't concerned and we were released a few hours later. Baby in arms, we left the hospital to introduce Nora to her big sister. On the way home we called our pediatrician, just to make sure that we didn't need to be concerned about the jaundice.

On the pediatrician's recommendation, we brought Nora in to have her levels checked and were sent home with a special “biliblanket” to treat Nora's now obvious jaundice. The next day, we returned to the hospital to have her levels checked again.

As I held Nora's tiny foot for the nurse to prick it, I prayed that the blanket had worked. All I wanted was to hold this tiny baby in my arms with no cords or lights attached. Ultimately, though, the blanket didn't work and we were readmitted to the hospital. Scared and alone, I sat in Nora's hospital room, praying that our visit would be short lived.

Nora was my second child, so I thought I had the parent thing down. I also knew that, with treatment, jaundice was not life threatening. Still, I sat in the room, looking at her tiny body lying in an incubator, wishing I could make it all better. As I prayed, I thanked God that I had a relatively healthy baby. I knew things could be so much worse, yet my arms longed to hold her close. I wanted to smell the new baby smells. I wanted to feel her soft skin. Instead, I smelled the sterile “non-smell” of the hospital and felt the hard plastic of an incubator.

I prayed for strength. How could I be brave and patient? God held me so close to him in that time. At one point on the first day, a co-worker arrived at the hospital, just to sit with me until my husband arrived. Later, God sent kind nurses to assure me we'd get Nora home soon. God ministered to me through the other parents in the Pediatric unit. He ministered to me through the peace that arrived as I lay in bed trying to sleep in the eerie blue light of the incubator.

Every few hours, nurses came in and pricked her tiny heel to check her levels. Twenty minutes later or so, a grim faced doctor would come in, shake her head and say, “The levels are still going up.” Eventually, Nora lay in an incubator with no clothes, no diaper, just the tiny sunglasses to protect her newly opened eyes from the light. We wanted every centimeter of skin to absorb the healing light.

Finally, the doctor came in with a smile. “Her levels dropped,” she said. It was working. I knew we were on the way home. It would take two more days for us to get to a place where we could safely bring Nora home. But each day, her yellow skin, faded closer to the creamy color of her sister's and we were fine. Now I look at my rainbow child and call her “Sunshine.” The yellow of her jaundice replaced by the yellow of the sun.

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This article has been read 311 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dena Fellows11/20/09
I liked the story and can identify with it. My first child had to wear a biliblanket. Made me smile.
Marita Vandertogt11/22/09
Very nicely written. I don't think you'll be in beginners long.
Barbara Lynn Culler11/22/09
Great story! Makes me wonder why they send babies home when they are still obviosly jaundiced!
Betty Castleberry11/24/09
This has a good flow to it; easy to follow.

If I was going to offer any red ink, it might be in the first paragraph. I would leave out "baited breath." It's a cliche, and really isn't necessary as we already know a little child would be waiting impatiently to hear the story.

You've done a good job crafting your story. I felt as if I was in the hospital with you and your new born. I really enjoyed reading it. Thumbs up!
Connie Dixon11/24/09
This is a well-written story. I loved how you focused on God ministering to you through the people at the hospital instead of your fear or anxiety. Good job!
Mona Purvis11/25/09
Just the right touch on this story. Does any child ever tire of hearing about their birth? Simple, yet powerful.
Keep writing.

Sarah Elisabeth 11/25/09
Very lovely story, you did a good job!

My advice: Keep entering the challenge :-)