We brought our new little Elle home a week ago from the hospital with a bit of jaundice and a healthy holler. Since she started life with a bit of fluid in her lungs, the latter is a good thing while the former has left me reeling just a bit.
The logical part of my brain understands that jaundice isn’t a big deal. Plenty of kids have just a touch of jaundice at birth and once it gets cleared up, everything is fine.
The emotional part of my brain, however, has had a great deal of difficulty with it. I have long equated the word jaundice with my cousin Sara’s death. I know now that jaundice did not cause her death. Sara had other health problems. But the word itself that describes the yellowing of the skin has always come with the weight of a grief that I was too young to fully experience but that has spiraled around me ever since like pinwheels in the breeze.
The upshot of all of this baggage is that I had a valid reason to verify an old wives’ tale about jaundice. I had always heard that putting a baby in the sunlight can help improve a jaundice complexion. I asked one of Elle’s nurses about that and she said, well. Yes and No.
- Yes, in that in instances where a Bili light is unavailable for use in phototherapy, that sun exposure is the next best thing.
- No, in that most modern homes with energy-efficient windows that block and/or absorb sunlight do not allow enough light to come in to do much good.
Score one more for the Jade House.
Whenever window solicitors come through our neighborhood, we are always hit up for the pitch of updating our windows. We know that we need to. We’ve even sought out quotes from reputable sources and window replacement is in our budget for later this fall or even early winter.
But for now, depending on the time of day, our old windows make for mighty fine Bili lights in every room.