Sunday, August 31, 2008

Baby Dylan

It's about time I join the technology age and start a blog since I'm so terrible about emailing to keep in touch with everyone. I might as well start out with our newest addition to the family, which is our baby Dylan.

I didn't realize you couldn't just add pictures in wherever you want, so they're a little messed up, but I don't want to play around with it anymore, so here it is and hopefully it'll work out better next time.

My pregnancy went really well with baby #5 and we were excited midway through to find out we would be having another boy. I had decided that this would be an easier thing for our family than having to start fresh with a and all new clothes and toys, not to mention princesses, drama, and a lot of teasing from older brothers. We decided a complete basketball team would be great (although it's still to be determined whether any of them will be coordinated enough to play basketball). The only bad thing about my pregnancy is that I knew I would have to have another C-section after having a T incision in my uterus during the birth of one of my twins with my last pregnancy. My doctor who performed that surgery told me that I would have to have another C-section with future pregnancies or my uterus would rupture. So, we planned on doing an amniocentesis at 36 weeks and checking the babies lungs to see if they were developed. If not, we would wait until they were and then deliver the baby. This all changed when I started having contractions. After talking with a perinatologist, my doctor found out that my uterus could rupture from any contraction at all, not just if I went into labor. Because of the risks of a ruptured uterus (including brain damage to the baby or to me or the baby), the doctor decided we couldn't take any chances when I started having contractions, and so I ended up having to go in for a C-section at 35 weeks on the night of July 7, 2008 . Things were pretty easy for me considering that I was completely knocked out. The spinal tap they gave me wasn't completely numbing me and the anesthesiologist gave me another kind of medicine that put was supposed to just make me dopey, but it put me right to sleep within about 30 seconds. I was a little disappointed because I woke up in the recovery room and completely missed the birth of my baby.

One of a few C-section pictures Jake took
Not only that, but because he was born early he couldn't leave the nursery and I couldn't go and see him until I felt good enough. I hardly slept at all that night because I kept hoping I'd get feeling well enough to go and see my baby, but I was too lightheaded and sick whenever I tried to get out of bed, and so it wasn't until about 5 a.m. that I got to see my baby for the first time. He weighed 5 lbs. 8 oz. when he was born and was was 18 1/2 inches long, which I felt was a pretty good size considering he was 5 weeks early and I'd already had twins that were both smaller than that. His first day he did pretty well, except he was on a little bit of oxygen and he was pretty sleepy and couldn't figure out the concept of eating. We tried a few experiments with trying to get him to suck and swallow, but it didn't work very well. That evening things started to go downhill. He wasn't able to breathe very well and instead of weaning him off the oxygen the nurses kept having to increase the airflow and oxygen going into him. His chest was retracting (sinking way in and out) about 95 times a minute instead of 30. The nurse and respiratory therapist were pretty worried about him, but despite repeated phone calls the doctor didn't come see him until later the next afternoon (July 9th). It was immediately decided that the nursery in Cedar City was not able to give him the care that he needed because it was only a level II nursery and not allowed to give certain treatments. He needed to be sent to the NICU in St. George. A Life Flight crew came in an ambulance later that day and put a ventilator into his mouth and down into his chest. It was pretty sad because it went right in between his vocal cords and made him so he couldn't make any noises, so he tried to cry but nothing came out. Through this they sprayed surfactant into his lungs. This is a chemical that bodies normally produce on their own to keep lungs inflated. Sometimes preemie babies don't continue to produce it, causing deflated lungs similar to a partially inflated balloon. The baby was also given an i.v., but since they couldn't get it into his small veins in his arms, they had to put it into his forehead to make sure he was getting all of the fluids he needed since he couldn't eat yet. They also put a lot of tubes into his belly button for other various purposes. The poor little guy had tubes everywhere by the time they finished with him. We finally got on the road to St. George (I rode with him in the ambulance, although I was up front, not in back with him). When we got to St. George and the doctor took an X-ray of his chest, he discovered that the crew at the Cedar nursery had pumped so much air into Dylan's lungs trying to get them to open up (that's what the surfactant did), that it had actually punctured a hole in the side of his left lung. He began to improve so rapidly because of the expertise of the St. George crew that I was very appreciative we had been sent there rather than experimenting with him and having him continue to struggle in Cedar City.

What Dylan looked like when the Life Flight crew was working on him.

After spending 5 days in the Dixie Regional NICU, he was able to come home with me, but he did have to be on a little bit of oxygen and an oximeter (a monitor to show his oxygen level) for about another week. Since then he has been doing great and gaining weight like crazy.

Dylan with his oxygen tubes

He is such good baby and I am really enjoying him, which means that I am always holding him and don't get much of anything else done except taking care of my other 4 boys. They are loving him as well and are always asking, "Can I hold your baby?" They love to help me take care of him, and Cameron is always making him little beds to help put him to sleep. Tanner loves to get things for me and is always willing to throw away dirty diapers or get clothes for him. The boys fight over who gets to ride by him in the car so that they can give him his binky if he should need it. My twins also fight over who gets to do what for the baby and I have to be creative in figuring out ways to appease both of them. A few days ago Tanner went and got a 2 lb. brick of cheese, pulled up his shirt, positioned the cheese just right to his chest and then informed us that he was feeding the baby! It was too funny. Dylan has started smiling a little bit, but mostly loves to snuggle up and stare at me while I hold him (if he's not sleeping). Jake's convinced that he's only a fabulous non-fussy baby if you smell like lunch. :) We are having a lot of fun with him and it makes me want to have another baby somewhere along the road, but I'm sure that by the time he is 2 or 3 I will have decided that 5 boys are enough to try to keep up with.

Dylan at 8 weeks

Our family at Cameron's baptism 2 days before Dylan's birth