Friday, October 29, 2010

Dexter's Story

Poor Dexter has had his story on the back burner for so long due to his brother's rough time. I hope I can make it up to him. Here goes nothing.

Dexter Vaughn was our last born and our smallest baby boy. He made up for both circumstances by being the loudest and the most demanding. Small or not, you can NOT ignore Dexter. He also began doing nearly everything first. He was the first to wear clothes, the first to breastfeed the first to come home. He's been a rockstar. This is not to say that he hasn't had set backs. He most certainly has. The fact that he started out last, had roadblocks and still powered through to be the first is awesome. This kid is pure gold.

Dexter came out crying and didn't stop. He cried through stabilization, he cried on the walk to the observation room and kept crying until someone put a binky in his mouth. Then he sat around glaring at everyone like "Geez, took you long enough to get that." He actually put his hand up and held onto that binky for dear life. I thought it was a cute coincidence, it wasn't. He's been holding his binky on purpose ever since. He continued to glare and make disgusted faces at nearly everyone for the first several days. All I could think was "Man, this kid is gonna get slapped if he doesn't lose this habit." I know this from experience. :) The first time he glared at Trina she looked at me accusingly. "That's your face! You look at me just like that sometimes and I could just kill you!" See? This kid is gonna have trouble. Luckily for him he's added a few expressions. A lot of them actually. This kid has so many faces. I could just watch him react to the world all day every day.

Dexter has been alert from minute one. His brothers would be sleeping or cooing or doing other "baby type things" and he'd be looking around, quietly assessing things. It was like he was plotting. One of the nurses said it was "creepy" how much he acted like an older kid when in fact he wasn't even supposed to be born yet. I agreed. He looks at you like he knows something. Another thing he did that was so "un-preemie" was that he hated to be swaddled. He spread out all over the place. They'd put him in the middle of his bed in a ball and he'd end up to the one side with his leg kicked over the mattress. It was so cute. He was very preemie like when it came to stimulation, though. He hated being touched or moved or messed with in any way. A diaper change could send him over the edge. The only thing that would calm him down was that damn binky. He'd hold onto it like it was his only life line.

At birth he had trouble breathing and was put on oxygen. He graduated off of it by the next morning and I was thrilled. Then he started retracting while breathing. His chest would nearly collapse with each breath and you could see every detail of his rib cage as the skin and muscle sucked in. It was painful to watch. He was diagnosed with immature lungs and put back on oxygen. I was so worried. My tiniest baby was in trouble I felt so helpless. When I called to check on him a few hours later I found out about Linus. Dexter's weak lungs took second fiddle to Linus's failing heart. Poor guy. Dexter pushed on and was back off oxygen in no time.

After his breathing was under control, they started offering him milk by mouth instead of through his NG tube. He was taking all of his feeds by mouth within days. This kid is such an aggressive eater he was collapsing the nipples. Next his IV's came out then he was moved into an open crib. He passed every test they gave him. I was shocked when they doctors were talking about sending him home at under 2 weeks. He wasn't even back up to his birth weight. He left the hospital at 13 days old and exactly his birth weight of 4lbs10oz. Due to his previous breathing problems, he was sent home on an apnea monitor. I hate that damn thing. It is the bane of my existence.

He has been an absolute joy to have home. He still eats like every meal is his last and he's very attached to his binky. I love snuggling and kissing this boy. I think the 2 weeks of one on one attention may have spoiled him a bit. He could lay on your chest 24/7 and be happy. He's in for a rude awakening when his Grandma goes home and both his brothers are here. Poor kid. We won't tell him what he's in for. :)

Screaming at birth.

Hollering in observation.

The glare.

Getting comfy.
To get an idea of how small he is, look at the bandaid on his thigh. :)

Angelic face.

Sizing me up.

Retracted breathing. This was fairly mild compared to his worst.

Milk drunk smile.

Very concerned.

What's the plan, Mom?

Not impressed.

MY binky. No touchie.

He loves bath time...

Binkies make everything better.

This is just the sensor.
The actual monitor is bigger than my kid.


Anonymous said...

These stories are absolutely wonderful and you can hear all the love coming forth in each word. Looking forward to hearing the next welcome home post. These boys are so very loved! Oh and I adore the my binky picture – with the unwavering grasp.

anofferingoflove said...

he does look really alert! and oh, those expressions! too funny!

Laurie said...

Oh his cuteness is overwhelming! What a perfect little baby.

pyjammy pam said...

Dexter is SO my Miles! (So now, in my book, you have a Linus and a Miles.) I have a picture of Miles (also my peanut) at maybe five days old, making that same suspicious, judgemental face. He still makes it to this day.

And he came home after 13 days too! And he was the most binky addicted too. :)

Nicole said...

He's beautiful. And what a story all these boys have! It's so great that you're documenting it all now. I can't believe you have the energy for that.

N said...

OMG I love that glare! So so so precious and gorgeous. I love reading about each fo the boys.

shroomie said...

I am so impressed with how you are documenting all of this. You are so going to appreciate you did all of this one day, and the boys are going to love reading about their beginning.
They look great!

Shelby said...

I'm a BC triplet mom-to-be (28+ weeks and counting) who is totally addicted to this blog! :) You and Trina are awesome, devoted moms and the five of you make a beautiful family. Continuing to pray for Linus and rejoicing in Dexeter's and Simon's homecomings.

Shelby said...

Oops... Should be "Dexter's". Darned typo.

pugmamma said...

Oh my gosh, he is hilarious!!! The expressions are too much! I am a NICU nurse, and I totally know what you mean by the way he looks around like he is plotting. These kids are smart, and kiddos like Dexter make me a little nervous. . . I'm always peeking at them making sure they aren't trying to crawl out of their beds or something! :)

Kara said...

Shut the flip up, he's so cute! :)