Saturday, October 27, 2007

Turning a Corner?

We've had a rough couple of days, but I think we've turned a corner and are feeling more confident that Rowan's doing okay. She kept needing a fair amount of pain medicine (acetaminophen and oxycodone), she was having a very hard time latching onto a bottle to eat, and was crying a lot in pain. All of this meant we've been worried about her weight gain (or lack thereof) all week. We took her to be weighed again on Friday and she had gained 4.5 ounces over two days which was great -- she's not up to her birth weight but she's making good gains so we can relax a bit. We've got a pediatrician appointment on Monday to check-in about her feeding and weight and just to get some general questions of ours answered.

Friday afternoon we had an appointment with part of Rowan's surgery team, including her lead surgeon, and they were super pleased with her progress. The swelling is way down, her tongue and mouth floor are healing nicely, and they were actually thrilled with how much she's been able to eat -- even though she's not making the 'proper' weight gains for a baby her age, she's doing great for a kid who has had major mouth surgery. We were concerned she's not learning to latch quickly enough, but they reassured us that her healing process will be 3-4 weeks, and at one week she's made remarkable progress. The pathology report came back on the cyst and, as they had predicted, it is not cancerous. Other good news is that Rowan is almost completely off her pain medications at this point and seems to be handling it alright.

[WARNING: medical content ahead -- those of you who might be squeamish (i.e. Josh B.) may not want to read this part. Personally, I think it's interesting]

The pathology report also showed that the cyst was not a ranula cyst from the salivary gland after all, but was instead a foregut duplication cyst. These are super rare -- she is possibly only the 10th case in existence ever to have one of these in her mouth (if you're interested, here's an article). Basically, when she was a ball of cells and they were dividing the work, the cells that eventually became the GI tract split up and a few of them migrated to where her mouth and throat were and then did their thing, actually starting to build a GI tract under her tongue. So what they removed at her surgery was a GI tract that started in the wrong place and then petered out. I think this is really cool -- it kind of skeeves James out. The great news about this is that a ranula cyst might've come back, but a foregut duplication cyst will not because it's associated with a specific stage in embryonic development. Which is great news!

[End medical content here (those who are squeamish can resume reading).]

My Dad went home on Friday leaving us alone with the two girls and we survived :) We're both feeling much better about everything, which is in a large part due to the fact that we're getting caught up on sleep.

This is really fascinating. Thanks for sharing the crazy biology stuff.

I am so glad you are all home and doing well. We are thinking of you and wishing you peaceful nights.
Wow that is really cool! I love embryonice development talk, bc while mom sits around feeling ill there is a LOT going on in there :-). Yes, I second the "thanks for sharing" bit.

No better phrase that I can think of fits what I need to tell Rowan: You go, girl!
Medical content? Bring it on!
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