Rowan's palate surgery was performed at UNC Chapel Hill's Children's Hospital on March 5, 2003. He was the second case, so we didn't have to be there quite as early as we did with his lip repair. Plus, since he is still drinking breastmilk we were able to feed him at 2am so he wouldn't get so hungry. We decided to skip the 4am Pedialyte option since it didn't work with his lip repair.
Rowan's Mamaw was with us in the hospital, and she and Rowan played together in the waiting room. Rowan was having so much fun with her that he didn't realize that he was hungry.
Finally, it was our turn to go back to the pre-op area. We got Rowan suited up into his hospital gown, and then he took a little nap on his Mommy. We were very impressed that he didn't make more of a fuss about wanting to eat! Then, it was time. I put on the "bunny suit" so I could take him back to the OR, and I held him on my lap while they gave him the gas to make him fall asleep. Then it was back out to the waiting area for that agonizing 3 hour wait.
It wasn't too long before Dr. Losken came out to tell me that he was done, and that Rowan was doing wonderfully. I almost ran back to the recovery area so I could hold him again. Rowan's face was very red from the morphine, and very swollen from the surgery. His lips were cracked from the retractors they had used to hold his mouth open. It was very hard to see my little man in pain, and every time he woke up he had a look of panic on his face so I knew he was afraid.
It wasn't long before we left the recovery area and went to his room. Rowan was asleep most of the time, but when he was awake he was very unhappy and in pain. We eventually had to give him more morphine for the pain. Later that day, we tried to feed him with a sippy cup, but he wouldn't take anything. I think it was because he hurt and he had a new swallow that he didn't know how to use yet. We weren't too worried because he had an IV for fluids.
That first night was very long. I climbed up into Rowan's crib with him and he slept on my chest. The next day we were still having a hard time getting Rowan to drink anything. He also wasn't giving us any wet diapers. I was starting to get very worried. They decided to take him off the morphine and up his dose of codiene, and that did the trick. He took some milk from a Maddy fish. It was so bright and interesting, he didn't realize he was drinking until he'd already had an ounce and a half. His swelling was already starting to go down, and he wasn't as red without the morphine either. Later that night, after he'd taken 2 and 3 oz and was giving us wet diapers, we were finally able to come home.
Rowan's 2 week recovery period felt like forever. He had to wear nonos again, and there were a lot of fussy days. He slept in his car seat to keep his head elevated since it was harder for him to breathe through the swollen tissue. However, the nonos did come in handy since we could let him play with papers and things that he would normally put in his mouth, and he could perform some awesome acrobatics.
Two weeks later we went back for our post op check. Rowan was finally able to have a chat with Dr. Losken and tell him exactly what he thought about the whole business. He also decided to make a face for the record.
Loksen said that we were allowed to take the nonos off, so now
for Rowan it's back to business as usual. We're enjoying feeding
him without having food come out his nose, and soon we'll try
a regular bottle to see if he can learn to suck. It's all very
exciting, and Rowan says, "Look out world, cause here I come!"
Back to Rowan's Odyssey