In regards to Saturday's update on Megan's neck Mandy asked: Did they think that spending so much time in the carseat was a factor?
In a word - Yes. The car seat was a factor. Here's the gist of what came out of her specialist appointment:
1. She likely had a left preference in utero.
2. She likely had some degree of birth trama that impacted her neck. The first thing I noticed about her as they held her up - seconds old - was that the left side of her mouth was puffy and swollen, as was the left side of her nose. This leads us to believe that some of the Wry Neck issue could be associated with her trip down the birth canal and out. The specialist also seemed to think that the left side swelling and bruising also supports the "in utero" theory - I'm assuming his thoughts are she got banged up on her way out because she was holding her head tipped to the side a wee bit.
3. She did not show signs of a preference in her earliest days. Its something that seemed to show up between one and two months of age. This is thought to indicate a problem caused, or at least exerbated to the point of a noticable preference,by the car seat sleeping. Basically an infant's head is very heavy in relation to the rest of the body. Sleeping in a semi-upright position causes the head to pull to a side as weight pulls it over. (And frankly, don't we all do this when we fall asleep sitting or more inclined than our normal 'in bed' sleeping.) Sleeping consistantly in this position all night and for naps (which means the head was always leaning to a side) could have caused the neck muscles to build more on one side than the other -- which would have caused or contributed to the problem.
By shifting her out of her habit of sleeping semi-upright, we gave her the chance to sleep with her neck straight - her head placed down in the crib centered or even, in the first few nights, with her chin pressed towards her left shoulder. This helped to loosen and lengthen the mucsles which had built up too much on the left side. The combination of her new sleep habit and the excercise of placing her so she had to look to the upper left stretched her muscles and eliminated the "great tip."
Today if she sits on your lap facing you, you'll see the reminance of the Wry Neck. You'll see the way her right side looks a bit swollen in comparison to her left - although the truth is, the left side is just a bit flat. This isn't something that most people notice unless you point it out and its gotten much better than it had been a month ago when the Ped first diagnosed her. What really stands out to me though can only be viewed from the back of her almost bald head. One ear sits on her head a bit higher than the other. Its not noticable from the front. In fact Bruce and my parents didn't even realize it until I pointed it out -and then they had to stand behind her to see it. Its not a major difference, but its there. The way her face is starting to fill out though, I'm sure her higher ear will level off too. If not, its something that won't be obvious once her hair grows in.