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Our Experience With Tongue Ties

9 Dec

In the hospital, after I told the lactation consultant about my problems, she mentioned that their frenulums looked a little short.

Keep in mind, even though it was 12 years ago, I have nursed before, so I knew it just didn’t feel right.  I was told your aereolas get bigger with each pregnancy, that they were smaller babies, & every baby’s different – blah blah blah.  They weren’t gaining back their weight like they should, and the number of their diapers were “iffy” on whether they were actually getting enough or not.

I mentioned the short frenulum to 2 of the pediatricians that came in, both said “eh … it’s a little short, but they can reach their lip, so it’s not TOO short.”  We had to go back to the pediatrician about every 2 days for weight checks after leaving the hospital.  They just weren’t gaining like they should’ve been.

My nipples felt like they were on fire, I cringed and even cried sometimes when the girls would latch on.  I tried everything the doctor & lactation consultant was telling me to try & make it not hurt & fix their latch, I was ready to throw in the towel – it just hurt soooo bad.

At about 11 days old, back in the pediatrician’s office, I asked again about the short frenulum, he told me the same thing he told me in the hospital (& I love this doc, he’s been our pediatrician for 12 years with 3 older kids).  Not too bad, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I pushed further, what would it hurt if this wasn’t the problem?  Nothing except for the minor discomfort they would suffer from the procedure.  I talked to hubby, hemmed & hawed & then asked for a referral to the ENT (I didn’t realize they didn’t do it there).

I was afraid the ENT would give me the same crap, but she walked in, said “Yep, they’re a little short, we can snip it right now if you want.”  I asked if there was any harm in doing this if it turned out it wasn’t our problem nursing – she assured me there wasn’t … so sure thing, please do.  I held each of them on my knees while the doc got in there in snipped it.  Their heads were closest to me, at that angle I couldn’t see exactly what she was doing, but she clipped something in their mouths & a second later snip and it was over.  The procedure itself, literally must have taken less than 60 seconds.  Each of them cried, but as soon as they were handed off to their daddy & the 2nd one to me, they calmed right down – seriously, IMMEDIATELY.  I asked if I could nurse them for a couple minutes (magic boobies make everything better), and we really didn’t even nurse that long, maybe another couple of minutes.

While MY pain didn’t go away immediately, I thought maybe something felt a little different.  Within a week, definitely less than 2, I was nursing pain free and wanted to yell at everyone who kept pushing us off.  And that had only been for less than 2 weeks!  My nipples healed, the girls started gaining weight … and the rest is history. J

Olivia’s snip didn’t seem to bleed at all – she was first, so she was handed off to Daddy while I held Sophia, so I didn’t get to see a whole lot … but I didn’t notice any when I started nursing her.  Sophia’s bled a little more, she did have a few drops on her lower lip (which were probably even less than a few drops once you consider it was probably mixed with saliva).  There wasn’t even a follow up appointment required, that’s how simple the procedure really is.

I did some reading on it in the beginning & talked to hubby about it before the doc agreed to refer us.  Apparently, snipping the frenulum used to be a standard practice for ALL babies.  As routine as circumcisions used to be.

It was so funny watching the girls after they had it done … Olivia especially, would stick her tongue out so often.  Silly baby.  She still plays with her tongue a lot – after the procedure I realized that I hadn’t really seen their tongues outside their mouths.  Now when she nurses, I can see her tongue between my breast and her bottom lip – that would have never have happened before.

Sometimes you gotta push for things even when the doctors are telling you no – and especially something like this, something so simple that could make baby & Mama’s lives so much better.

… and The 11 Week Olds Team Up & Win Again …

5 Dec

Before I left work on maternity leave, I told my boss that I was planning to return to work when the girls were about 12 weeks old.  I figured that would give me plenty of time to get them on a schedule.  Isn’t that what “they” say? 3 months & you can get them into a schedule?  I’m here to tell you that “THEY” are full of shit.

For WEEKS now I’ve been trying to figure out when the girls sleep & eat.  I have absolutely no problem having a ‘baby led’ schedule, I’m more than willing to work around whatever they’ll give me … the problem is, they weren’t giving me CRAP.  They wouldn’t nap in the living room bassinet, they wouldn’t nap in their crib, they wouldn’t nap in the bassinet in our room … they. wouldn’t. nap. <–period.  The past week or so, they HAVE given us a solid 5-6 hours of sleep at night.  What AMAZING moments of sweet, sweet slumber.  In bed – ALONE – with my husband.  I thought we were much further away from those moments.  They really couldn’t have come at a better time, ya know, right when you’re thinking, “Holy F***!  What was I thinking starting over with a newborn – much less TWO – when we’re less than a short 6 years from having an empty nest?!?!  Tell me again whose BRILLIANT idea this was??”  Needless to say … our nights were pppprrrreeeettttttty r.o.u.g.h.

So just about the time that this 5-6 hour night stretch started, I was also trying to convince these itty bitty chickies to take naps during the day.  We’d get a 15 minute stretch out of this one, or a 10 or 20 minute one out of the other – but no solid sleeping during the day.  It was really for my own sanity that I was trying to get them to nap, but realistically, don’t they NEED that sleep too?  Their tiny little bodies can’t possibly recharge on what they were getting – and they were NASTY little critters to deal with unless they’re hanging off my boobs!  It’s gotta be the sleep thing I thought!

So, I’m here to report – after a solid week of trying to force naps, of rocking, cradling, patting, rubbing with bouncing bassinets, vibrating beds, rocking cribs and even a free white noise app for good measure – I lose {insert Whammie music here – wah waah wah waaaaah}.

15 minutes ago, with the rest of my family all nestled (yes, all snug in their beds), that since they’re sleeping for me in their crib at night AND giving me a solid stretch of sleep, the girls can sleep in their swings during the day.  Yesterday & today I didn’t have the extra hours to fight with them to sleep in a bed [ANY bed girls, I wasn’t being picky!], and so I said the hell with it & put them in the swings … both days, I got at least a 2 hour nap out of them.  I may have had to comfort a little here or rock a little harder there, but they SLEPT … which means they got some real rest (and I got to make a cheesecake with MonkeyFace! :))

Schedules?  We’ll get there … you can’t even think about making a schedule until you have something to actually put ON it, right?  I’m exhausted from researching why they’re so fussy – gas, colic, gripe water, won’t sleep, gas drops, lactose overload, green poops, probiotics, reflux, blah, blah blah, blah blah.  I’ve read more about all this crap than I care to admit – and what have I learned?  The girls are sleeping at night & they’ll even sleep for a little stretch during the day if I let them sleep in the swings. That’s it.  Once we get this sleep thing down for a couple more nights, I’ll see if I need to continue worrying about the other stuff.  For now, I’m loading them up with more stuff than I ever imagined I’d be comfortable doing … and maybe some of it’s actually working?  I couldn’t have gotten even 20 minutes of sleep out of them, even in the swing, 2 weeks ago.  Guess I need to order more probiotics before I run out!

I give up, girls … if you’ll sleep more than 20 minutes during the day, I’ll be glad to let you do it in your swing.  The Twins Win.

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