Thursday, April 6, 2017

{Update: Lingual Frenectomy}

It has been crazy quiet around here, but sickness has rocked our house. Henry has consistently been unwell since starting daycare back in September. Between croup and allergies, I just can't keep up. I blame sick kids being sent to school by their parents, but he's weak immune system is partially to blame. I can remember always being sick and having a persistent cough along with it when I was young. It was miserable, so I feel for my son. And I'm not surprised that whatever he has developed into strep for me. I tried to ride it out, but I was afraid sis would catch whatever I had, so I headed to urgent care. Luckily she can't catch strep and since I'm breastfeeding my antibodies should help keep her well. I'm on the road to recovery and Henry is almost well again. Everyone pray that Sean doesn't get it, we don't need to pass things back and forth!!!
Anyway, onto the point of my post. I had mentioned Luce's tongue tie and how difficult it was making our breastfeeding relationship. I have a tongue tie and I was lucky enough to pass the wonderful gene onto both of my children (sarcasm). Henry's wasn't as harsh or tight as Luce's so we were able to push through the pain, but it was becoming obvious that Luce wasn't tolerating the tie as well as he had. She was gaining weight just fine which was a huge blessing, but she still wasn't transferring the milk properly. She wasn't able to move her tongue enough to dictate what she did with the milk. Half of my milk was leaking down my breast or falling back out of her mouth. Our saving grace was that she nursed so frequently that she was still able to gain weight like a little oinker, but the tie also kept her from bottle feeding or taking a paci. Not to mention the horrendous pain I was in. I was so ready to give up, but since she wouldn't take a bottle that wasn't really an option.
Several friends had suggested that I go ahead and have her tie cut. I was worried and scared for the pain it would cause her, but they assured me that it was a quick procedure and that they were able to nurse immediately following.
I slept on it for a few nights and discussed it with her pediatrician. Her pediatrician backed it right away and said that Luce would be just fine.
I couldn't bear the pain anymore and I was a mess over the amount of milk that was being lost on transfer, so I knew I had to go ahead with it. I called Children's Mercy and scheduled her appointment. 
Depending on where you go they will either cut it with scissors or with a laser. I'll admit a laser sounded a lot less invasive, but Children's didn't offer that method. They don't put them under or numb them or anything. Which was actually kind of a relief to me. They swaddled her and used a tool to widen her mouth and cut the tie. It took all of thirty seconds. She cried, but mostly because she didn't want to be swaddled or held down. I cried, it was a bit like watching your child get shots for the first time. She nursed immediately like they said and she didn't show any signs of pain. The next couple of days she would fuss a bit while trying to latch and I thought I had made a mistake because there didn't seem to be any improvement. It also almost seemed like I was in more pain as she learned to adjust to her new freedom. However, by the third day it was perfection and has been since. We're not losing any milk, she's feeding less because she's getting more milk and I feel zero pain. Wins all around. Honestly though, she's still on the fence about the bottle and a paci, BUT we don't really have any need for a paci and I'm totally cool with nursing her exclusively. H started taking water from a sippy cup around four months, so hopefully we can try and introduce that to her? We'll see. They're all different and I don't want to put pressure on her or myself! 
I don't regret my decision and I'd do it all over again. 
Thank you to everyone who sent their advice and words of encouragement. You guys are seriously the best!
Melissa Loren

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