Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Our Experience with Tongue Tie

When my L1 was born our breastfeeding journey was a tough one from the start.  It was extremely painful and it took him a long time to gain weight, I dealt with Mastitis, Thrush, and he would scream and cry at very feeding due to an overactive letdown.  I persevered and we went on to breastfeed for 17 months.  The first six months were ROUGH.

When L2 was born I thought that surely things would be easier, I mean I knew what I was doing so it had to be easier right?! WRONG

Things appeared right from the beginning just as they did with L1, The lactation consultant visited us in the hospital and said we were doing everything right and things looked good, they said the pain was due to a size issue between his mouth and my nipple.  This sounded all too familiar so we went on our way.

Things quickly became extremely painful again, L2 was not a happy baby if he wasn't sleeping he was crying and wanted to nurse constantly.  I summed it up to the fact that L1 was "easy" and this was my paybacks for that.  It was a bad cycle breastfeeding was so painful but thats all he wanted to do.  

I decided to find a Lactation Consultant that would come to my house and see me.  Everything appeared right with our latch etc so I wasn't sure what the problem was but figured she was an expert so maybe she could help.  It just so happens the day she was to come was also the day of L2's two week appointment.  This could not have been better timing as we found out at his two week apt that he had once again lost weight…and so begins the month of hell as I like to call it.  

The LC determined that L2 had a posterior tongue tie and an upper lip tie.  She did pre and post weights and it was determined through that measurement that he only got about an ounce when I thought he was eating plenty.  This had several ill effects 1. he wasn't getting enough milk thus his weight loss and fussy demeanor.  2. my milk supply had taken a MAJOR hit.  

She gave us all the information as well as more information on therapy than I wanted to hear.  It was all I could do to not break down and cry while she was there but as soon as she left I cried off and on all day.  My baby had to have his tongue cut, I had to give him bottles and I basically wasn't making enough milk anymore so I had to use formula.  I pumped my brains out in an attempt to not need formula but milk supply is supply and demand and since L2 wasn't effectively emptying my body was no longer making that much.

I need to say, there is nothing wrong with formula, as a matter of fact I will go as far as saying it saved my baby because he needed to eat and my body wasn't able to make what he needed.  Once I started giving him formula he was a happy baby, he slept, and I was no longer so stressed about pumping enough that my milk supply actually started to improve.  

I called that same day to make an apt with a dentist who corrected tongue ties with a water laser.  She is the only one in the Houston area who uses this method and we couldn't get in for another week.  

Fast foreward a week and 10,000 hours of non stop google searching about tongue ties and breastfeeding etc etc. We went to the appointment and the dentist did her own assessment and confirmed he definitely had both a posterior tongue tie and an upper lip tie.  She took us back, kept him in the carseat and had an assistant to help.  She did the water laser on my hand first so I could see it didn't hurt, it literally burns away which leads to quicker healing and less chance of infection or reattachment.  He was pissed but mostly because he was hungry and had a bunch of fingers in his mouth.  As soon as she finished she gave him to me to nurse, which he did and sure enough it didn't hurt.  He fell asleep and slept the whole afternoon.

Now, when he woke up it was bad news, he clearly was in pain, wouldn't nurse and I had to do these tongue stretches which he hated.  It was a rough day for sure.

It took a few days for him to not be in pain anymore, I did give him tylenol a few times and I used orajel naturals on his revision sites before we did the stretches.  That was the worst part the stretches, because I could tell it caused him discomfort and he would scream and cry and break my heart.  The hardest thing was he would no longer nurse, like not at all, he would cry and scream every time.  So we did exclusive pumping and bottle feeding.  My milk supply wasn't all the way back yet so we were still having to supplement a little bit.

I did so much googling and crying over the fact that he wouldn't nurse it was not how I saw things panning out.  I was persistent though and just kept pumping.

Now, here we are a month and half later and he is finally nursing again.  Its not exclusive, we still do several bottles a day but thats ok with me because I am going to have to go back to work in a few weeks and he will be taking bottles.  BUT he will nurse and be satisfied afterwards.  I can pump 10-12 ounces sometimes and I even have a lot of milk in the freezer!!! I never thought we would get here.

Some thoughts on the breastfeeding front:  The LC I saw really wasn't encouraging which frustrated me, I needed someone to tell me we would get back to breastfeeding and she never gave me that hope.  I finally emailed a La Leche Leage member for some hope and guidance on how to get him back to breastfeeding.  She sent me a huge email with so much great info and much of it I was already working on.  The LC had me so discouraged making me think we would need all kinds of therapies and treatments to get him nursing again, I was devastated but also determined to make this work.  I prayed and prayed and kept on trying here and there and finally finally the day came when he nursed and fell asleep for a few hours, I knew this was a good sign and from there everything is history.

If you are dealing with this please email me with questions, I really left a lot of the little details out because obviously this blog post is long enough but I held on to the hope that I found in blog posts of peoples personal accounts instead of just the medical and informational articles.

While going through it, it was so hard and it really took a toll on my bonding relationship in the beginning but thankfully its all a distant memory now and one more breastfeeding problem I can add to my book hah!


Courtney said...

You are an amazing, mama!! Great job hanging in there. Breastfeeding is so, so hard, but so worth it.

Brittnie said...

Breastfeeding is SO much harder than some people make it out to be. Way to stick with it! We had the same issues with Clara when she was a newborn. We had to get her tongue clipped at two days old and then it took her a long while before she would nurse. So glad things are looking up for you and L2!

I'm Katie a 27 year old mommy and wife. Welcome to my blog where I will chronicle the happenings of my life as I find the balance between being both SAHM by day and CVICU nurse by night.

I love Jesus and strive to be more like Christ every day. Running, reading, and cooking are some of my favorite past-times. I love photography but I am no pro, but it helps I have such a cute subject to practice on!!




Search This Blog


1 month (2) 1/2 marathon (1) 10 months (1) 10weeks (1) 11 weeks (1) 15 weeks (1) 19 months (2) 19 weeks (1) 2 months (2) 2012 recap (1) 2013 (1) 21 weeks (1) 24 weeks (1) 3 months (2) 30 weeks (1) 33 weeks (1) 34 weeks (1) 4 months (2) 5 months (1) 52:1 (1) 6 months (1) 7 months (1) 8months (1) 9 months (1) anniversary (1) apple pie (1) Austin (1) awards (1) baby (34) baby #2 (11) baby food (2) Baby Shower (1) back to work (1) bad day (1) baking (3) Belize (1) Bible (1) big bro (1) big brother (1) Birchbox (1) birth story (1) Birthday (1) books (1) breastfeeding (3) bundt cake (1) chalk (1) Chicago (1) chocolate cake (2) christmas (3) church (1) cloth diapers (1) coffee (1) college (1) crawling (1) Crock pot (1) decor (1) dental (1) doula (1) dreamfeeding (1) easter (1) excess (1) fall (1) family (3) family photos (1) fathers day (1) Flowers (1) football (2) goals (1) God (2) grandparents (2) haircut (1) half marathon (2) halloween (2) home (1) Home Organization (2) homeade (1) house (1) illness (1) jammies (1) Jen Lancaster (1) job (1) july 4th (1) L (8) Labor Day (1) Landon (1) life (1) Life with L (1) love (4) Mail File (1) main dish (1) march of dimes (1) marriage (1) mastitis (1) medical missions trip (1) mesh wreath (1) mom (1) mothers day (1) My Fair Lazy (1) natural birth (1) Neonatal Nurse (2) None (1) Nosefrida (1) nursery (2) October (1) one year pics (1) organize (1) ornament wreath (1) parenting (1) park (1) peacock (3) personal growth (1) Pinterest (3) play time (1) pony (1) pork (1) preemie (1) pregnancy (6) preschool (1) project 52 (6) Pumpkin (1) punkin festival (1) recipe (1) resolutions (1) rodeo (1) root canal (1) running (4) saturday morning scene (1) scarf swap (2) sheshemade (1) Sick baby (1) Silly Boy (1) so what wednesday (1) solid food (2) Spartan (1) Sunday Social (1) swing (1) ten on tuesday (2) toddler food (1) tongue tie (1) ToT (1) traveling (1) UT (1) UTSA (1) vacation (2) Valentines (1) wedding dress (1) weekend fun (1) wine (1) working mom (1) world prematurity day (1)

Designed By:

Munchkin Land Designs Elements by Bella Gypsy Designs
Designed by Munchkin Land Designs • Copyright 2012 • All Rights Reserved