Friday, June 3, 2011

Tongue Tied

Little Hope is now two months old! She is such a sweet, pleasant baby. However, I knew something wasn't quite right. With my other children, nursing pain lasted about 4 weeks, but this time was different. Once 4 weeks passed, I kept thinking that any day the pain would go away. I tried adjusting her latch and doing all the things I knew to do. Days turned into weeks, and before I knew it, she was 7 weeks old and we were visiting the midwife. When she asked how nursing was going, I mentioned my ongoing pain. It just so happened that several of the midwives and assistants had just gotten back from a seminar on tongue-tie, and after examining her, they definitely thought she had it. They recommended a local dentist who is able to do the procedure with a laser, takes only a few seconds, and no anesthesia is necessary. The very next day I called to make an appointment. It was a Thursday, and they got me in on Monday, but honestly, Monday couldn't come fast enough for me! I was so ready to be done with this intense pain and to be able to enjoy nursing my sweet baby. When Monday DID come, we went in for our appointment and the dentist looked her over. He said that her tongue looked fine, but her upper lip frenulum (I believe it is called - the piece of skin that attaches the upper lip to the gums) was too short. Her mouth was unable to open wide enough when nursing, which was causing my pain and causing her to be gassy and not take in as much milk. In 30 seconds the whole procedure was over, and I was nursing my baby WITHOUT that intense pain! The next week or so was an adjustment for us. Hope's lip swelled pretty badly (she still looked so cute, though, poor baby!), but that was gone in a couple days. She never got fussy or refused to eat, as the dentist said she might, so we were thankful for that. We could just tell that her lip was still tender. Everytime I nursed, I had to pull her lip up as it should be, to keep it from reattaching, and also to help Hope relearn to nurse the correct way. I was still a little sore for the first few days, but now, things are feeling more normal. I'm so glad this procedure was available to us! It has certainly made a difference for me and for Hope. She is getting more milk now, is more satisfied and doesn't have the gas problems she was having before. And she is smiling for us now! We are thoroughly enjoying it, too. :)

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