With my previous kids I have never been successful breastfeeding. Each of them were for different reasons so I knew this time I wanted to give it my all. When Beckham was born he immediately took to the breast and was feeding like a champ. From the beginning with him it almost felt too easy. I wasn’t crazy sore, bleeding, nothing like that. The biggest thing we were dealing with was he had what looked like a blister on his top lip. So I called lactation department when we were there to make sure his latch was good. She reassured me that he was good and it would go away. The strange thing is that it never did. When we went to our two week check with our pediatrician she mentioned that she thought he may have a lip tie and referred us to a speech therapist to be evaluated. Nothing came of that for about two weeks until we went in for our one month checkup. That’s when we saw our regular pediatrician and she went to a conference and was more familiar with tongue and lip ties. I left that appointment feeling so defeated- y’all I wanted to cry. Basically what she said was that he had a high palate, a possible tongue tie and a possible lip tie. This was causing him to not be able to nurse/latch correctly so he wasn’t getting the hindmilk breastfeeding. She referred us to a local dentist who is very well known for correcting ties.
When we left I kept questioning myself.
Clearly he was getting milk because he was having wet and dirty diapers but was I starving him? Was he not getting enough? I was so confused. I called the dentist office immediately and was so thankful they were able to get us in that next Monday. Monday morning came around and it was time for our appointment. The place we went is very thorough and you see a speech therapist first who does their exam. She held him, watched him do tummy time and felt inside his mouth and his suck then offered her recommendation. Then the dentist came in and evaluated him and offered her recommendations which we then made a decision from.
Sometimes they do therapy first to see if they can get it to correct on its own without the revision but that wasn’t the case with Beckham. Because the main reason we were there was for concern on weight gain and he had Level 4 ties, we decided to proceed with the procedure. He need his lip, tongue and buckles released. There are two ways to release it- by scissors or by laser. My understanding is that it depends which way your provider chooses but we went the laser route. They explained the procedure, showed me the stretches we needed to do and then scheduled it for first thing Thursday morning. They also recommended we see a Lactation consultant before the procedure so we could get a baseline of how much milk he was transferring.
Tuesday we saw the LC since they were able to squeeze us in and that was an experience in itself.
I am not a good breastfeeder. I’m super self conscious of breastfeeding in public even when I’m covered. I wish I could just whip it out and not care but that’s just not me. So having people watch you breastfeed was such a strange experience for me. It was extremely informative though! They checked his weight before and after and found out he was only transferring about one and a third ounces. I almost cried. It just broke my heart and once again I felt like I was failing him. He should have been getting around twenty ounces of milk a day but he was only getting about fifteen. So not terrible but definitely not where he needed to be, either.
I was instructed to pump after every feeding and then offer him that milk. Y’all- pumping after feeding him and getting drops was the most defeating thing ever! It was really hard to manage because he was eating every two hours and then I was pumping so by the time I got done doing all that it was time for him to eat again. I also had to power pump once a day for three days. It was a long week! That was the first time since having all four kids that I felt overwhelmed. So then it was time to keep trucking and wait until the revision. I’ll do another post on the actual revision and recovery since this one is getting so long. Stay tuned!