A beautiful handwritten gift from my talented intern, Didi.
Each of my newborns have had their own little hurdles to overcome after their births. For Cohen it was a pulled muscle in his neck, care of his forceps delivery, which left him unable to turn his head to one side. This resulted in a gradually worsening flat spot on his head, which was corrected with physio and sleep positioning. For Emerson, it was the discovery of a small hole in her heart on day three after her birth. Which of course left me a weeping heap of hormones and worry, until several tests revealed that it was not life threatening, and would more than likely close off with time. For our dear little Oscar it has been a tongue tie
, detected by the pediatrician at his examination on day two, prior to our discharge from hospital. A 'text book case', as indicated by a heart shaped tongue and a shortened frenulum. The Doctor seemed unconcerned, produced some paper work with information and left it in our hands. He explaining that while once it had been routine to snip a tongue tie, it was rather more controversial now, and many Doctors took a hands off, wait and see approach, unless the tie affected breastfeeding.
As a third time Mama, who is no stranger to breastfeeding, I had known something was different with feeding Oscar. The pinching pain was getting stronger with each feed, my damaged nipples worsening. He seemed to suck with his jaw rather than his tongue and fell asleep exhausted after ten minutes, and woke to feed hourly. By the next day I had done my research and decided to have the tie snipped. I asked my Instagram community
for words of wisdom from those who had been there before me, and was surprised and comforted by the response. With added confidence I booked the appointment with the midwife clinic we had been referred to, and took my three day old baby to see them.
It really was all over in a minute. Oscar's third level tie needed only the tiniest snip; his tongue didn't bleed and he didn't cry. Immediately he could touch his tongue to the roof of his open mouth, which he hadn't been able to do previously. During his first feed after the snip he began trying to suck with his tongue, not his jaw, and his ear moved during his feed for the first time. He has since been relearning how to feed, though I have needed to be vigilant to ensure that he attaches correctly and doesn't lapse in to old habits.
Since the procedure, Oscar has been feeding off both sides and sleeping for over four hours at a time. I no longer dread feeding him. I call that a win.
I am so grateful to all the Mama's who shared their stories with me on Instagram and made a confusing decision easier for me. Perhaps in writing this I will be able to do the same for another Mama.
Time for more baby cuddles and baby gazing.