Wednesday 7 January 2015

Post tongue and lip tie, a timeline

For the first part of Jimmy's tongue tie diagnosis and revision, see here

Last time I talked about tongue tie, it was one week post revision, and things were still tough.

Week two:
It still hurts to nurse, Jimmy clamps on me and still has horrible suck blisters. Although the revision sites under his tongue and top lip are healed beautifully, we still have lots of tie symptoms despite doing rigorous stretches and following all post care instructions.

Two weeks after revision, I couldn't take the pain anymore, and at 2am in the morning, I emailed a private lactation consultant to come and see if she could offer any additional tips to get Jimmy to have a deeper latch. Luckily, I was able to find one who had an interest in tongue tie, and she was able to fit me in within a couple of days. I guess they're used to dealing with stressed out mothers who need help sooner rather than later.

Week three:
The consultant was lovely. She gave me some attachment tips, and it was great to have someone to chat to and be told that we were doing all the right things, even though there wasn't an immediate improvement. Sometimes, that's all I need to hear as a mama - that I'm doing a good job, that I'm doing all I can, that my baby is fine and that someone is willing to help me.

The bad news was that she thought he had further ties, which was why his latch was still bad and his muscle tone and suck ability were a bit woeful. I have to be honest, my heart just dropped. I don't think I could do it again, the stretches and the healing process is brutal. I felt like I was back at square one with the feeding process, as it was like having a new born again and training them how to feed properly.

I got in contact with the dentist who did Jimmy's revisions and told them what the consultant and the physiotherapist had said, as the physio also thought Jimmy was making slow progress and was still tight with low muscle tone. The dentist was a little cranky that I was questioning her work I thought, but still fit us in, which was nice of her, especially in the before Christmas rush. I just wanted to know what I was in for... but I am one of those people who need to know where I stand so I can take action.

The dentist stated there were definitely no further ties. She observed a feed, and wouldn't you know it, Jimmy latched perfectly and fed like an absolute angel with no fussing, no clamping and no spitting. The stinker! I was told that he just has a short tongue and that continuing with his stretches and exercises would help.

It was also suggested by the lactation consultant at the dentist, that Jimmy was feeding so often because he could. Like, he was snacking constantly and therefore never getting a full tummy because he had access to milk on demand. I was told to try wearing him (already on that!) and to have Mr Fork settle Jimmy after a feed so he couldn't smell milk on me and want more feeding because of that.
Dark eye bags are so 2015
Obviously, I should feed him if he is screaming, but really it's clear that he is having no shortage of milk, and is doing really well and looking healthy. I'll say - I have tendonitis in my wrists from having to hold him up to feed all the time!!

Week four:
We are pushing through. While the revision was not the immediate improvement that I wanted, it has made life easier and I keep reminding myself that this too shall pass. Jimmy is just lovely... and if I have to breastfeed him exclusively because he won't take a bottle... well, he is likely my last baby and I will enjoy the special bonding time we get. If I have to wake to feed him every two, three or four hours? It won't last forever and then he won't want me anymore and I'll miss that too no doubt. I will just live in the here and now and enjoy the moments.

My Christmas elves - it's obvious he's growing beautifully!
Week five:
If I am fair, there are probably more good latches than bad now. However, we still wake and feed quite frequently, and I still have to often correct his latch mid feed. Despite trying multiple bottle types, Jimmy still can't take one so I'm still the only food source, which is a little frustrating for me. Mr Fork feels he doesn't get to bond with Jimmy the way he did with Ellie as he does not get to feed him - nappy changing and burping aren't the same as providing food I know. I admit it would be lovely to get a little extra sleep or be able to go out alone for a little while without the pressure of needing to feed him too.

I do have to say that Jimmy is still continuing to gain weight beautifully and meet all his developmental milestones. This is partly because my supply is still hormone driven and so rather plentiful without him having to work for it... and partially because we feed so often that he gets his nutrients regardless! Look how smiley he is!

Its been suggested to me that most revisions take at least 6 weeks to recover from, which makes sense really. The later they are done, the longer the recovery too - you are essentially training new muscles and creating new neural pathways, which naturally takes time. I'm holding out for that six week mark, but honestly, if we are one of those duos that don't get a 'perfect' breastfeeding relationship post revision, at least it is 'good enough'. I know that I will have tried everything I could.  No one could ask for more.


  1. Hang in there babe. My 2 wouldn't take any bottles either.

    Comments seem to work btw.

    1. Thanks love! As long as I know there is a light at the end of it all, it's doable :-)



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