Joey’s frenulum, right before his frenotomy, Friday.
I nursed him, and swaddled him in one of his blankets from home… I wanted to go with him but the doctor really didn’t want me to. I know I could’ve pushed it and gone, but I didn’t want the doctor to be nervous or anything, and I know it’s a simple procedure and they weren’t going to be mean to him … still. I wanted him to know I was there, and it made me sad not to be. The nurse/IBCLC we’ve been seeing a lot went with him though, so at least he had one very familiar face.
I didn’t get a good “after” shot of his tongue, and it’s kind of impossible to take one myself. After the frenotomy, Joseph nursed at the doctor’s office for a little while and then we went home. At home, he nursed really well and took a good nap.
The next day, he didn’t seem to be nursing as well, which is normal for frenotomies (day 2-3 is what I’ve read)… he is trying to figure out his “new” tongue and how to use it. Still, he seemed happy enough and satisfied after nursing, until the evening when there’s a little supply dip, so I did give him one bottle in the evening, of a few ounces.
Sunday, we ran around and did some errands… glad to be free of bottles and so forth, and he did well most of the day, again a bit fussy in the evening so I gave him a bottle.
Monday, he had a chiropractic adjustment and was SUPER HAPPY the rest of the day even though he barely napped. No bottle needed, no frustration that evening.
Tuesday, we took him in for a weight check. (Well, I did. We= me and Anneliese) I wasn’t sure what to expect. We kind of quit the bottles nearly “cold turkey”… still, I hoped for a gain. Instead, we got the exact same number as Friday’s weigh-in. The nurse/IBCLC said that if it was a loss that would’ve been not-good, but staying the same was a good sign that he was nursing better than before. Plus, he had pooped daily for the last 4 days, which is the most frequently he’s pooped since birth. So that’s a good sign too.
I asked, “What now?” and we chatted a bit… decided that we can keep trying the mostly-breast, supplement-if-he-seems-hungry-and-frustrated thing (I ordered an inexpensive SNS so I can supplement at breast when it comes). Joey has a well-baby appointment Friday (that I scheduled ages ago, before any of this saga) and if he gains this week, we’ll keep going. If no gain or a loss, I’ll start supplementing a bit more until he figures out how to nurse more efficiently, or until he’s eating some food in addition to nursing.
I feel frustrated for Joseph… sometimes I can tell he has no idea what he’s doing with his tongue (though mostly he seems fine). And unlike a new baby who has a tongue tie corrected, his sucking reflex is mostly gone at 4.5 months old. Now it’s a conscious decision on his part, and he will have to work harder to learn how to suck correctly. I have tried doing “sucking exercises” with him using my finger, but he doesn’t always participate. I’ll keep trying.
At one point Tuesday afternoon, he was frustrated trying to nurse… I think because he was over-tired (we had been at the doctor’s office for his weigh-in during his usual morning naptime). Milk was “right there” and I could squirt it into his mouth, but he wasn’t sucking the right way to get it. So I got Anneliese to nurse on one side, and he nursed on the other side. She got the milk flowing, and he just drank it easily once it was letting down into his mouth. Who knew tandem nursing would be so important to Joseph for more than just “sibling bonding”? Anneliese was patting his legs and petting his hair while they nursed together. So sweet.
I’m really looking forward to saying goodbye completely to bottles and pump parts, but for now, they’re staying out… I’m making sure to keep up my milk supply even if Joey isn’t necessarily super-efficient at milk-removal still (the SNS should help him practice though), by continuing to take More Milk Plus tincture a couple times a day, nursing Anneliese after Joey finishes, or pumping (usually at naptime and after kids-bedtime) in order to stimulate more milk production.
My cross-country travel is coming up soon too… and I’d really like to be able to NOT have to pack donor milk (if I’m having to supplement more than what I pump in a couple sessions per day, since I’m pumping less because I’m nursing more) and worry about it with airport security / carrying on / etc (even though I KNOW it’s supposed to be simple and allowed) and a breast pump, SNS, and so forth. If I’m supplementing though, I hope it can be something I can do morning and evening, and not have to take bottles (and ice packs, and a cooler) out and about all over the place while I’m whirling around visiting with family.
Thursday he has another chiropractic adjustment, and I’m hoping it helps him to “integrate” the changes in his body a bit more.
I’ll update again after Friday’s visit.