Before our trip to South Carolina, we went to see a pediatric gastroenterologist. We wanted to rule out anything ELSE physical that might be going on… oral motor dysfunction, liver issues, gut/digestive things. She didn’t notice anything obvious, and sent us to get a blood sample. She also gave me stool sample collection cards, and I filled them out (pleasant job, that) when we came back from our trip. We’re waiting for results and have a follow up appointment in about a week, but I’m pretty sure everything should come back normal.
Joey has also had 2 weight checks since we returned from our trip, and guess what. He’s on the chart! Yay Joey!
He’s still a little guy, but as long as he stays on the chart, that’s just fine.
So he’s doing great.
I do want to get him back to nursing more. Not just because I miss it (and I do). Pumping is exhausting to do so often, and if I can pump fewer times, nurse more, still supplement with donor milk, and (soon) add in food, I think that would be a better situation for all of us. We will try changing up the pumping schedule after his 6 month well-baby appointment, and monitor his weight carefully to make sure he is still gaining well.
I also want to get him back to breast because nursing will help to widen his palate, which is high and narrow because of his posterior tongue tie. In the womb, and almost his whole life, his limited tongue mobility didn’t allow him to make “spreading” sucking movements. This means a few things… he could have problems with crowding teeth, malocclusion, food getting caught in his high palate, texture sensitivities for food, and breathing problems (or mouth breathing).
One thing I’m going to definitely do, which I’ve been meaning to do for a long time for myself and Anneliese anyway, is to order some fermented cod liver oil (how delicious does that sound? … not really) and butter oil. All 3 of us will start taking them daily, but they could be especially beneficial for Joey, and have been shown to widen palates even if the child is a few years old already. I don’t have specific links, but it’s one of the things the Weston A. Price foundation “endorses.”
It can be tough to nurse any 6 month old, since it’s a highly-distractible time in their lives. So much is happening around them, and they’re able to do so much more with their bodies. And when you have a 2 year old around, distractions are even more plentiful for the baby. So I understand part of it is normal, and we will keep trying.
Nursing when he is very sleepy seems to help, and last night I gave him a couple of ounces in a bottle before nursing him. He nursed REALLY WELL on both sides after the bottle, and slept for almost 8 hours straight before waking to eat again.
In 9 days, Joey will be 6 months old and we will start solids! I would start sooner if he were sitting up a bit better, but he needs a few more days to practice first. His first food will be the same as Anneliese’s, just for “tradition.” Mashed hard boiled egg yolks, with a bit of olive oil mixed in. After that, we’ll try sweet potatoes with coconut oil, carrots with butter and parsley, blended soups, and so forth. I plan to mix purees with Baby-Led Weaning style “real foods.”
Next week is also his follow-up appointment with the GI doctor, and the following week he has his 6 month checkup. I am going to ask the doctor if his incision has grown back together at all, because I really can’t tell. He does seem to have a lot better tongue mobility now though, sticking it out farther, and I’ve noticed him touching the roof of his mouth with the tip sometimes. I try to play games with Joey to make him stick it out or move it around more (making faces at him, blowing raspberries, etc.) so that he can exercise it.