Baby’s first surgery: Frenectomy

9 Nov

Back at home, fast asleep

As I wrote in my last post, baby went in Monday morning for a consultation with a local pediatric surgeon about a possible tongue-tie.  She was so nice!  We went in at 10am and she was waiting. She brought us right back and asked me for all the information: the struggles we’ve had with breastfeeding, things we’ve tried, etc.  Then she put on a glove and felt around his mouth–and yep, he had a posterior tongue tie.  This means that although he can stick out his tongue and it doesn’t make much of a heart shape (traditional signs), the back of his tongue is tethered to the floor so it doesn’t have the movement it needs. So she went over the procedure, a frenectomy, and all the possible risks associated.  She said there would be a few drops of blood and he may fuss a bit, but feeding immediately should help.

I agreed to the procedure and she swaddled his arms and had an assistant hold his head.  She took out sterile scissors and some gauze and before I could blink she was handing a shrieking baby to me to feed.  It was so fast!  The doctor explained beforehand that there is a little white ligament that is visible just below his tongue–it appears as a little white line from the tongue to the floor of the mouth.  This ligament would be clipped so that pink muscle would be visible behind and it would leave a small diamond-shaped gap.  This would heal over quickly (as our mouths heal very fast) and it would release his tongue to drink properly. At first he wouldn’t drink–he was so sad! I’m not sure if was pain or offense–the nice doctor lady hurt him!! But after a few tries and dabbs of the gauze to soak up the drops of blood, he finally latched and calmed down.

Since then, I haven’t noticed nearly as much of a pinch while nursing. There’s still some but I think that’s baby still learning how to use his newly-free tongue.  Even his bite and twist motion doesn’t hurt as much.  So we’re on the road to recovery, well, except for my newest problem: mastitis.

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