My Last Shot: Prayers & Support Needed!

This might turn out to be another long post. But there is much to say.

After talking to a friend and also to my husband, I have decided that this is my last shot at nursing Ruby Sue. I can’t continue to put myself, Ruby, and my family through this. It’s time to move on one way or another. Either she goes back to the breast or we settle the issue and move on.

I talked to Kristen Gartner (my LC) again today. We are meeting Wednesday night. So these are all the things we are doing to prepare for that meeting:

  1. “Babymoon” – this is a term that Kristen uses. Lots of skin to skin time. LOTSSSS of skin to skin time. In order for this to be successful, I have to find a babysitter for Loretta.
  2. Hops Tea – I was taking this, but apparantly not enough of it. I was drinking one cup a day. Just sipping on it throughout the day. I need to drink an entire cup, about 45 minutes before I pump. It is nasty, nasty stuff. Like drinking cough syrup (and not the homeopathic ones either). But anything for Ruby Sue.
  3. SNS – Kristen has the supplies already to make one. Which is awesome because the shipping charges on the website are ridiculous.

So that’s the plan….

I have lots of mixed feelings about this whole thing. Part of me is holding onto faith that it will work out. Part of me says it’s done and I’m jsut getting my hopes up for nothing.


We didn’t find Ruby’s tongue tie until it was too late to clip in the office. Dr. Wohl (ENT Doctor) wasn’t comfortable putting her under general anesthesia for something that wasn’t “medically necessary.”  Well, it turns out that she ended up needing a hernia repair anyway. So Dr. Wohl and the hernia repair doctor reorganized their schedules to do both at the same time. I was advised to wait to talk to Dr Wohl about her tongue tie until after the hernia repair. But after an awesome church service and pouring my heart out to the Lord about this, I felt on overwhelming need to go ahead and see Dr. Wohl. If I had waited like I was advised to, it would have been too late. So, I know there are skeptics out there. That’s fine. But I believe it was God who answered my prayers by leading me to make the appointment with Dr. Wohl early.

So why would God work that out miraculous so that I still won’t be able to nurse her? I don’t know. I want to believe that He isn’t through yet. That He will do another work so that I can have a complete miracle. But the Bible also says that He allows the rain to fall on the Just and the unjust. Just because I’m a follower and child of Christ doesn’t mean I get a get-out-of-jail-free card anytime something doesn’t go my way. Sometimes life just happens and we have to just keep moving forward. Both these ideas are at war in me right now. I can strongly identify with the artist who wrote the song “When Fear and Faith Collide.”

I’m trying to prepare myself for it to not work out so that I don’t have a total emotional breakdown. But I also don’t think it would be healthy to have a defeatist mindset either. It’s hard sometimes to find the balance between the two.

Michael, my husband, didn’t seem to help last night either. I told him that I feel like I did so many things wrong (see previous post) that I don’t deserve to have this work out for me. But he said that God is merciful and kind. He extends grace when we don’t deserve it. He used the example of our finances. We’ve made bad financial decisions (like everyone else in the world has). But God would still provide for our needs even though we should have been made to suffer the consequences. He said that God can do something great here too. And he’s right! That was spoken with God-given wisdom. But it’s still hard to know how to think about this.

Where I am now:

I really want to pray about this. I want to prepare myself. I want to handle whatever happens with grace. But I don’t know what to pray. I am at the point that I’ve heard others often talk about. I can’t pray for myself. So, if you are the praying type, I ask you to lift me up over the next few days. Pray for me as God leads you to. If you’re not the praying type, I ask you to lift me up however you feel you can. Messages, thoughts, “vibes”, visits, whatever. I hope you don’t think I’m selfish to ask this. I promise I will life up others who find themselves in dire circumstances too. It can become a circle of support and help. Isn’t that what community and life are all about, anyway?

Thank you in advance for your help!


28 responses

  1. Your humility and transparency are inspiring … definitely will be praying for you a lot these next few days. Trusting that God will give you the grace to walk out this path that he has laid before you… whichever way it goes, it will be good. Praying his Grace and lovingkindness overwhelm you. 🙂

    • Hiya
      My thoughts are with you too.
      May I ask, were there reasons Ruby Sue wasn’t supplemented earlier? I hope this doesn’t sound judgemental as it’s not intended as such in any way (which is very hard to get over in type without voice inflection!) I genuinely wondered as after reading the blog, it doesn’t seem very clear.

      You also mention that Ruby Sue has “improper oral motor skills and weak muscle tone in her mouth” – had anyone covered finger feeding with you to help these skills to develop? Regarding weak muscle tone, if baby is way below where they are expected to be weight wise, they naturally lose fat reserves. The buccal fat pads in the mouth stabilise the tongue to enable baby to feed. If baby has no fat reserves, they also lose these oral fat pads which are important. Have you been shown how to help stabilise the tongue for Ruby Sue? Techniques used to help prems latch (who also often have reduced fat pads) may help.


      • I’m not sure about the particular methods you are mentioning. But I am seeing Debra Beckman in Orlando about her problems. She specializes in the oral motor skills of nursing babies.

        I did supplement when she was younger due to q tongue tie she was unable to nurse. After the tongue tie was released she seemed to be nursing well. Would come off satisfied. Even spit up as though she was full. But Beckman said that because of the way she was sucking she was burning more calories than taking in. We just didn’t know that was the problem until I saw for the first time two weeks ago. It took a long time forthe referral to go through that’s why I am just now seeing her.

    • Have you tried a moby wrap for your skin to skin time. you can wear the wrap with nothing under it and baby in a diaper…that way you dont need a baby sitter for your older one. If you feel a bit modest you can wear a sweater or light button up shirt over the wrap while you are doing skin to skin time. Even if you cant nurse, which i hope you will, skin to skin time is still nice to have and you both will enjoy it no matter what. Prayers to you and your little one.

  2. I saw this posted on The Leaky B@@b on Facebook. I just wanted you to know I believe in you!! You can do this!! I’ve used an SNS with all 3 of my babies, it’s a slight learning curve but once you get the hang of it its so easy. I would take a disposable bottle nipple, poke a bigger hole in it and run the french tub through that, so the end was in a bottle of milk. It’s a lot easier than dealing with the syringes, I’ve bookmarked your blog, I look forward to reading of your success!

  3. I am hoping that Anne’s story on her blog will help you–posterior TT, inability to feed at breast, nipple shield, many similar pieces. I was her LC and I really recognized a lot of your story in hers.

    There are three other things that jump right off the page at me though, and I hope they might be helpful to you.

    Every single baby I ever refer for a TT (hundreds at this point), I also refer to a pediatric chiropractor. I consider it absolutely essential to breastfeeding success after TT release. I wonder if your baby has gotten this bodywork form a VERY skilled chiropractor?

    Also, in an earlier post, I believe I read that the ENT thought your baby was “too old” to release in the office, which is absolutely untrue. Babies can be released at any age and the only issue is whether the baby might have teeth and bite the doctor.Babies do NOT need anesthesia for TT release. Given that your doctor was misinformed on this issue makes me wonder if he was educated enough to evaluate your baby’s maxillary frenum and clip if needed. Sadly, ENTS usually are not and lots of babies get lingual release and still cannot remove milk bc the maxillary frenum has not been released.

    Finally, I have yet to meet a TT baby not released in the first couple of weeks who does not have serious gut damage, often leading to poor weight gain. I posted on this on my blog and hope it might be helpful to you.
    I truly wish you and your family a miracle!

    • Wow! Thanks for the comment. The blog post on the gut was awesome. I know there is a problem with her gut after reading this. But I’m not sure what to do next. Where do I go for help on how to fix the problem? Can we talk over skype about Ruby?

  4. Samantha – wishing you all the luck in the world. As a mother who nursed one undiagnosed tongue tie + formula supplement for 2 1/2 years, then had her second child diagnosed and snipped I know how heart rending it is when babies aren’t getting the milk you want to give them. I’ve used an SNS and they take some getting used to but are very effective. I will be thinking of you in your journey, it sounds like you have some great support in place from your LC so no matter what happens you’ve really done your best by your little girl.

  5. Will be thinking of you and wishing you all the very best the world has to give. I am an Independent Midwife in the UK and I support may women who want to breastfeed but have problems due to their baby being tongue tied. As referrals for waiting times are so long over here (anywhere from 8 weeks to 3 months for a baby’s tongue tie to be sorted!!!) my mums often try many different things – after reading your post, I wondered whether you have considered expressing as an alternative if Ruby Sue can’t breastfeed? For some women, expressing doesn’t work or is too much to do, especially if you have more than one child but some women find this to be their saving grace – your baby will still be getting many of the benefits of breastmilk and you will still feel the comfort that YOU are feeding your baby – it is your milk, your nourishment supporting your baby to grow and develop.
    Apologies if you have already addressed expressing.
    Best wishes for you and your beautiful family xxx

    • I try to pump and express what the pump won’t pull out. It’s hard to keep my supply up though. I have to give formula also. I’m taking hops tea and shatavari to help. But any other ideas to get more out and definitely welcome.

    • Hi Elle
      Just wanted to check you knew that mums can opt for private frenulotomy in UK – usually costs between £100-£200 depending upon whether mum travels to them or them to her, wait usually a couple of days! Just thought I would mention it in case you weren’t aware of this option 🙂

  6. Wow – it sounds like you’ve gone through the mill over this and worked so hard to sort out your bf problems. I really hope these last steps work quickly and successfully for you x

  7. My bubs had her tongue tie clipped at three months old under general ans. We nursed up to that point but she was barely meeting weight gains. The ENT was shocked that she had ever been able to nurse, she shouldn’t have been able to. Her tongue was literally tied to the bottom of her mouth so that the veins and saliva glands showed around her tongue. I had been asked more than once if her chomping motion while nursing hurt, but it didn’t. It should have been picked up early but it just wasn’t. It really wasn’t until I ask our doctor about the blue line around her tongue that the TT was found. Once we had it fixed she nursed until about 20 months old (my milk dried up due being pregnant again).

    The herbal tincture from Motherlove is the best. I am nursing my toddler right now and a friend needed milk for her baby. It didn’t even take 24 hours and my toddler was having to gulp when he was nursing just to keep up.

    I will be praying for you!!

  8. Hi, I don’t know if this will help you, but have you considered rebirth? It’s where you lie in the tub together and basically recreate the womb experience for her and then basically ‘start over’. It has helped many mums establish breastfeeding later on. I’m going to link a post on it in a second comment, just in case you don’t see this due to your spam filter.

    Wishing you all the very best in this. I’m sure God knows what He’s doing, and pray for strength for you.

  9. Hi Samantha, I heard of your blog from ‘dispelling breastfeeding myths’ on facebook and my heart goes out to you as I’ve been reading over your experience!
    Can I just say what an amazing mum you are? The sheer determination and fierce love you show for your girls really comes through in your writing and I think you need kudos for hanging in there when everything is falling to pieces.
    It sounds like some good advice has been offered in the comments above and I don’t have anything to add to that except my love and prayers for you and your family.

    Whatever happens, I hope you and Ruby are able to enjoy a beautiful, peaceful and thriving relationship.

  10. Hi there mama. I’m Anne (Dou-la-la), the mom who Jennifer Tow mentioned above, who also had an insane nursing struggle that really was the trial of my life. I finally ‘made it’ at 5 months – and never would have done so without Jennifer. I’m also in school to become an IBCLC myself now. I hope you don’t mind my input here, but I do feel compelled to say this:

    “So why would God work that out miraculous so that I still won’t be able to nurse her? I don’t know. I want to believe that He isn’t through yet. That He will do another work so that I can have a complete miracle.”

    I believe you may be getting your miracle on this very day, and that it’s the introduction to Jennifer. I think her presence here IS the “another work” that He is performing. I’m dead serious. Were I in your position (and I was, in a sense, of course, but I mean right now), I would heed her advice, especially when it comes to bodywork – after going for so, so long trying to compensate for a tongue tie, a baby needs help integrating this change – it makes a huge difference, yet dysfunctional muscle memory patterns have already been so established. And if there is any, ANY way to do an actual Skype consult with her, I would do it.

    (And I realize that’s what *I* would do, and that doesn’t mean I can dictate to you. The choice is so very yours. But I share it in the spirit of being a kindred soul who knows what it’s like to feel bewildered and wrung out and sick of pumping every 3 hours for months on end and wondering if the dawn would ever come. I just can’t read a post like this and not try to help.)

    One practical, specific note beyond bodywork: I’ve used both an SNS and a Lact-Aid, and felt that the Lact-Aid was much more user-friendly. We used it for a month and it was what finally got us to the finish line (along with chiropractic).

    I am really holding you and your baby in my heart – feel free to contact me any time if you need some encouragement.

  11. God gives us miracles, but we often have to ask for them. Why can’t you pray for yourself and your daughter? I believe that even in the midst of a prayer being answered, there can be challenges that cause doubt. Keep your faith. God will support you and guide you, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Just keep your trust in him and don’t give up!

    • It’s not like I can’t pray… it’s just that I’m so emotionally overwhelmed with everything and totally spent. I don’t even know what to pray anymore. I feel like I get no relief when I pray. Not that God doesn’t care or doesn’t hear. I think it’s more of a trick of the enemy. I think that’s why the Bible says to bear one another’s burdens and to have others pray for you. It also talks about the importance of two walking together b/c if one fall, the other will pick them up. But if you’re alone, you have no one to pick up. Sometimes you have to carried on the wings of the prayers of others. That’s where I am right now.

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