What a Crazy week it’s been!!!!! I haven’t had time to blog and so I’m about to explode. This will be a long post, so I’m warning you in advance.
Everything seemed to be going great finger feeding Ruby. But Tuesday is when things noticeably started going downhill.
She started struggling to eat. It took her longer, she was working harder, and getting less milk. I made excuses, thinking it was just because she has become very good at crawling and wanted to explore her surroundings.
By Wednesday, she was only eating an ounce at a time. Maybe. Sometimes less. Constantly eating, resting a few minutes, eating more. Fussy. Clingy. She was acting just like she was when she attempting to nurse with a tongue tie.
Thursday I decided to be brave and so I weighed her. She had only gained 1 ounce in a week’s time. Unacceptable. I kinda panicked. Actually, I really panicked. I called Jennifer Tow (I haven’t been in touch with her much lately). I explained the situation and she explained that she may still be tongue tied, encouraged me to try a bottle again, and gave me some other things to try.
So being the adult, mature, grown-up person I am, I decided to handle the news of more tongue tie drama the way any respectable person would. I put a movie on for Loretta, gave Ruby some toys to play with in her pack n’ play, climbed into the shower, and cried like a baby. Actually it was probably more like a toddler. There was screaming, yelling, fit pitching, etc. Then I called my husband, who kindly talked me off the ledge (he’s become quite good at that).
After backing off from the ledge, I figured it was probably a good a idea to feed my baby. Since the finger feeding wasn’t working, I decided to try the bottle again. Oh my goodness, it was AWFUL! She had milk pouring out the side of her mouth. What stayed in her mouth, she choked on. Completely unable to coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing, the poor baby gave up. She spit out the bottle and screamed.
Finally, after playing around with the large sized tubing for the SNS, I was able to feed her a bit. I had to lower the bottle below her head and also pinch the tube with my fingers and only allow a little bit in her mouth at a time. I also had to tilt her head back all the way to keep the milk from flowing out of her mouth. It was the most pitiful thing I’ve ever seen!
Friday arrives and I did more research online. I found a very informative website on Posterior Tongue Ties. I was reminded that it isn’t uncommon for these to be clipped multiple times. I called Dr. Sandra Sullivan and she confirmed this also.
This is why:
Once the tongue is clipped, the child is able to use portions of the tongue they have never used before. As they use the muscles for the first time, more of the tie manifests itself. It could not be seen before because that portion of the muscle had never been used before.
I was very relieved to talk to her. She also related a few other cases where two older babies had to her. The parents decided to not clip the tongue. She then received a call back from the parents a month later to clip the tongue because it became worse with age and time to the point that the baby could not even take a bottle. So, now I know that I’m complete crazy and there are others out there experiencing similar problems.
I drove down to Gainesville to meet with Dr. Sullivan and Elyane, a therapist that works with Dr. Sullivan. They evaluated Ruby and confirmed that the tongue was indeed restricted.
Elyane identified the tie right away because there was a dark red spot in the center of Ruby’s tongue. I have noticed this spot, but dismissed it because it was in the same general area as the blister from the cut nipple shield. I figured it was scare tissue or something. Apparently the redness occurs because the tie catches the tongue in that location when the tongue is attempting to extend. I don’t know for sure, but I can imagine that it probably hurt her to extend it. My poor baby.
So our options were to re-clip her in office or see an ENT and most likely have her put under to re-clip it.
Dr. Sullivan expressed concern regarding pain now that Ruby is older. I have no doubt that it did pain Ruby to have it re-clipped, but I also believe the pain would have been greater to put her under to do so (IVs and all). I also couldn’t stand the thought of her eating pattern continuing it’s downward spiral while waiting for the ENT to schedule surgery.
Prior to the procedure, I gave Ruby arnica and hypericum. We both took Rescue Remedy.
When the nurses lifted Ruby’s tongue for it to be clipped, Dr. Sullivan and Elyane commented on the tightness of the tie, with a hint of shock behind their voices.
After the clipping, Ruby refused to eat from my finger. So we put her to the breast and she went willingly. She didn’t nurse for very long and there was little milk transfer because she wasn’t sucking much. But the fact that she went willingly is a huge step!
Ruby didn’t cry for very long after the clipping, maybe five minutes.
In order to teach Ruby to properly extend and lap milk with her tongue, I am to put slight downward pressure on the back of her tongue with my finger.
When we arrived home I immediately put her in the tub to relax her and finger fed her. She took to it right away and the difference in her ability to eat was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
I gave her another dose of arnica and hypericum. I haven’t had to give any other “medicine” since. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain.
A baby’s cranial bones are movable. This is so because it helps the baby to get through the birth canal during the birthing process. The bones naturally move back into proper alignment by the the baby nursing. This typically occurs in the first few weeks.
Therefore, when the sucking pattern of a baby is inhibited and then restored one can expect there to be changes in cranial bones. Make sense?
After she was done eating that first meal after being re-clipped, she looked different. Her forehead stuck out a little further than it did previously and there’s now a small indention in the back of her head where the soft spot is located.
I contacted the La Leche League a on Friday to get support. Someone suggested I get Ruby around other nurslings. Perhaps her seeing other babies nurse would inspire her. One the way home from Gainseville, the leader and I spoke. Her name is Krissy.
Krissy came over that morning. We were not able to get Ruby back to the breast. We both thought it would be best not to push it right now, but to let Ruby recover and learn to use her tongue properly first.
I took Ruby to see Dr. Morris, chiropractor, that afternoon. Jennifer Tow suggested I have him check her Condyles. He said her right Condyle was fixed. He adjusted her.
Ruby had an appointment with Dr. Towns, Chiropractor who does SOT work on her mouth, in the afternoon. After adjusting her palate again her suck became even better.
During church, I was feeding Ruby and we had a breakthrough. Ruby began using her tongue properly without me guiding her.
Another Side Note:
Originally, Ruby only pooped once a week or week and a half. After Dr. Sullivan clipped her the first time, she pooped once a day or day and a half. Now, she is pooping 4-6 times a day!
This is why:
The digestive system is a series of muscles that moves through itself. It starts with the lapping movement of the tongue while swallowing. The movement of the tongue creates a chain reaction throughout the rest of the digestive system to move the food through. If the tongue isn’t moving properly, then the messages to move food through are not sent. The bowels become full and food just sits in the intestines. Thus, the child only poops on occasion. They are also less likely to eat the needed quantity of food because they fill full because the food is not being move through the system. Once movement is restored to the tongue, the chain reaction is created and food is moved through properly.
This is important because of digestive and overall health. As food is processed by the body, the nutrients are released to nourish the body and the waste is left in the intestines. The waste needs to leave the body. If it lingers in intestines, toxins are released into the body causing a myriad of problems. Some are recognizable early on, others don’t show until much damage has already been done. I believe this is why Ruby developed eczema from store bought formula when other babies can eat it without developing the same problem.
Where We Are Now:
I haven’t attempted to nurse Ruby since Tuesday when Krissy came over. It has been a very stressful week for my family. I don’t want the stress to sabotage my attempt to nurse her. Also, I’m thinking I would like to follow up with Elyaine and verify that her suck and tongue movements are correct so that nursing will be successful when I get her back to the breast.
As for me, I’m excited! All along, even back in March when she was “clipped” by Dr. Wohl, I’ve always struggled with a sinking feeling that something was still wrong. I put on a happy face for others and tried to be optimistic. But deep down, I always knew there was more that needed to be uncovered and dealt with. But that feeling is starting to go away. I am really starting to think that the problems have been fixed.
Now that we are set up for success at the breast, we just have to get this crazy child to nurse!!!!