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Round 2…Fight!

Little Man’s Lip Tie release was Thursday afternoon, and let me tell you we noticed a stark difference in his temperament right away. We had changed something on him and hurt him, he showed his displeasure by being one angry baby for the next 3 days. Even though he could now take a bottle things were still difficult and we were still trying to learn to latch with no such luck.

Monday morning we were back at the Pediatrician for his two week checkup, even though he was above his birthweight at 8lb5oz she was yet again unhappy with his weight gain and shared her displeasure in the most formula advocate of ways.😑(for anyone that doesn’t know, general rule of thumb is babies should be back at their birth weight between 10-14days-here we are at day 14 2 oz above birthweight🙄) While she shared her disapproval, I countered with our Dr debacle and she apologized for our experience but thanked her for sharing what happened because she’d “never heard that” about our local ENT. With another weigh in appointment scheduled for Thursday I left the pediatrician yet again frustrated.

Luckily during my pregnancy they started a local chapter of Le Lech League and it just so happened there was a meeting that night where an awesome leader and fellow members let me hijack a majority of the meeting to problem solve for my guy even working with us one on one at the end of the meeting to see where he was at with his latch, give us pointers and suggest some different holds based on what had worked for them. I left with lots of tips, a promise of more to come via email with s tentative followup one on one should we need it, a new book and a renewed faith that I was in fact doing everything in my power to give my guy the best.

The meeting had gone great and we stopped to see Daddy at the station on the way home which kept us out later than I expected; I had run out of pumped breast milk and was a little panicked about the potential turn our evening was about to take. It was 8pm and little man was already showing signs of being hungry through his drowsiness and I had a choice to make: do I try again right now or start pumping and hope he goes back to sleep while I do. Not expecting anything different than the angry head turning I got at the meeting I tried again to get little man to latch, success! He latched like s champ and stayed there for an entire feeding! Cody was at the firehouse studying for his big test so he just got a “success!” Text and we had a mini celebration.

It was officially after the 4th which meant the IBLC should be back in town, we called the hospital first thing Monday morning and were told that she was only there Tuesday through Thursday but I could talk to a different LC on staff-they patched me through I explained what was going on and the help we were looking for and yet again was told “I don’t have experience with that sorry I can’t help.” So we called the number given to us ( IBLC’s cell phone) and left a message. She called back and left her own voicemail in which she said I could text her a time and day that worked for us but that she was at the hospital from 10-2. So we made a plan for Tuesday at 1245. She had something come up and that appointment was cancelled and rescheduled for the same time Wednesday. At this point we’ve latched and nursed about six times! Which is wonderful! But it was all on one side and I was starting to be in a world of pain.

We arrive at the appointment with lots of questions post lip tie correction trying to establish our new found breast feeding ability with a proper latch and good habits. The rules at the hospital now say you have to go to security to get a badge then come back to Labor and Delivery to be seen, we had to park behind the providers building go all the way down to the security desk in the ER and back to the halfway point where labor and delivery is, by the time we get there little man is snug in his ring sling and none to pleased when we’re in the Lactation Room and he must be removed from his cocoon. In sharing his displeasure he opens his mouth wide and lets out a wail. It’s in those first 30 seconds we’re in the room the IBLC says “oh did they say when they were going to correct his posterior tongue tie?” 🤦🏼‍♀️

Cue: Internal excoriating sigh, face palm and frustrated scream.

She works with us on latching, asking questions about what we were experiencing, as I detailed what I was seeing during his feedings she said that everything we were dealing with was most likely a result of his tongue tie; explaining that a lip tie is almost always accompanied by a tongue tie but a tongue tie doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a lip tie. After some time she gives us some provider information for a Dr who can fix this tie and the next part of recruiting help for my guy has officially started.

I go home and do some research on ties, the list of symptoms I find is a stumbling list of what I’m seeing every day with my guy.

◦ Clicks when eating, swallows very loudly

◦ Spits milk out the corners of his mouth

◦ Sputters and chokes while eating (both at breast and bottle)

◦ While nursing often falls asleep quickly or takes several “breaks” while latched (like it’s an extensive effort to eat)

◦ Nipples raw, cracked, and bleeding (misshapen when releases latch)

◦ Gassy/colicky (cut dairy and still that way)

◦ Nipple shields hurt too as he just ends up crushing nipple in the silicone

◦ Short naps, not sleeping peacefully (2-2.5 hrs is a good stretch)

◦ Gets Hiccups frequently

◦ Constantly wants to suck on things, his hands,

After doing some research of correction methods I discovered that there is a national list of preferred providers who correct tongue and lip ties. We found two in Columbia, I looked more into each practice and chose the one I felt like was a better fit for us. They sound wonderful, there is an entire team of people to get little man the help he needs. A Lactation Consultant to see us prior to the procedure to see all the issues we’re having currently and to help us establish a good latch immediately post op, a body worker/chiropractor to make sure he is as loose as possible for the procedure so they can get to all the ties that need corrected, a speech pathologist to assess his mouth for potential future issues prior to the procedure and to insure those problems have been properly addressed with the correction. The expected healing time is six weeks, with the worst days being Days 3-4 and Day 7. They want to see us one week post op and six weeks post op, and ask that we work with a local networked body worker/chiropractor weekly.

I called the insurance company, apparently they think that a tongue tie correction is a cosmetic procedure. Even though it effects his ability to eat both currently and in the future (choking hazard once he starts solids), the development of his teeth and dental hygiene, the development of his muscles effecting his speech. They’re labeling it both cosmetic and dental saying that they don’t have to cover it because of both stipulations. So we have to pay for the procedure and all the follow ups and therapy upfront. The Doctor’s office is trying to code it for us to get a reimbursement but I am not hopeful.

Today is his correction, we start our 2.5 hr drive in a few hours to say this Mama is nervous is an understatement.

To be updated with procedure experience…

love and baby dust,

B

breastfeeding · Family Life · growing our family · parenting

The hardest two weeks of my life…

I thought battling infertility was hard, but walking around with your heart outside your body and fighting to make people hear you when you say something is wrong why won’t you help him is so much harder.

In the hospital I noticed little man had a hard time latching, I asked for help from the IBLC but I really wanted them to diagnose what I suspected so we could get it fixed ASAP. Unfortunately the IBLC was out of town, and no one else helped us in the hospital so we were sent home with no official diagnosis just my suspicion until Friday morning when we had our first Peds appt.
He weighed and measured great. The Dr confirmed what I knew to be true that he had a strong lip tie. We had figured out what worked for us during the week to keep little man happy and I was pumping so he could get breast milk even though he can’t latch. When she heard I was pumping she wanted to know number of ounces he was taking rather than asking about his output like a normal breastfeed baby. Which might I add he was hitting all the markers for wet diapers, dirty diapers, happy baby and sleeping but she kept insisting that I can’t produce enough to feed him and I need to supplement with formula through the weekend because he should be getting 1-2oz every 2-3hrs. My 3day old🙄 (she kept saying four, he was born Monday night this appt was Friday morning) with the large marble sized belly. She even mentioned that he’d be labeled failure to thrive at 12% weight loss, so I asked what his was and she calculated it at 7.5% but she’d be “rounding that up to 8%.” It did not matter that 12 is a long ways from 8 especially when it comes to weight loss percentage. She wouldn’t hear it and we decided it was easier to just take the formula and not use it than continue to talk to someone who clearly wasn’t listening to us.

 We left the Dr and went to visit an LC at the hospital, we had a conversation about everything that had happened, what I’d been told and how every instinct in my body said they were wrong based on what I’ve learned through research and general baby prep. The LC said that clearly I had done my research and knew what I was doing and flat out asked me “why are you here honey?” I told her I could read everything but when it came to practice it felt like I was doing something wrong. She worked with us trying latches and holds, after 45 Minutes I had one frustrated red baby, a defeated apologetic LC and the obvious flashing neon sign that nothing was working, his little mouth just couldn’t do it. As frustrating as it was, it was good to know I wasn’t crazy and that we were in fact having a real issue that there was a solution for, correcting his tie. 

So we pumped and pumped all weekend, I held my guy mannequin style above the pump bottles or frogged between them. We cluster fed, I was barely able to pump ahead of his appetite; not much sleep was had and I think I will forever despise the sound of this pump (especially as I sit here typing this still attached to it). 

Monday morning (7 days old) rolls around and I may or may not have let my snark show in his attire and put him in a skeleton onesie since you know…I was starving my kid.

Petty Level: Expert.

We did his weigh in, the nurse put him on the scale and I laughed when I saw he was up to 8lb 1oz, just 2 oz shy of his birth weight at just one week. We went to our room and waited for the Dr, she said her goal was 1oz a day, a goal she did not share with us Friday. But she also didn’t introduce herself when she walked into the room so I shouldn’t be surprised. 🙄

She said her pleasantries when she walked into the exam room followed by “Let’s see how we did and check what his weight was” when she saw he put on 9oz she asked if I used the formula, I told her not at all it was still sealed, she could have it back. Suddenly she was singing my praises and said we must have worked so hard this weekend to make sure he put on weight. We talked about his stump falling off and that his belly button had already closed, about his reflexes being great, him being nice and alert and his head strength. 

At the end of the appointment she said he looked great and that she’d see us at two weeks old, if he still looked as good we wouldn’t have to come back until 2 months.

Victory was ours! 💪🏼 

and in case you’re wondering, yes I left her canister of formula on the counter when we left. 😂

Monday afternoon I called the ENT the Pediatrician had supposedly sent a referral to Friday, they never got a referral. So I scheduled the appt myself for correction of his lip tie myself for first thing Halloween morning (8days old) at the appointment they were very sympathetic but ultimately told me because he’s so young he would need admitted to the hospital and put under anesthesia to correct his lip tie, that the pediatrician wouldn’t take responsibility for him at the hospital because they didn’t do the procedure, that his office wouldn’t take responsibility for him because they’re an ENT and don’t do babies. That they usually correct it between baby teeth and adult teeth, so we could get it corrected if it was still an issue when he was 6!!!

So basically I paid $100 to be told “oh yes there’s a problem, sorry he can’t eat, we can’t help.”

And onto the next…none of that sounded right, so I started looking for a Pediatric ENT surely they would do babies. Lip ties and tongue ties are not that rare, they’re corrected all the time someone should be able to help us. I called our insurance to make sure that we didn’t need prior authorization to see the specialist (we didn’t) and to make sure we could cross state lines since we’re so close to the state line and the closest city is across it (we could) the first two pieces of good news we’d had. 

I started looking up covered physicians within 100miles. I found one who was in network and not too far. It was end of day so I called and left them a message with the details of what we had experienced and what we needed.

They called me back the next morning, I triple checked that they could do the correction in office with topical anesthesia on a less than 2 wk old. They said yes. I told them what all the other Drs had told me, they agreed that the local ENT didn’t make sense that it is the same procedure whether or not he’s awake shouldn’t matter. They said they’d do it in house unless the child is older and the tie is really thick, then he’d take them over to the ER to do it. 

We arrive at the office in GA to get little man’s tie corrected, they are only at this office on certain days of the week so it’s pretty crowded. Add in that the Dr is the only Pediatric ENT in the practice and I start counting the kids in front of us. Four in the waiting room I can see, who knows how many in the back. 


We wait for two hours to be called back to an exam room, as the Dr starts talking it begins to sound like yet again we’ve wasted time and someone else is telling us they can’t help. But then he stands up and starts preparing the numbing agent as he explains again what will happen. That he’ll numb his lip with these soaked cotton pads, use surgical scissors to snip it and then I’ll need to apply pressure with gauze for several minutes and baby “will cry some.” What he didn’t mention was that my baby would be full body rigid screaming for several minutes, that despite the numbing agent he clearly felt something and that it would break my heart to see him like that. Once the bleeding stopped we were told we could go.

Cody and I stopped on the way home to grab food, and I’m so glad we did otherwise the following would have happened in the middle of 95N. I had DK in the ring sling when I turned to get paper towels after washing my hands, in the mirror I see he has blood coming from his mouth. I grab paper towels and start blotting away what I can, and head out to Cody. The look on my face let’s him know something is wrong from across the room. We quickly head out to the car where we try to get the bleeding to stop, I was able to get a large clot out of his mouth with a burp cloth and that seemed to help him tons (and terrify Mommy and Daddy) We sit in the back seat of the car with gauze from the first aid kit applied to his gum for what seemed like forever before it finally slowed down. We rinsed his mouth with breast milk to clear out the old and be able to see any new. Luckily it had stopped, we strap him in and head home with a worried Mama staring at him the entire way and Daddy asking “how’s my boy?” every few minutes.

Oh and in case you were wondering what DK was doing this whole time, he was passed out cold; couldn’t be bothered with some blood and the panic he caused.🙈

After such a traumatic day we haven’t been able to latch yet, but we’re working on it. We’re both learning and it’s going to take some grace on both our parts to figure this out. At least that’s what I’m telling myself over and over as we struggle through this. 

In the end I know it’ll be worth it, but right now it hurts my heart. It was and is beyond difficult to see my guy in pain even though I know this is the best thing for him and the first step to getting us on the right track to eating like any other baby, the first step to ditching syringe feedings and counting seconds until he swallows the little bit in his mouth. I know this is for the best, but for now my guy is curled up on my chest as we both recover from today ready for the promise of a better tomorrow. 💙

love & baby dust,

B

growing our family · our season of waiting

Cooties in the Carolinas

You know your boy is oh so loved when you get not just one, but TWO chances to be showered with love💙

We had our wonderful Framily in SC throw us the sweetest snakes, snails and puppy dog tails all things “Boy” shower. With good food, fun games and lots of laughs to be had. I have no pictures from this shower as we were constantly involved in something! Whether it was how big is Mommy AND Daddy’s bellies? Fun baby themed trivia, watching a knock down drag out over some clothes pins and the words “baby boy” or avoiding the onesie decorating table to preserve the surprise and not pressure the ‘atrtists’ 

We truly are blessed to be surround by so many people who love our boy already. 💙
Love & baby dust,

B

growing our family · our season of waiting

checking on little man’s heart…

during our 20 wk anatomy scan little man was spine out, so despite being able to see most everything was okay and growing right on track we had to have a follow up ultrasound at 24 weeks so we could check on his heart and make sure the placenta was moving in the right direction.

During the anatomy scan i was told that i had an anterior placenta which was why i probably hadn’t for sure felt him moving yet, but i got the best birthday present at 21 wks when i woke up and was talking to hubs as he got ready for work and realized there were these little taps in my belly. ❤

during our 24 wk scan we got some really great pictures of little mans smiling face, and even more evidence that he might just be the spitting image of his mama with those high round cheek bones.

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my most favorite ultrasound picture we have ❤
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he also apparently likes to have his hands up by his face when he’s curled up just like both his Mama and Daddy.

 

love and baby dust

-b

growing our family · our season of waiting

cousin explosion!

we have a tally on the genders of the babies due this fall plus a surprise edition to the mix!

We have one baby girl due Oct 19, our little man due Oct 25 and another little girl due Nov 8 and a surprise edition to the bunch due January 30th!

yes we’ve gotten lots of ‘don’t drink the water over there’ s but our family is so so blessed to be welcoming in so man snugly babies! ❤

love and baby dust

-b

growing our family · our season of waiting

houston we have a crib!

Our crib arrived on the door step earlier this week and after staring at the box every day until we had a moment to assemble it (and the nursery cleared out so it had a place to sit) we finally put it together!


it’s so cute and tiny and makes it feel even more real that in just a few short months there will finally be a baby in the house and in absolutely no time little footsteps on the hardwood a sound i have longed to hear for the last 4 years.

in true Shepherd fashion, Minion had to inspect the crib during and after assembly-don’t worry it passed inspection.

love and baby dust

-b

cloth diapers · growing our family · our season of waiting · parenting

fluff mail!

 

so I’ve got some pretty extensive allergies and even more sensitive skin, in the recent years i have discovered using the wrong lotion, coming in contact with someone wearing the wrong perfume/lotion or even cleaning the bathroom can and will leave me covered in hives. after seeing an allergist and being told my allergies were too weird to be tested for we were told that i am allergic to everything from certain flowers and fragrances to mold/mildew to the cleaners used to take care of them and even certain preservatives. the sage advice i was given, “take this Rx allergy med and avoid your triggers” uh thanks.

so I’ve made the switch to fragrance free or naturally occurring fragrances, gotten out of all the bathroom detailing and avoid all preservatives i can to avoid the chest tightening, itchy ears&hands and full body hives. it’s easy enough once i figured out what my triggers were, but when we started considering what allergies our baby might have we really started to worry. afterall, my Mama was generous enough to give me all of her allergies and then i went and developed several of my own.

so part of what i found myself doing while we struggled to get pregnant was searching alternatives to mainstream baby items…because yes even things markets for babies make my skin freak out. i looked into preservative free, all natural, organic and an overwhelming list of what goes into diapers and the cost of finding something that was a little off the beaten path seemed to triple the cost or cut the quantity in a pack in half. so i started looking into cloth diapering and realized just how perfect it would be for us.

we controlled what was used on them, we could add absorbency as needed, they came in one size so we could use the same ones from infancy to potty training and they hold up over time so we could use the same ones for all the babies we are blessed with! and they were darn cute too! since they held up so well many Moms sold their diaper stash when they were done so we could get all the diapers we needed for a fraction of the cost for ALL our babies. ❤ i was sold, and once we knew gender, i started my hunt for the perfect start to our own stash. i was able to get one size pocket diapers for anywhere from $20 for 4, to $55 for 12 and two swim diapers, 3 diapers for $12 we were gifted prefolds and covers from our showers. so overall i think we’ve spent less than $150 on all the diapers we have! i call that a WIN!

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love and baby dust

-b