I didn’t know ANYTHING about what a “lip tie” was, nor had i ever even heard of it, until i met this girl. She was one of the first of many amazing mamas that i met on Twitter. I adore her, and consider her a “real” friend. Not an “online” friend, but a real true friend. Anyways, back when we FIRST met, she had taken her little girl, to get her lip tie taken care of. (Read her blog, if you don’t already) That was one of the first real times i’d heard of this.
I saw her pictures online, and thought to myself, “Hmmm. That’s what Buggy’s lip looks like…” I read through links and websites, and saw pictures. I brought it up to a few people, who mostly told me, “Nah…”. I read through symptoms, and they ALL pertained to us. ALL.OF.THEM. (Read here for info on it.) I brought it up to my pediatrician, around our 4 month visit. She told me that she “…. knew all about it”, and that our case wasn’t bad, it wouldn’t have any effect on anything, and that it COULDN’T be the reason our breastfeeding had been so miserable (i.e. FAILURE).
So i did what any naive, new mama would do. I forgot about it.
Every once in a while, i’d think about it. I’d often look inside his mouth (when he’d let me, he NEVER lets me pull on that upper lip), and i’d wonder “if”. When at the family picnic i spoke about in a recent entry, my cousin mentioned how her little girls are both tongue-tied. BADLY. It “runs in the family”. Hrmph. I don’t really think he’s tongue-tied, if so, not badly. But the lip — oh man, the lip.
So here, let me show you all a picture of what Buggy’s lip looks like. That’s my baby’s upper lip, so tightly attached, that i can barely pull his lip up.
So yesterday, as he turned 6 months old, i finally did it. I took that picture, and posted it on Twitter. And got more than a couple confirmations of what i had been so afraid of. “POSITIVE. It’s a definitive lip tie”.
Insert crying. Insert SOBBING. Insert me feeling like a horrible, awful, terrible, mother. I feel hurt. I feel hatred. No one tried to help me. From the beginning, this COULD HAVE BEEN taken care of. No one assessed this. They didn’t look in the hospital. Heck, the Lactation Consultant visited me ONE TIME while we were in the NICU for jaundice. They KNEW i was having trouble breastfeeding, and didn’t try to come up with a DAMN SOLUTION NOT ONE TIME.
All the months of his lack of weight gain, and weight loss even. They made me see liver specialists, and cardiologists. But not once did i see a Lactation Specialist. THIS WAS THE PROBLEM.
I blame this. (And that bottle of formula that was given to him from the beginning, that showed him that he didn’t have to work for mommy’s milk. Just wait, they’ll give it to me an easier way.) Then they wondered why when i nursed him for 24 hours STRAIGHT, he lost weight.
When that DAMN PEDIATRICIAN looked at us nursing in her office, and told us “That’s a fine latch”. NO IT’S NOT, i should have screamed. But i didn’t know any better.
I can honestly say, at this moment, i hate myself. I hate myself for not knowing. I hate myself for not finding out. I hate myself for not pushing the issues. I said to myself over and over again, you need to see an IBCLC. But did i? No. I tried to reach out to our local LLL. NO RESPONSE. Thanks, guys.
And now, that puts us where we are now. (Filled with ridiculous regret and anger of 6 months that neither of us will EVER get back) And so, on his 6 month birthday, when i’m supposed to be filled with joy, i’m filled with hurt, regret, and anger towards EVERYONE, including myself. I tried to breastfeed my little boy to sleep last night, and he kicked me, he punched me, and he pulled off ever 3.5 seconds. But we do it atleast twice a day, because i won’t give up.
I’m still pumping. In fact, the day before yesterday, i pumped ELEVEN times between 5 am and 8pm. I aimed for about once an hour. After ALL OF THAT, i pumped a total of 12 ounces. 12 FUCKING OUNCES. I have low supply, there’s no way to get around it. And WHY — WHY??? I blamed myself all this time. My body is BROKEN. I’M BROKEN. But the more i put two and two together, the more i realize that this vicious circle has created this monster. His first bottle of formula in the NICU. My not being able to put my baby to breast until 8-10 hours AFTER he was born. NO ONE trying to help us. Weight loss. More formula. NO HELP. All contributed to LOW SUPPLY. I’ve done everything i can to try to boost it. I still take Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle. I still eat oatmeal in the morning. I still pump 6-8 times a day (and nurse atleast 2+ times a day). I drink a beer at night. I make lactation cookies and/or smoothies. I drink Mother’s Milk tea. I’m looking into getting Reglan, and possibly ordering some More Milk Plus products. I REFUSE TO GIVE UP. I want my boy to have breastmilk until he’s a year old. He may only get 10 ounces a day right now, but he’s gotten it for 6 months of his life — EVERY SINGLE DAY. If i made it this far, through all of this, i can do this.
So now what? At 6 months, do we try to get his lip tie taken care of? Do we do it because of things it could have an effect on ONE day? Later in life? Or do we do it in hopes that we can re-train him to breastfeed? Will he EVER be able to exclusively breastfeed? If we get it fixed and he learns to latch and feed better, can it raise my supply?
So many questions. I showed my hubby the pictures yesterday. The one’s from TempestBeauty’s blog, and then our own. He finally sees it. Only to pull up his top lip, and show me that his is a little more attached than normal, too. That maybe if we would’ve known it runs in his family, too, that we could’ve seen this. He’s ready to do whatever. If we have to get it clipped, he says LET’S DO IT. He’s willing.
One problem. We have no insurance right now. NONE.ZERO. NOTHING. I paid $600 for the last pediatrician’s visit. We have another one in 2 weeks. I don’t have the money to see doctors, or get things taken care of. We’re trying to get some insurance help right now, and hopefully (fingers crossed!) that comes through SOON. But for now… nothing.
So this leaves me right here. With nothing but my hurt, anger, and regret, sitting inside of me, making my heart heavy, and bringing tears to my eyes. EVERY single time i think about it.