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Tongue un-tied and then dumped

January 21, 2012

This morning saw us set off in the rain to head to Bedford. Not such an exciting place for a first ‘long’ car journey for little Hope (no disrespect to Bedford – but it could have been Brancaster or Paris or somewhere!!)

She has had slight problems getting attached to me for breast feeding since she was born – the whole “nose to nipple, tummy to mummy” mantra that is constantly chanted by the midwives didn’t seem to work all the time. In hospital one of the breast feeding volunteers (not in the wet nurse sense but the helping mothers understand how to do it) having spent about an hour shoving chunks of my breast into poor Hope’s desperately searching (‘rooting’) mouth decided the problem was a posterior tongue tie. This seemed to mean that her tongue sat high up in her mouth and she struggled to get all her dinner servings in at once … Addenbrookes for some obscure reason don’t work on posterior tongue ties – only anterior ones … even though we were told that having it released would help with feeding and also ensure no side effects around speech development. As with everything medical I mention in this blog please don’t take this as gospel, I’ve probably got it all muddled up and wrong but the long and the short was that it can’t be treated in Cambridge.

So a referral was made to Bedford hospital where there is a specialist … within quite literally 15 minutes of the referral being faxed through by wonderful Joanna the very first midwife I saw in the hospital (and the last to waive us goodbye as we headed home) we had a phone call from Bedford asking us to come in on Friday.

So we did. Hope’s first long journey – I sat in the back with her and grumbled in a back seat driver kind of a way all the way from Cambridge to Bedford – every bump in the road felt like a mountain and every small turn felt like a skid pad – we arrived in good time and I felt car sick! Hope was very relaxed and happy.

The waiting room was very plush, the staff lovely – infact the whole experience was very calm. The appointment was at 9.30 and by 10am we were back in the car heading away from the hospital. The very lovely doctor asked all about our breast feeding habits and then checked her little mouth. He decided that she had a small tongue tie that was worth treating, and took her off with her father into a side room sending me into a curtained cubicle to “prepare for breast feeding”. I heard one wail and then Roy walked round the corner with someone looking like a small vampire. It was Hope, looking a little startled licking the blood from her little lips. I burst into tears and she fell upon the proffered nipple with relish and ate and ate and ate as if the world was about to end. We both ended up covered in baby blood and breast milk.

Hope - my small vampire

Then she stopped, yawned and fell asleep – and didn’t awaken for another 3 hours ready to eat more.

She was a little out of sorts later in the evening but now – 24 hours after I started this post – she is back to her usual cheery, burpy, farty, gentle, appraising self and apart from what looks like a small ulcer under her tongue all seems to be fine.

People get very angst ridden when their children have to have injections for the first time, I guess that is one thing I won’t be doing! Poor Hope has had so many blood tests, a pair of scissors taken to her tongue, 17 different heel prick tests, 8 tubes pushed up and pulled out of her nose, a drip or two inserted and had to live with a canula as well … a plain old injection will seem like no bother at all. She is very brave and seems to just look a bit perplexed when it all happens. Roy insists on holding her so she doesn’t associate pain with me which is good of him.

Today has been exciting, she had her first bath! Her hair looked positively fluffy afterwards. She didn’t cry, she tried to hold onto the water with her hand, and she just looked up at me as I tipped “elbow warm” water over her head in a “what on earth are you doing to me now?” kind of a way – and then she seemed to enjoy being rolled up in a series of hooded towels afterwards. Then after that she came downstairs, met more visitors and was officially dumped by the community midwife.

She has officially reached her birth weight again (having lost a huge 4.6% of it … they’re allowed to loose 10% in the first week) and this means that all the boxes are ticked and that as she is doing the prerequisite number of poos and wees and so on and is healthy with glossy hair and a wet nose (sorry wrong animal), she is released back into the wild under my care. The good thing is that we are still being visited by the Neo-Natal Community team who are monitoring the nose tube and her feeding patterns – and the Health Visitor who is monitoring me, so we’re not abandoned entirely to ourselves – which is a relief as I do need reassurance… having said that I reckon we are doing pretty well though… and it is good to have her eating voraciously with a huge open mouth and having less problem in getting attached, so the whole tongue un-tieing experience was worth it… and she doesn’t yet feel rejection so the whole being dumped thing seems to have totally passed her by.



6 Comments leave one →
  1. Joan Lawton and Neill Murray permalink
    January 21, 2012 5:29 pm

    She must be doing well if at least one of her followers have dumped her. A tip I was given and it helped me is if you are not sure how much she is taking in on a breast feed, weigh her just before and imediately afterwards. When Chris was born he had difficulty latching on, then when he did he fell asleep after 3 minutes , left me lop sided and worried, then we realised after weighing him he was taking a full feed and more in this time. He is still greedy but I am not lop sided I hasten to add

  2. Lisa permalink
    January 23, 2012 12:15 pm

    Hi Ellie – sounds like it’s all very exciting and going well – Roy kept me up to date on the day of the great event. Baths are so fun – nothing like a clean baby.

    I have a little gift for her… when can I drop it round (are you at your mum’s)?



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