Archive for March, 2012

On Nipple Damage and Tongue-Ties

Or how Triple Nipple Cream saved my nursing relationship.
Or how I should have listened to my instincts and to others.

About a month and a half ago I noticed that my left nipple was starting to hurt a bit. It felt sort of like thrush, but wasn’t quite the same, and the right side was getting sore too. So I made an appointment with the Birthing Center to get it all checked out. They confirmed that it wasn’t yeast or bacterial. The lactation consultant (who was also our post-partum midwife) was there. She agreed with me that it could be because I’d switched horns on my pump to the Pumpin Pals about a month before and the smallest ones they have are too big for me. I should have guessed this myself when they wouldn’t hold suction so I had to turn my pump up and hold them on (I can usually pump hands-free). But I was stubborn and really liked how they were ergonomic, even when they were damaging me. (Anyone want a set of Pumpin Pals horns? I know a lot of people who say they’re great.) So I switched back to the regular horns and started coating them in lanolin to help with the friction.

While the left started to feel somewhat better, the right started getting worse and worse. I started getting vasospasms on both sides. I mentioned it at my La Leche League meeting and my friend recommended I get this Triple Nipple Cream. Someone else mentioned “Soothies” breast pads. But I sort of ignored them thinking things were under control.

At the same time as all of this, I noticed that my Little Prince looked like he did, in fact, have a tongue-tie. So when we were at his nine month check-up, I asked his pediatrician to confirm it. Yup, he had minor tongue-tie alright. This got me a big “I told you so” from Darius and a recommendation for an ENT doctor from our pediatrician, who I made an appointment with for the next week. I also found this article on tongue-ties and realized that LP had over 20 of the listed symptoms at one point or another.

The last week things went from bad to worse. The left was sore and wrinkly. The areola on the right has this shiny blotchy part and when I pumped or nursed, skin was actually pealing off and I could see deep cracks all over my nipple. I starts wearing nursing pads again, but I was sticking to them and when I took them off, there was some skin and a bit of blood on them. On Tuesday of last week I got some Soothies and while they helped a bit with the vasospasms and the rubbing, it was still bad. On Friday morning when LP latched on the right, it hurt so much I actually started crying.

That Friday was also the day of my Little Prince’s ENT appointment. The doctor took one look and confirmed the tie. He said it was minor so we really didn’t need to do anything about it. But he gave me the option of snipping it right then. I took it.

The procedure was very quick. They numbed under LP’s tongue, then got him crying (poor thing) and took a thin pair of scissors and snipped it super fast. He cried until I got him on my breast (all of 5 seconds, because I was already holding him). Then he nursed for about five minutes and was perfectly happy after that. No blood or anything. It was so simple. I wish I’d had it done right after he was born. I bet it would have helped with our early latching problems.

After I dropped LP back of at daycare, I called my doctor and asked them to call in a prescription of the Triple Nipple Cream. I picked it up after work and started using it right away. I also tried using the nipple shields again, but LP refused to nurse with them, so I just grinned and bore it. I also started to once again refuse a latch that felt super painful or uncomfortable.

What a difference a week can make. My nipples are healing. Pumping doesn’t hurt anymore. The red shiny spots on my right areola are gone. Today I’m wearing regular breast pads instead of Soothies and I’m not sticking to them at all. And best of all, nursing on the left almost doesn’t hurt at all and nursing on the left is hurting less and less every day. And even though the cracks in my nipple are still there, they are on their way to healing.

Finally, LP loves sticking out his tongue now. He’s exploring a whole range of motion with it that he never had before. And I’m pretty sure his suction has gotten better and his nursing more efficient.

8 & 9 months

Sorry about not updating when my Little Prince turned 8 months. I got just a bit involved with the Facebook Nurse-In stuff ;).

So, LP is now 9 months old! At his checkup last week he was 27″ long & weighed 17.5lbs. He’s been a person in the world longer than he was a collection of growing cells/a fetus inside of my body. It still blows me away.

Nine months old!

LP continues to grow, change, and amaze me. He is now crawling like a maniac (much to the cats’ dismay), cruising around the furniture, walking for a good while while holding our hands, and even standing for several seconds all by himself. He’s also a little thrill seeker and loves getting tossed around, thrown up in the air, and being placed on shoulders.

Best baby I ever found in a king cake. He's already practicing for Mardi Gras!

 (Drat, I had just added a bunch of stuff and WordPress just ate it! Boo! Hopefully I can remember most of what I wrote.)

When he’s excited, LP makes the cutest “gah” noise. He also says lots of “da/dat” “ba” and “agg” sounds. Still not much on the “ma” front :(. He also signed milk once or twice, but not consistently… then again, we’re not very consistent with it.

When he wants to show affection (or when he’s super tired), he’ll lay his head down on you. It’s so cute. Here he is giving the boy-cat some love:

DJ loves the boy-cat!

 Grandma (my mother) came into town the other week. She spent a few days watching him, which was nice. She found a great little park for smaller kiddos nearby, which we have since taken him to a couple of times. She also taught him to raise his arms up when someone says “touchdown” (even though it’s not football season anymore). Here he is doing “touchdown” for Grandma when we were out at dinner:

On the eating/sleeping front, LP is still mostly reverse cycled, although he does take more milk at daycare than he use to (probably because he’s more active these days). So we dream-feed several times a night. He still isn’t super interested in food. He does about 2-3 oz of baby puree at daycare every day. Apples or sweet potato seem to be his favorites. He’s okay with banana, pears, and carrots. So far not a fan of green beans. At home we do more baby lead solids. We went out to Olive Garden over the weekend and got him a side of steamed broccoli and he had fun squishing it and dropping it on the floor, but I’m pretty sure he got some in his mouth. Here he is with two slices of an Empire apple. He really likes apples and other fruit.

He also likes to try and drink water from our glasses. It’s pretty cute and usually ends up with water everywhere. He’s starting to figure out sippy cups too. I think we need to get a few different types to see what he takes to.

As perfectly developmentally appropriate, LP has occasionally exhibited some mild signs of separation anxiety when we put him down. So we babywear him more. Currently there are three baby carriers in this house: a Moby wrap, an Ergo, and a Mei Tei that I’m borrowing for a friend. I’ve started to become a big fan of the back carry. I’ve also started to get addicted to baby carriers. They are so awesome. And different ones are needed for different situations! The other week we were at CostCo and Darius had LP in the Ergo on his back. LP totally fell asleep and Darius kept getting double-takes from people as they realized that he wasn’t wearing a backpack, but a sleeping baby.

At the Facebook Nurse-In

I’m sure I have more to say, but he’s waking up and it’s way past time to get him to daycare and me to work.

How old is Damien?
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