Tuesday, March 27, 2012

No More Lip-tie

Chicken Little was born with lip and tongue ties. I didn't know about the tongue-tie until he was probably two years old, and the lip tie was just realized last year. No pediatricians or dentists had made notice of these extremely obvious abnormalities, and sadly many children like him have difficulty breastfeeding because of these ties. Fortunately for him, we were able to get a good latch anyway and I was stubborn enough not to let the hourly feedings for the first 15 months break me down much.

This photo was taken last fall when I first discovered he
has a lip tie. Yep. That'd be a big ol' lip tie for sure.  
Breastfeeding aside, I was concerned about his lip and tongue ties for speech development and also orthodontia. He has a rather enormous overbite, and is an avid thumb sucker. Adding the lip tie into the mix making a gap in his front teeth... and well... let's just say we were not looking forward to those medical bills in the future and our dentist had joked about getting a new office out of all the work that will likely need to be done.

Last night before bedtime he was sitting on the bed playing with the hard cardboard sleeve for his Melissa and Doug cookie set. He had the tube over his mouth and was laughing into it. When it was time for him to leave so I could put baby sister Chicklett down for the night I had that tiny mama-spidey sense go off thinking that having that tube in hand while he clumsily got his way off of the bed was not a great idea. But, he made it off the bed with no issue. Then he fell to his knees for no apparently reason, my heart skipped a beat, but again... no issue. Then as he went to get up from the ground he somehow hit his face into the cardboard tube. He immediately let out a cry, came and got a hug, then went out to watch Julia Child's cooking like he does every night before bed.

After watching his television show he went to give me a goodnight kiss. I pushed him away from me and asked my husband what on earth he had fed Chicken Little as it appeared he had mashed raspberries all over his face, chin, and shirt. We rushed him into better lighting and discovered that he had ripped his frenulum lip tie. After the initial concern... there was a brief moment of joy at the realization that he had just taken care of a future surgical procedure! He just took away all the trouble of us trying to find a doctor who will use a laser instead of a scalpel, general anesthesia, and all kinds of scary things. He appear to be in no pain, and had no complaints overnight from it. He hasn't had issue breastfeeding or sucking his thumb with this new change to his mouth. So, how about that? Problem solved? Quite possibly! For more information on frenulum ties, this is a great website; http://frenectomytoday.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/hello-world/

Updated: I think I caused a little hysteria on the world wide web yesterday when I originally posted this blog. It is my understanding that EVERYONE has frenulums, it is their placement in the mouth and length/elasticity of the skin that could cause them to be a "tie" or not. Tongue ties generally limit the movement of the tongue - like a person is unable to stick their tongue out passed their teeth if they have a really tight one. Lip ties can run right down in between the front teeth and back to the roof of the mouth. There are lots of different combinations and types of ties.  If you look at your own frenulum it is probably way up high on your gums. So, don't panic at the sight of a frenulum in your child's mouth - but do some serious research about it if you have had trouble breastfeeding as this is a commonly undiagnosed issue that has a fairly simple fix! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eagles Nest Nurse-in and a Sense of Normality

For anyone following our Facebook fan page, you know that this week has been a particularly devastating one with the passing of our dear friends little boy Rowan. In the fog of all the pain there was an available distraction of a nurse-in at a local indoor playground. I personally felt the need to have a normal morning again so I could recharge my mental batteries for the week ahead.

As I sat there meeting new wonderful breastfeeding mothers, overhearing television interviews, passing out flyers/cookies/juice - I remember thinking it was odd that I consider this kind of activity to be an every day normal occurrence for me. But then again it was just a bunch of women breastfeeding, chatting, and eating. That is pretty normal in my world, how about you?

Mama Christa nursing, walking, and talking at the Eagles Nest
The nurse-in was peaceful and wonderful. Eagles Nest has now made the effort to educate their staff and ensure that breastfeeding women are welcome there. This all came about because of an incident that happened last weekend where a mother was asked by staff to go breastfeed in a private location. Managers told Susan Berlien that they have an unwritten rule about asking nursing mothers to go into a private location in order to make everyone more comfortable. It took some hard work by the "Breastfeeding does not have to be hidden" group, but now Eagles Nest has changed their tune. They've put up laminated signage and staff has been trained on appropriate laws. Victory!

This indoor playground happens to be about two miles away from my home and during the winter months we are there on a weekly basis. I will be checking to make sure those signs stay up and I always have my "Thank you for nursing in public" cards available. We have always breastfed there without issue, but it sounds like perhaps we were just very lucky to have not been approached. Knowing that staff has been properly educated will make it a comfortable place to be yet again and we are very thankful that they have seen the error in their original thinking.

For local folks Fox9 and Kare11 came out to interview Susan and other attendees of the nurse-in. The clips will be aired tonight at 5pm for both stations and then an additional viewing at 11pm for Fox9. The links to view this online will most likely be available tomorrow and I will edit this blog post to add the information for those of you that were unable to view it live.