Untied

So we had his frenulum clipped yesterday afternoon. He was born with a very short one, and it restricted his tongue from being able to stick out very much past his gumline. This has hindered him from getting good latches while breastfeeding and if left as short as it was, could possibly cause speech problems later down the road. It’s also what they call being “tongue-tied.”

This procedure was suggested while we were still in the hospital. Which was somewhat horrifying, because we had already made the difficult decision to have him circumcised, and we weren’t thrilled about the idea of letting another blade anywhere near him. But over the course of the past three weeks, it had become more apparent that it would be better to go ahead and have the procedure done now rather than later. Apparently it’s done a lot and is really not that big a deal. When the folks at the La Leche League actually recommended it yesterday at the meeting Michelle went to, that pretty much sealed it for me. So we made an appointment at the pediatrician’s office and took him to see Dr. Ragsdale yesterday.

She sent us out of the room, which I guess they always do when they perform even minor surgery on your children. And this really was minor. It sounds so much worse than it actually is. There is a risk if they cut to much off, that the baby could bleed, but apparently they don’t have any nerve endings or blood vessels where she was going to cut. So we left exam room 3 and waited and held hands in exam room 1. For about two whole minutes until she came and got us. We went back and saw him and he was perfectly fine, awake, aware, and, it seemed, happy. And he was already sticking out his tongue a little bit and we got to see the underside of his tongue for the very first time.

Michelle’s already noticed a little improvement with the breastfeeding, and we think it’ll just get better in the next couple weeks as he acclimates to the fact that his tongue can flap freely now. But the thrush is still there, which we’re dealing with, and he might be in the middle of his first growth spurt, which means he wants to eat all the time and is fussy non-stop. So there are lots of hurdles right now, but we’re getting through them. And in case you didn’t realize it, Michelle is practically super-human through all this. The leaders at the La Leche League meeting were thoroughly impressed that she is still determined to breastfeed, because she’s dealing with a low milk supply, short frenulum latching issues, and the thrush infection which causes excruciating pain, and most women justifiably give up if they just have to deal with one of those. So for Michelle it started with 40 hours of back labor (33 of those completely drug-free) and the pain has not let up. But she is STILL trying to do what’s best for HIM. She’s amazing.

Note to Sebastian: When you get older and inevitably think that your mom never wants you to have any fun because she has to say no every once in a while, remember that she is more than willing to put absolutely everything she has on the line for you because she is completely and undeniably in love with you. This is something I need to remind myself of as well, because she does the same thing for me.

  • Al said:

    I assure you the unnecessary circumcision hurt far worse than clipping the frenulum under his tongue. That beautiful baby had been through so much in his short life already. Seb- here's hoping the rest of your first year is easy going and fun. Keep on having massive poops when mom & dad have you out in public. They kind of have it coming after that whole knife to your genitals thing!
    Good speed little man!

    Uncle Al

  • aaron said:

    Yeah we probably have a lot more of those public poops coming to us ... we'd heard that the circumcision would be a lot worse than the frenulum-ectomy, (both were really hard decisions to make, we fretted over and researched the circ for months) ... i can't imagine what parents must go through who have to put their child through major surgeries ... my wife's brother had open heart surgery at 6 months old.

  • Jared said:

    Aaron, it's more than obvious that you and Michelle love Sebastian beyond everything. You guys are doing awesome, even with the hard decisions, and you'd still be doing awesome even if you'd made different decisions, because your love and concern for him is the most important thing to you.

    You guys rock.

  • aaron said:

    Thanks Jared ... YOU rock :)

  • mk burt said:

    I love the note to Sebo, that is so true. Stevie reminds Dorothy of my 'natural child birth' decision a lot when she's 'making bad choices' =]
    You are married to an amazing woman - but you know that. Her decision to keep breastfeeding is awesome - I was that determined & it seemed everyone was against me. I even had to bust out TN law at my job to be able to pump @ work. But I did it. Little man is lucky to have you both as parents, & it'll be sometime when he's in his 30's that he realizes this, so don't get discouraged!

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