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Removing the Tie that Bound – A Lip-Tie Tale Part 2

  Fast forward 6 months to my son’s semiannual dentist appointment.  During this time my son is still not eating or gaining weight.  For details see From Oversupply Donator to Supplementer.   My son loves to brush his teeth; we have to pry the toothbrushes from his hands.  He will climb on the bathroom counter and come out to me with a tube of toothpaste and a brush.  He has his teeth brushed 3 times a day; my husband’s and my tooth brushing has increased because of our son’s love of it.  I could tell there was something strange going on near the lip-tie.  Milk was getting stuck near the lip-tie and causing baby bottle tooth decay.  My son only has a sippy cup of water, endless supply of mom milk, and doesn’t eat refined sugars.   He has never taken a pacifier or bottle.   The milk staying next to the teeth, trapped by the lip tie, causing the decay.  The dentist gave us some options on how to repair the cavities and said we could take care of the lip tie at the same time.  I had the dentist double check for a tongue tie, since you rarely see lip ties with out tongue ties.  My blue eyed, red headed, poster child for recessive genes son, was the exception to the rule.  

See how the lip is connected between the two front teeth.   It was very hard to pull his lip back, even to just take the picture.  You can see some of the tooth decay along the gums on his left front tooth.

For repairing his teeth, and cutting the lip tie, we were given two options: 1. In office at their other location.  They have an anesthetist come in and sedate the children so that they can have the work done.  We would need to pay $500 cash upfront to the anesthetist, and only a portion would be covered by the insurance.  Our non-weight gaining son would also have to be 25 pounds to get the work done.  Option 2.  Go to Primary Children’s Medical Center, have the hospital anesthetist put him out.  Get the cavities fixed, the lip-tie cut, and sealant put on his molars to prevent future decay.  The hospital would be 100% covered by the insurance and our son would not need to gain any weight.  Even without the resounding mommy instinct to go to the hospital, it was a no brainer.

                We had to be to the hospital at 6 am.  Luckily we live close to the hospital and only had an hour drive.  So at 5am we made the commute into the valley and up to PCMC.  Before going under anesthesia the hospital asks that you not consume food, or water, for a few hours prior to the appointment.   We were told no solids/formula after midnight, but he could have clear liquids until 3:30 am.  When I told the nurse he was still breastfeed she said, “Great, he can have that until 3:30 am too.”  My son woke for his usual 2:30 am feeding- I double checked that it was that time- and ate for a half hour.   We loaded the car and drove to Salt Lake.  I usually sit by my son when we drive over an hour.  I am blessed with big “straws” so I can be belted in, my son in his car seat, and still nurse him.   For this drive I sat up front with my husband, I knew the temptation would be too great to feed him when he asked. 

                At the hospital while in the waiting room for same day surgery R2 kept asking for milk.  He kept saying his name for them, which sounds a lot like Daddies, but I like to think he is really saying Boobies, because they haven’t been Daddy’s in a LONG time.  My parents distracted him from food with running him up and down the hallway in the little tykes cars.  It worked up until we were brought back to the prep room.  They weighed and measured R2; 34 inches 10.4kg (22 pounds 14 ounces) right where his weight always is.  They checked his heart rate, blood pressure, then put on his band after verifying his name.  Side note: they make the parents wear bands, and nametags, of what child they belong too.  We were told to dressed him in the cutest outfit and we waited.   They explained to us exactly how they would be putting him out.  It is a three step process, first they would give him an oral that would cause him to be loopy and have some amnesia, second they would use a gas to get him to sleep, then they would use an iv for the anesthesia.  I was very impressed how everything was explained to us, and that they would verify his name and date of birth before anything happened.   We distracted him from his food request by watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates  on Netflix using Daddy’s phone.

                We were brought pack to the pre-op waiting room.  There were so many cute kids learning what was going to happen from their surgeons talking to them.   The doctors were all kneeling so that they were eye to eye with their patients.    R2 was playing with toys, and occasionally begging for milk.  The poor little guy was so hungry he tried to eat a plastic carrot.  His hunger cries could be heard by his grandparents down the hall.  Eventually came the time that they gave him the oral drug.  Because he would get loopy fast we were told to hold him until they brought him back.   My poor little guy is quite the fun little stoner.  They wrapped him in a blanket and he kept rediscovering it.  We could practically hear him thinking “wow a blanket, where did this come from.”  He was also trying to tease Mommy and Daddy.   When they took him away we went to the same day surgery waiting area; where we signed in, and waited.

                My Mom told stories of how my Dad freaked out when I fell and cut my upper lip tie.  Apparently it was a blood fest.  My Dad says he doesn’t remember that at all.  While waiting a nurse ran to us to get us to sign the consent form that they could cut my son’s lip, as someone who fights for “informed consent” rights to be respected, it impressed me that they came and had it signed when they realized it had accidently been missed.   I am still very touched that they honored that.

                We were told that only one could go back, and then one other could join a few minutes later.   I really wanted to be the one to go back, and so did my husband, I let my husband go back.  My thoughts are it’s about time I share this parenting thing.  My husband has always been very involved; it is more that since I have the boobs, I solve the booboos.  My husband went back with the doctor, who explained that everything went great, that we needed a follow-up at his office near our home in 3 weeks, and reintegrated to cut back on the nursing.  The time from when my husband went back, till I was able to join the men in my life felt like an eternity.  

                I was lead past closed recovery curtains, in a quiet darken room.   My baby was in my husband’s arms, very floppy, still mostly out of it, covered in tubes and wires.  They had removed the nose tube, but you could see the tape residue on his face.  He had heart monitor patches on his chest, his toe had a heart rate monitor, and the cute blood pressure cuff didn’t look as cute as it was taking frequent measurements.   He had an IV boarded to his arm, and I could see where he was stuck 3 times before they got the 4th IV stick to work.  I reached for my baby, turned to a nurse and said “can I nurse him?”  She said that is why I was able to come back.  I was in pain from my son having cried for milk and me not being able to give it to him.   My body is very good at reacting to my son’s food requests.  I took my floppy baby in my arms, maneuvered around the wires and tubes, and leaned back in the rocking chair.  My son flopped his head right to the breast.   I watched him latch, making sure it didn’t hurt his cut, since he had some stiches in his mouth, and began to cry, my son had a prefect latch for the first time in his life.  Only a lactation consultant could understand my excitement that brought tears.   At first I think my son would have taken any breast offered, he was that hungry, but it didn’t take long for his heart rate to increase, because he was happy to be getting milk.  The nurse eventually disconnected him from the heart rate monitor because the nursing was making it go off so much.

                Someone one came by and asked if we wanted a blanket.  My husband and I both said no thank you, since as my husband said “I would hate to take one and some kids with leukemia go without.”  The Lady responded that all kids got one.  There was one that had monkeys on them, and my son’s play room (I can’t call it a nursery or bedroom since he has never slept there) is decorated in monkey things, so we took that one.  I was grateful to wrap up my baby, since I didn’t think the blanket that I wanted to bring to the hospital was very sanitary- I have had it for 30 years and gave it to my son, even a million washes wouldn’t make it immune compromised safe.   We got my son sort of dressed; everything detached, met my parents in the waiting room, and headed to Village Inn.

                At Village Inn my son asked for bacon, seriously he pointed to grandma’s bacon, said “bacon,” very clearly, and ate it up.  He then ate several bites of egg, and strawberry crepes. A new food eating record.  He drank apple juice and was sometimes a little groggy, but mostly he was full of energy. I had heard that toddlers who get their tongue ties fixed eat a lot more then they ever did before, and I was really excited that was true with lip ties.

                It has been a week since his surgery, his cut healed in a day; mouths heal fast, plus the breastmilk's healing properties.   He is eating several times a day, pooping several times a day, and stopped napping.  We haven’t gotten his weight checked yet, but I suspect that it will have finally gone up.