I am still in shock that I was granted an additional 6 weeks of paid time off. I absolutley cannot believe it. It is for sure the best case scenario and much better than me going back part time because I will recieve my full pay.
Scott and I decided that we were going to try and give Jolee the bottle every single day, multiple times a day.
At this point myself, my grandma, and my mother in law had unsuccessfully gone through approximatley 10 bottles with no luck.
I told Scott he was going to have to try over the weekend. Guess what, he tried…and no luck.
I started doing some reading and a lot of articles suggested changing the scenery and holding the baby different.
Over the weekend, I tried it all. Feeding inside on the couch, feeding outside in the rocking chair, holding her upright, holding her in my lap, holding her like I’m breastfeeding her.
N O T H I N G. Nothing was working.
We tried at different times of the day. We tried absolutley everything over the past 5 days.
On Monday, the “restart” of my maternity leave, I asked my grandma to watch her again and try the bottle again. I couldn’t just give up and I couldn’t just be the only person giving it to her. I had to keep trying or else she was never going to get it.
No luck. Of course. I don’t know why I expected her to magically take it.
My grandma has apparently talked to someone that worked with babies over the weekend and she said she probably needed to checked for a tongue tie.
I was instantly put on the defense and in denial.
I just knew that wasn’t the issue because she had been nursing so well. How could anything be wrong when she was doing her job and nursing?
At this point, I didn’t really want to hear what anyone had to say to me. I had recieved so many texts and suggestions on bottles that I eventually just had to say, “If you google, best bottles for breastfed babies, I have all of those bottles.” We spent upwards of $75 on bottles we didn’t have to try and get her to take a bottle.
Somewhere along this journey, someone even suggested, “Just don’t nurse her. She will HAVE to take the bottle then.”
UM OKAY. YOU WANT ME TO NOT FEED MY HUNGRY, CRYING CHILD? BYE.
For some reason my grandma’s voice was still ringing in my head that I needed to reach out to someone who was more qualified to see if there was something medically wrong.
I reached out to a girl I went to high school with. She works or worked..not sure which one…in labor and delivery at a prestigious hospital in our city. I initially asked her if she could tell if Jolee was lip/tongue tied. She said yes, but she then told me I should see a lactation consultant. She recommended one specifically and I immediately looked her up. The lactation consultant was available the very next day. I booked an appointment.
My thoughts going into the appointment, she was going to tell me a different bottle to try, she was going to show me a new way to hold her, or she was going to tell me to get her lip or tongue tie clipped. Nothing too difficult. Just some practice, or a very simple procedure to fix everything.
Well, shit, let me just proceed to tell you how incredibily wrong I was.
Whenever I walked into her office, I felt a sense of calm. It smelled of essential oils. She was on the phone with someone when I got there. She finished up her conversation and ushered me into her office.
We got straight to it. She started asking me what the problem was? Why was I specifially there? What bottles had I tried? Had she ever taken a bottle? When did all of this start? How was she nursing? Was she gaining weight?
She thanked me for doing a lot of the back work, AKA, trying every bottle on the market, explaining to her the different types of holds I had tried to give her a bottle in, changing scenary when trying to give bottles.
She said she was going to put some gloves on and check in her mouth, which I assumed was for tongue or lip ties.
She told me she did not have a tie on the bottom lip or on her tongue, but her top lip was tied pretty tight. She said that was NOT the cause of her not taking a bottle, but it was probbaly making her super gassy. I explained to her that she was pretty gassy in general, so that made sense. I asked if there was a medical reason to correct it and she said no. So I have no desire to correct it if it’s not medically necessary. She told me she would eventually grow out of the gassiness.
After that I could FEEL her demeanor shift. I could just feel she was about to deliver me some news that I had not expected to hear.
She then proceeded to tell me that she has poor oral function and poor oral skills in general. She said her tongue was strong and okay, but she was not sucking well. The top of her mouth should be one fluid piece and it was overlapping and split in two pieces. She said the majority of the time when kids are born with their palate like that, it eventually corrects itself, but hers did not.
I was then told that she would need speech therapy and to see a chiropractor. Speech therapy would help make her mouth stronger and able to suck on a bottle or take a pacifer. She told me that she needed to see a chiropractor because she was super tight in her neck and shoulders and that could inhibit her ability to take a bottle as well.
Somewhere in the midst of all of the information, I lowered my head into my hands and began to sob.
She was supposed to tell me that I just hadn’t given her the right bottle yet. Or I wasn’t holding her properly. Not that my 7 week old needed speech therapy and to see a chiropractor.
To put things in perspective, she assured me and reassured me that everything was fixable.
I told her briefly about my extended maternity leave and she seemed to think that everything could possibly be corrected by the time I went back to work.
That was a relief.
Also, I fully understand this issue is minor and fixable. In the whole grand scheme of things, I hope, this will not even matter in a couple of months. I hope this is just a bump in the road.
But, whenever I was given all of the information, I was just overwhelmed.
She was nursing SO well, how in the world is this diagnosis even possible? It just didn’t make sense. So I asked her just that.
Why or How is she able to nurse so good with this diagnosis, but she can’t take a bottle?
She told me that she probably wasn’t nursing as well as I thought she was.
I told her that she had been the best out of all three.
No bleeding, no cracking, barely sore, and gaining well.
She told me since this was my third time, my boobs were probably doing more work than what I thought. She said that it’s almost like muscle memory. Baby sucks, your milk comes out, sometimes fast enough that they don’t even have to really do anything.
I, unfortunately, thought she was right.
I had noticed in the past couple of days that she was barely opening her mouth to nurse and she wasn’t sucking like I thought she should be.
She asked if she could weigh her and I gladly obiliged. Her last weight was 9 pounds 13 ounces at her 1 month appointment. She was 8 pounds 6 ounces at birth. Based on this, she should be around 12 pounds. She was 10 pounds 11 ounces. I definitely expected more than a 1 pound weight gain within a month so it was a little alarming, but it also wasn’t terrible. She was gaining and not maintaining or losing. It just solidified that things could be better.
This was so much information in literally less than 30 minutes. It was hard to comprehend and digest. I knew it would take some time to fully set it.