I have a hard time blogging or talking about the things that bother me or upset me. Since we've now got our situation somewhat under control, I feel ready to share.
Maclin had his 4 month check up the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and we learned that he had gained NO weight since his 2 month appointment. Literally. To the ounce, he weighed 13 lbs, 2 oz at both appointments.
I panicked. Because ZOMGZOMGZOMG my baby was starving! I am a horrible mother! How did I not realize this?* Luckily, my doctor was MUCH calmer than me and said that sometimes babies flat line for a while and it can't be explained. He went on to say that based on his observation of Mac, he wasn't overly worried. If the lack of gain was paired with lethargy or inconsolable crying, that would be cause for alarm. Mac, however, is a happy, smiling kiddo.
* In my defense, I had called the doctor a week prior because I thought he was somewhere around 14 pounds (based on our home scale). They said that as long as he acted fine, it could probably wait until his scheduled appointment.
The doctor did say that he wanted us to start solids immediately and see if that helped. We were instructed to feed him rice cereal 3 times a day and start adding in veggies on the following Monday. After two weeks, we would do a weight check and re-evaluate.
I didn't really feel ready to give him solids... I hadn't properly Googled and I wasn't even planning on considering it until he was 6 months old. But, as David so eloquently told me, we don't pay a pediatrician to ignore his advice and listen solely to Dr. Google. So, after a 6 hour drive to my parents' house, we fed Mac his first bite of solids.
But by the next morning... Mac was a man who knew what he wanted.
Because I didn't feel this could be a long-term solution, we went to see a lactation consultant that was recommended to me by my La Leche League leader.
Alyssa was AWESOME! I felt so supported and she really calmed me down (because, obviously, there was a TON of emotional turmoil and guilt happening in my brain). After talking to us as length, watching Mac nurse, checking out his mouth, checking out my lady bits, and weighing Maclin before and after nursing, she said she thought Mac might be tongue-tied.
Besides seeing and feeling what she felt was a short frenulum, she also said that he only managed to get 1.4 oz of milk during his 30 minute nursing session. That might explain why my baby boy had been a SLOW nurser before--his meals could last upwards of 1 hour.
There are a lot of other indicators he fit, but the one most apparent to me is a heart-shaped tongue. When someone with tongue tie sticks his tongue out, the tongue can appear heart shaped because the frenulum is pulling on the underside.
Check it out:
I talked to my doctor and he's hesitant to do the frenetomy immediately. So he told us to feed Mac 2 oz of pumped milk after every nursing along with his solids. Doc says that if he has a significant weight gain, then he would be willing to refer to an ENT.
Right now, Mac's taking 21 oz of expressed milk a day along with ~4 nursing sessions...all of which last 45-60+ minutes. I am losing my mind, because to keep up with Mac's need I need to get up in the middle of the night to pump AND pump after every nursing session. I cannot keep this up long term...right now I'm pumping 75-90 minutes a day and nursing for about 3 hours. Then I need to feed him the bottle (if David's not home) and wash the pump parts. My house is not clean--and we haven't decorated for Christmas. And I need a nap...but I always need a nap :)
We see our doctor tomorrow and I'm hopeful that Maclin's had some significant weight gain. If he hasn't, I will probably be a hot mess.
Luckily, he's REALLY cute, so all this is totally worth it.