An extremely difficult decision leading to one of the worst days…

It’s the woman who I did NOT pick to be my breastfeeding consultant/specialist. The extremely pushy one. What?? She must work for this famous Dr. M. The mamas in all my forums and social media can’t say enough good stuff about him, he is nr#1 on some “official list” and he has written numerous articles (even a book) on the topic of tongue ties in babies. The pushy breastfeeding expert re-introduces herself as nurse G, having no idea that I have turned down her services before (I went as far as making an appointment before her “aggressive” voicemail made me change my mind and cancel). She is basically barking orders on the phone, telling me that I’m extremely lucky since Dr. M’s wait list is normally months long but they all of a sudden have an opening TOMORROW (wait a second, that is way too soon, I don’t feel ready, then again I had already made the appointment ones and was going to go through with it and my baby is just getting older). Nurse G tells me where to be, how to prepare and makes me feel like telling her “no” is not an option. I muster up some mommy strength, take a deep breath and tell her how I feel, how worried I am, how I’m not ready, how I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do. She actually does not brush me off but actually listens. She answers that of course it’s common for parents to be nervous but that it’s absolutely the right thing to do. She says that not doing it could cause the baby long term issues with for example eating and talking (food and speech) and short term issues of not getting enough food, not gaining enough and not sleeping enough because of hunger and being up nursing. She tells me it’s quite common for ties to re-grow and the NICU doc probably didn’t do anything wrong, unless maybe she wasn’t “aggressive” enough (hate that word!) and didn’t cut enough (yikes). She tries to calm my nerves about the “rough” (and yes aggressive, here we go again) aftercare but fails miserably because it all sounds so awful having to push on that wound in order for it to stretch and open up, but she can’t stress enough the importance (I choose to believe it won’t be that bad, baby is so young and she will gain a great latch form all of this and a better looking tongue…). She lets me know that the baby will be fine in three short days (basically a lifetime) and that the pain is not bad at all (have you had I done yourself lady?). Am I making a mistake here? Someone please advise me! She promptly reassures me that it is MUCH better to do it now, than being forced to do it when she is older (time is of the essence). She states that the doctor will be able to determine if it’s necessary to do the procedure or not. I make her promise that he will not do it if there is any doubt that the baby needs it (read: he’ll do nothing if she doesn’t need it). She does promise, but says there is no way baby doesn’t need it since she has all the classical signs of a tie (great, I was hoping she was just fine and just needed some more practice at the breast). She counts off all the issues my baby has and my hearts sink even further, this seems unavoidable. Before I even know what I’m doing I take the appointment for the following day with the guarantee that if it doesn’t feel right I can leave anytime.

The next day I wake up my stomach in knots, I actually feel physically ill. I tell myself not to be stupid this procedure is small, has been done correctly countless times, I’m going with an expert in the field (the best of the best…or so I’ve heard) and this will gain both baby and I. I get both kids ready and take my son to summer school. He is excited (he loves school even if he is still learning how to get along with the other kids and play nice). Since my daughter’s pediatrician didn’t like the idea of big brother in preschool I made a deal with the director that somebody has to meet him by the outside gate by the parking lot each drop off and pick up. So I put my daughter in the Baby Björn and walk my son and his backpack (Batman from “momo”, my mom for his birthday and super cool) to the gate and then I have to fish out my cell phone to call someone to come walk him to his class (trust me, not something I’m very comfortable with doing yet and just slightly embarrassing…especially when I have to explain over and over why we are doing this). Today I get someone new on the line who has never heard of this arrangement (just great!).

My little boy safely in the right place (hopefully), I drive back home, another two and a half hours until the appointment. Baby and I usually nap but I’m filled with nervous energy. An hour of at least her sleeping (so peacefully, my heart breaks, what am I doing to her? Willingly and on “purpose”) and me at least trying to rest, I call my mom. I tell her how I feel and how I’m even considering canceling last minute. I tell her again about the pros and cons, the long term issues (as well as short term and she reminds me how much I complain about our breastfeeding struggles and that this is a common issue AND procedure), how anxious I am about the aftercare (we agree that I can only do what I’m comfortable with and then my mom will come back and see us in just a couple of days, oh how I wish she could come with us to this appointment, she is so logical and grounded, she would know what to do). We both come to the same conclusion however, this is really the best decision. As I change my baby’s diaper and outfit (the nurse told me there will be “a little bit of blood” “cringe” , so don’t put anything nice on her) she smiles her adorable and brand new baby smile that makes me weak in my knees, my insides sing and my heart swell with pride. Normally that is…now all I can think about is what I will do to my child (are all mothers this crazy? I cling to the fact that this is a ROUTINE procedure) but the image of my now three months old baby girl smiling on the changing table will haunt me in the days to come…

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About jennym

A doctor of psychology and a mother of four writing about the struggles and joys and the ups and downs of motherhood, marriage, pregnancies, deliveries and her absolute love for her children in a humoristic yet down to earth weekly blog!

4 responses to “An extremely difficult decision leading to one of the worst days…

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