Routine procedure turned nightmare…

They cut the lip first, her screams are unbearable, then they quickly hand her over to me and she is actually trying to nurse, it’s bleeding a lot but before I can reflect over it, the nurse puts the cold gel under baby’s tongue, “better cut the frenulum fast now so she can nurse and start healing right after”. The second time is even worse, I put my head down in a silent prayer, “please, why am I doing this to her again, please remind me… and then make it all okay, PLEASE “. The nurse hands her over a second time but baby cries so hard it’s impossible to guide her to the breast, the blood is everywhere, her whole mouth is full, she is chocking on it, it spills over, it’s on my boob, the nursing pillow, her outfit. The nurse looks weird, I can see it. I also don’t miss the look she exchanges with the doctor, confusion? Wait…fear?

I try to rationalize this in my head, this is normal, right, RIGHT?? Nurse G tells me that I can stay in the room with them until the bleeding stops, they don’t have another patient for another twenty minutes anyways. I ask if this much blood is normal and when they don’t answer I raise my voice “well, IS IT?” They exchange glances again (hey, I sitting right here). I have no idea how to sooth my hysterical child. What can I do? I’m close to tears myself and a feeling of dread crawl up my spine as the older doctor strokes his white beard and mumbles “well, it is…highly unusual”. “It should however stop very soon” nurse G pipes in…except it doesn’t…

We get directed into another room, with yet another waterfall (smaller version) and a rocking chair. I have a feeling the nurse is rushing us and she very conveniently lets me “borrow” a blanket that almost covers the whole baby while she runs us into the room. She tries to “help” by pushing my boob into my baby’s mouth, still mumbling about the milk’s healing powers (don’t think it can help us right now). My breast are covered with blood and baby’s outfit is now soaked- NO WAY this is normal. She turns on some music (Enya?) and tells me to relax (wait, is she kidding?) and then she says “don’t worry about getting blood on the blanket (she MUST be kidding) and leaves me just like that. Little girl is now quietly sobbing while I try to keep her upright so she is not chocking on her own blood, it comes gurgling out of her mouth in a slow steady stream. I try to take a breath, what do I do here??

I text my mom saying the bleeding hasn’t stopped, hoping that it will come through but realizing without seeing the baby, there is no way to understand the magnitude of the situation. I want to call the baby’s pediatrician to ask what to do but, thinking she is offended that I didn’t pick her to clip the tie, I’m not rushing to call her. I have now been here over an hour and this was supposed to be a routine twenty minute procedure and the bleeding has NOT stopped. Nurse G comes in though a moving, beaded drape separating the room from the waiting room and I can see in her eyes that she is nervous, she takes one look at my bleeding 12 weeks old baby girl and meets my eye. “Something is wrong” is her simple statement. Although terrified I’m glad she came out and said it, honesty above all, now we can fix it right? “Yes, she says, let’s go back and talk with the doctor”

When a doctor is scared…there is no feeling that is worse than that. He explains that he has never seen anything like it in his 30 year career (and ten years doing ONLY tongue tied procedures). I see that he is telling the truth. I’m thinking ER, preemie related illness, “real doctors”, no offense. We discuss the preemie thing and I tell him about the platelets, he is saying he is sure that it has something to do with that. He also gave the baby Motrin (before procedure) which makes the blood thinner but it is usually not a problem, “no baby ever bleeds after leaving the 20 minute appointment”. So the plan is to apply silver nitrate to the wounds. That WILL STOP the bleeding. I’m relieved until I’m told it will hurt my baby real bad, stinging and burning like crazy and I will have to help hold her down. Who asks a mother to do this? Three adults pushing a three months old baby girls down while putting salt (worse) in her (new flesh) wounds… Great, I will never sleep again…or forgive myself…

The bleeding stops, but the doctor wants us to stay for an hour to make sure the baby is okay. After her brutal silver nitrate treatment she will NOT stop crying. She just cries and cries and cries. Nothing works. We are “sent” to a different room, with a couch and a bathroom. The nurse pushes a couple of large dogs out of the room and pours me some water and gives me two white pills. I look at her “wait a sedative or worse…they don’t want me to tell on them…?”, “they’re Tylenol” she says with a tiny tired smile, “thought you might need them”, and then she does something strange, she leans down and hugs me… for so long, it becomes awkward.

I decide that I want to see the baby’s pediatrician even if the bleeding stopped, and try to call her (damn bars). I manage to text my husband who has no idea what I’m talking about as I’m whispering while crying “call her doctor and get her in today!!!” I also have to arrange to have my son picked up at summer school.

This is when the bleeding starts again…

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!

8 responses to “Routine procedure turned nightmare…

  1. remember this day like it was yesterday 😦


  2. This sounds absolutely horrendous! I hope your baby is doing well and that you are too. 😦


  3. I am so so sorry. It sounds like you kept your cool and nursed to help your baby. It’s so important for us Moms to be strong, but on top of things. I’m so glad the silver nitrate stopped it! Wow, I’m surprised this isn’t done under anesthesia!


  4. That sounds horrendous, hope all is well now.


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