Thursday, April 2, 2015

Getting to the Bottom of Sweet P's tummy issues: Part 2


So, after I last wrote, we were leaving the ENT office and feeling confused about Sweet P's tongue tie and whether or not we should get the procedure done. We contacted the other specialist in town who is known for doing both tongue and lip tie releases and is the only person in town who adoes it with a laser. The crazy, miraculous thing was that they had a consultation later that afternoon because of a last minute cancellation! We thought that would be great to go in there and have her check out Sweet P and get our third opinion (the lactation recommended the procedure after being the person to discover it). The only reason we didn't go to this specialist in the first place is that she wasn't an in-network provider.
So, we headed in for the consultation that afternoon, unsure of what she would say and feeling pretty anxious. She said that Sweet P definitely had both a tongue and lip tie and that in her experience, every person she has done the release for has shown at least some improvement. She also said it was so quick she could do both then and there. We were also impressed with the difference in the laser technology and the quicker anticipated healing time vs. the release with a scissors. With the laser it instantly cauterizes the wound and there's no wound care (ie: bleeding) to deal with. She also wondered why we were told that bottle feeding would make a difference. She told us that how a baby sucks matters no matter which way they're being fed! We happened to agree, so, we bit the bullet and did the procedure for her despite the giant pit in each of our stomachs. (Who wants to do something they know will hurt their baby, even for the better in the long run? We had the same feeling at the buddy's circumcision at 2 weeks old.)

Thankfully, the procedure went well and Sweet P took a bottle right after the procedure and the next couple of hours she was only somewhat fussy. However, that night? Oh dear. It was non-stop screaming for at least 5 hours, despite the fact that we had given her Tylenol! The first few days of recovery were rough. We kept up with the Tylenol, but she still screamed through a lot of feedings (understandably so), and cried so hard when we did the tongue and lip stretches meant to prevent the ties from growing back. She was so, so fussy during the day and wouldn't even touch a pacifier, which was especially disappointing since we had finally found one she could keep in her mouth just a few days before the procedure. She had to re-learn how to use her tongue and take her bottles, so those early days required a lot of patience on our part during feedings. But, as she re-learned how to feed she was eating a lot more smoothly and not taking in nearly as much air.
Have I mentioned that drool is a side effect of the tongue tie release?
Around the week's mark we decided it was worth it as feedings had finally gotten easier. However, she was still a pretty fussy baby. Sigh. We didn't like how our current doctor had dismissed so many of our concerns, so we took her to Little P's previous pediatrician despite the fact that her office no longer takes insurance (which was why we changed in the first place). We trusted her so much and just wanted her opinion even if it meant paying out of pocket for an office visit. She was so, so sweet and thorough and didn't dismiss any of my concerns like our other pediatrician. She met with us for so long and asked so many questions to help us also "get to the bottom" of Sweet P's upset tummy issues.

At the end of the visit, her suggestion was that Sweet P likely has a dairy allergy, or at least an intolerance to it. Even though Sweet P had been on donated breastmilk since she was 2 weeks old, if the donors had dairy in their diet and she had an intolerance, then it could very likely be hurting her tummy. So, we decided that after the 2 week mark of her tongue tie surgery (to ensure she was no longer fussy from that recovery and that it had healed correctly) we would try out some breastmilk from dairy-free donors. We had enough from my sister and a friend to last for 4 days, so the plan was to try that breastmilk for 4 days and see if her fussiness improved. The biggest fussiness issue we continued to have was that she couldn't be laid down at night from about 7pm-10pm and just had to be held and rocked. We were also dealing with the reflux despite her being on twice daily Zantac, so we wanted to see if the dairy would make a difference.

So, the following week we did four days of the "dairy free" breastmilk. By the third day we had a much happier baby on our hands! She was falling asleep so much easier for naps, would let us lay her down at night for at least 30 minutes to an hour (a great improvement!) and she was so much happier during the day. Her reflux also improved a lot and she was spitting up so much less than before. All of a sudden I felt like I was enjoying this sweet girl in a new way. This was also right at the 3 month mark, so we thought some of this might be attributed to her just 'growing out of colic'. At least, that's what we were hoping because our supply of 'dairy-free' breastmilk was gone.

From here on out we weren't sure what to feed her! This is where we currently are now. We are trying different things, mostly with not-so-good results. However, since we have yet to really find a solution of what to feed her I will have to put off the rest for Part 3. And I'm seriously praying that Part 3 (figuring out what to feed Sweet P long term) will be the last part. Because honestly, if there needs to be a Part 4, I might lose my mind.


  1. Hi Elizabeth! I've followed your blog for a while and just wanted to pass on some info. re. formula for baby sweet p. My husband and I have also struggled with infertility for the past 4 years and in August we adopted a sweet baby boy - took him home straight from the hospital :) I really struggled with the reality that I couldn't breastfeed him (we had 5 weeks notice before his birth). The 1st pediatrician we took him to for a check-up recommended a homemade goat milk formula. She herself had adopted and used it for her child and sang its praises. We tried it and he was doing great! He loved it and had much less gas, constipation, etc. Once back in our home state, the pediatrician we went to did not recommend it- because it wasn't FDA approved and wanted us to try Nutramigen because he thought our babe had a milk allergy and/or reflux...I tried a conventional formula again to try to please the doctor, but baby boy felt awful on it, so I switched him back to the homemade goat milk formula. All this to say he has thrived on the homemade goat milk formula. The proteins in goat milk are smaller than that of cow's milk so they are easier to digest. Anyway, I was going to email you directly but couldn't figure out how to. So if you would like more info. just to try it and see if that helps in case you can't get enough dairy free breast milk, please email me :) Thanks again for sharing your story!

    catherine dot haynie at gmail dot com

    1. Thanks Catherine! We are grateful that our pediatrician gave us that option too! I'll explain in the next blog why we're not able to do that right now, but it's definitely an option for the future. I'm guessing you used the WAP recipe?


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