Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Finn - 1 Month

As many of you know we have been addressing some issues with breastfeeding, weight gain & yeast. Luckily there are some great resources available for this stuff in Seattle. Last week, there was a concern amongst our doctors & support staff that Finn was not getting enough food. He did not seem to be gaining weight and hadn't pooped in almost 10 days. An initial consultation with a breastfeeding MD brought up the fact that he may actually be "tongue tied." This diagnosis surprised us since we thought tongue-tied was an expression, not an actual condition, but it turns out that it's more common than we would have guessed. These days, with bottle feeding being a readily available backup plan, most mothers frustrated with nursing will head to the bottle and never find out what the real problem was. One of the main problems is tongue-tie -- the kid's inability to stick his tongue out or touch the roof of his mouth impacts his ability to latch properly.

This is not an insurmountable problem. There is a very simple procedure, that used to be quite common, called tongue clipping where the doctor cuts the tether beneath the tongue to allow the boy to extend it fully again. This article explains the issue and its history. Turns out that Finn's version of tongue-tie is the hardest to diagnose & treat, but if left untreated, it could cause problems in the future with speech & sinus development. This would also obviously effect the boy's chance of ever playing lead guitar in a rock band, if he can't even get his tongue out past his teeth.

Before getting any part of him cut, we got a second opinion from a woman who spent 18 years specializing in breastfeeding issues (thanks Dot!). When we showed her pictures of Finn's tongue & mouth she asked if she could use them to teach students what tongue-tie looks like. That was a pretty resounding second opinion. On Tuesday, we brought Finn back in to see the original doctor and to discuss tongue clipping. His weight was down even further, almost back to his birth weight, so after a quick discussion we decided to go ahead with the procedure. It took about 10 minutes. The baby had a local anesthetic, but still screamed bloody murder, which didn't help Kitty's state of mind as she held his head. Immediately after the procedure the baby is back on the breast and is fully healed within 24-hours. He didn't need Tylenol or anything, but Kitty could have used some painkillers.

In order to get his weight & energy back up while his breastfeeding improves, we started supplementing with formula. It's nasty tasting stuff, but he sucks it down and as of today had already gained back some weight. Everything appears to be moving in the right direction. His fussiness is down (for now), his sleeping is improved (he actually let us put him down for a little while) and he appears to be smiling for real (when he's not spitting up on us).

All in all, we're in a very good space and the boy continues to get better looking by the day. Here are some pics to prove it:

We'll keep everyone posted with any new developments, but for now we're focusing on Finn's dancing lessons and Aunt Nicole & Uncle Keith's visit this weekend.