So I ended Part 1 of this series with us deciding to schedule Adam's frenectomy ASAP. The good news was – we got an appointment with an amazing oral surgeon not too far from us. The bad news? The earliest appointment we could get was in 5 days.
Five days doesn’t seem too long, but when you’re in so much pain that you’re desperate for what seemed like a magic bullet approach to stop this pain, it seemed like forever. I broke down then. It was hard to process having to go through 120 more hours of this. Of dreading every single feed. Of crying every time I fed my baby.
The sore nipples and shallow latch also complicated breastfeeding. I abhor using extra “equipment” to breastfeed. The cleaning up, the awkward positioning, the lack of spontaneity (unable to breastfeeding anywhere, anytime because of all the damn stuff I had to use). Hated it. Absolutely hated it. But it needed to be done. So this is how I coped with the next 5 days:
- Practiced Kellymom.com’s Sore Nipple Protocol
I made sure to do a saline wash after every feed, as well as airing out my nipples and applying lanolin between feeds.
- Used nipple shields
I had used nipple shields with Aqil 9 years ago after injuring my nipples when he was in NICU (long story short: if he hadn’t been in the NICU and if a nurse hadn’t seen my nipples – or, as she called them, minced meat – I would likely have stopped breastfeeding within a couple of weeks. I would also likely have no nipples). Anyway, I thought they were still the same old thick shields, and I dreaded having to use those. Except that now nipple shields are actually really thin! I was very happy with that, even though I did not enjoy having to clean – and dry – the damn things after every feed.
- Used hydrogel pads
These were FANTASTIC when I used them with Aqil, and were great this time around too! They really speed up the healing process for cracked/injured nipples, and they were very soothing as well. What I did was do a saline wash and lanolin application for the nipple he just fed from, and used a hydrogel pad for the one he will feed from next.
- Used deep latching techniques
I used THIS video on YouTube for the “flipple” method of getting my nipple in Adam’s mouth. I also made sure he wasn’t curled up against me, instead his body had to be arched away from me, with his head arched upwards like when we gulp water from a bottle.
- Visited the osteopath
Osteopathy saved our sanity. Before we went to see our osteopath, Adam cried any time he was awake. Daniel and I had taken to sleeping in shifts, with the non-sleeping shift requiring wearing Adam the entire time because it was the only way he would sleep (and not cry). It was horrible. I was at my wit’s end before we went to see our osteopath. I’d just cry at random times because I was so exhausted. Sleep deprivation is used as a torture technique by the CIA, guys. It’s no joke.
Anyway, after we got home from the osteopath appointment, Adam actually slept in the bassinet. By himself. For hours. Daniel and I actually held each other and cried. You can ask my mother, she saw the whole thing. So, in a nutshell, if you have a cranky baby, see an osteopath! There were many reasons Adam needed an adjustment – the ties were just one of them – and we are so glad we went.