Tongue and lip revisions for infants… with lasers. Pew pew!

Y’know that sound that Stormtrooper blasters make ? Now hold that sound in your mind’s eye while we talk a bit about breastfeeding.

Trust me, there’s a connection.

It’s been two’ish months now since the little lion was born, and while he was a hefty specimen at birth, it soon became apparent that he wasn’t drinking from the boob nearly as well as his big bro had.i Basically, the feeding sessions were too short and too frequent, and it was all too clear, even to a couple of relative newbs like us, that the “latch” was inadequate, which was leading to gargling and gasping sounds from the poor little guy as he tried but failed to get enough milk. This not only frustrated him but his loving mother too, who obviously wanted nothing more than a happy, healthy baby.ii Shitty, right, but what do ?

Obviously, Pete called in Vader’s minions to quell the rebellion and fix his broken baby, right ? I mean, the Sith Lord is clearly a fellow concerned parent, so it only makes sense that we’d help one another out. But seriously, the fuck could I do because the fuck did I know ?iii Thankfully, it took two to tango and my fearless partner in this endeavour not only gave a shit but is a trained medicaliv professional who just so happened to take an interest in tongue and lip revisions (aka “frenectomies”) about a year ago, even going so far as to shadow one of the local leaders in the field.v Coincidence ?

Well, that or the girl’s psychic because go figure that #2 would have exactly such tongue and lip ties and that we would actually be in a position to do something about it when fate struck. Had this ankyloglossia bizniz happened with #1, we would’ve just sucked it up and soldiered on, much to the detriment of our sleep schedules and sanity but also to Ari’s craniosacral development.vi But not this time! Such is the power of knowledge that “serendipity” happens more often that not.

So at just one week post-partum, we met our lactation consultantvii at the dental clinic where the procedure was to take place and thirty minutes later we were on our way again. After a really rather low-stress procedure (certainly for dad, though even moreso than expected for mom), it was but a few weeks of uncomfortable stretching exercises for the little lion’s upper lip and sub-lingual areas to prevent re-healing in the problematic pre-surgical positions. The stretching was completed upwards of ten times per day, or approximately in line with every breastfeeding. And that was pretty much that.

Today, Ari is two-months-old, happy, healthy, strong, feeding well, and gaining weight at more or less the obscene rate of his older brother.viii House morale is highix and it’s all been rather “easy,” at least compared to the culture shock of the first. This has as much to do with Ari’s more relaxed nature as well as our greater maturity and experience, but we can’t discount the fact that he’s sleeping 6-8 hour stretches regularly because he can now take in enough food to last him that length of time.

Were it not for some very small lasers (and some “useless” knowledge),x he’d probably be waking up every 2-3 hours. And us with him. So if your munchkin isn’t feeding well and is giving you a hard time, there’s a small-but-non-zero chance that you too are a laser blaster away from a good night’s sleep.

Pew pew!

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  1. Does anyone seriously care about the imperfections, trials, and tribulations of parents in the depths of newborn lyf ? The mommy blogger “industry” would certainly indicate so. But that aside, lest you think that everyone’s life but yours is unimaginably perfect with nary a hiccup much less an autonomous car crash because that’s what you saw on social media hurr durr, it ain’t. It just ain’t. My life’s pretty much the best it can be and there are still no shortage of little bumps along the way. It’s just how it goes. []
  2. She gave the little parasite a piece of her she can’t get back, how can that not create a sense of attachment ? Particularly when you’re pretty sure it’s the last kick at the babymakin’ can. []
  3. It’s easy enough to mistake me for a caring and concerned (even educated) parent, I grant you that, but it doesn’t make it so!  []
  4. Or at least dental, which is actually even more useful in this instance seeing as our areas of concern are head-and-neck. A GP’s useful for certain things, but frenectomies are still considered pretty fringe treatments in Canada and requires a more narrowly focused specialist.  []
  5. ie. Dr. Tammarie Heit at Scotia Square Dental. []
  6. There’s significant evidence that tongue and lip ties lead to high-arched dental palate formation, which in turn leads to dental crowding, sleep apnea, poor dental occlusion, and who even knows what else.   []
  7. Lee-Ann Grenier was not only our lactation consultant but can fully describe all of this frenectomy/laser business far better than I could ever hope to. Her most complete blog post on the topic is archived here. []
  8. Ari is something like 14 lbs already. []
  9. Though there are certainly other contributing factors to the high household morale atm. []
  10. Funny how you never know what’s “useless” nor “useful” until you’re dead. At worst, it’s forgotten, at best, it helps you to solve problems you didn’t even know you had. Knowledge : there’s no better insurance policy. So much for ex ante “IQ” tests, eh ? []