For the first 11 weeks of my son’s life we had some major issues breastfeeding, which led to some weight gain and health issues. If you’re playing catch up, you can read about that here.
After research and some insight from amazing women in my life (it takes a village, remember!) Lucas was diagnosed with a posterior tongue tie, a lip tie and a bubble pallet. A pretty comprehensive list of tongue tie symptoms can be found here.
Our pediatrician gave us some not so amazing advice and told us it would be hard to find someone to correct the issue locally. After a lot of internet research we kept hearing the name Dr. Lawrence Kotlow, a pediatric dentist in Albany, NY. Not only was Dr. Kotlow highly regarded when it came to the revision surgery needed to correct a tongue tie, but he was a huge supporter of breastfeeding and correcting oral issues that can inhibit breastfeeding.
I made a call to his office in Albany and within 24 hours we had an appointment, plane tickets, a rental car and a hotel room. My mother, Lucas and I were on our way to Albany, NY the following week.
The plan ride was interesting, but I’ll save that experience for another day!
When we arrived at Dr. Kotlow’s office (which is incredibly kid friendly!) his staff was waiting for us. I’m going to be perfectly honest, I was a wreck! I was about to give my child to a man and have to sit and wait while my 12 week old had his tongue sliced with a laser. The office staff made me feel so much better! After a brief wait we were brought into an exam room and asked to watch a video regarding tongue and lip ties. As I sat and watched this video I KNEW Dr. Kotlow would confirm we did, in fact, have a posterior tongue tie and lip tie. Once the video was over Dr. Kotlow came in and did a brief examination of Lucas’s mouth. It only took a few seconds for him to let us know that Lucas had both a posterior tongue tie and a lip tie.
The next part was so hard for me as a first time mother. I kissed my little baby and gave him to the doctor to be taken for the revision procedure. I honestly can’t tell you how long it all took – I sat in a room crying thinking of the pain Lucas must be in. I kept reminding myself of the articles I read about Dr. Kotlow and how babies were returned to their parents happy and without tears.
Unfortunately that was not the case with my son. When he was eventually brought back to me he was STILL screaming. I knew I needed to get him to the breast immediately but was nervous for so many reasons: Would it hurt him? Would it hurt me? What if this didn’t fix anything?
I took my crying baby and put him to the breast and I could instantly tell a difference! It didn’t feel great, but it certainly felt 100% different and so much better! I started crying again, different tears this time – tears of relief and joy! Dr. Kotlow came in to check on us and as a sat there crying and thanking him for fixing my son that wonderful man started wiping away my tears (my hands were a little full at that moment!). He did mention that Lucas was probably going to need a fair amount of Cranio-Sacral Therapy/OT and that, because of his age, breastfeeding may actually get worse before it got better.
We staying in his office for a while longer. I spent some more time nursing Lucas, we got a list of instructions on how to exercise his incision and to care for them in the upcoming weeks and then Dr. Kotlow gave us his cell phone number and said that if we needed anything to text him. I have never heard of a doctor giving you their cell phone number to text if you had questions, but I knew in that moment everything I had read about him was 100% true – and then some!
Lucas did pretty well after we left the office. He slept most of the afternoon and pretty much the whole night. I could tell he had a fair amount of discomfort pain and he had a lot of swelling but the Tylenol we gave him really seemed to help.
I was over the moon excited when I woke up in that Albany, NY hotel room the next morning! Little did I know that our saga wasn’t over quite yet!
Has your child had a tongue/lip tie revision (or a procedure of any kind)? How did it go? Share your stories with other parents in the comments!