Oliver Picks Sides

Oliver Picks Sides by carolinearmijo
Oliver Picks Sides, a photo by carolinearmijo on Flickr.

Once Henry reluctantly cut the cord and Ollie was free, he lifted his head, looked around and started climbing my torso. These past (almost) two weeks it has been pretty amazing watching him pick sides whenever he wants to eat. In this picture, he threw himself from my chest into the position he wanted to be in for a midday nap. This was taken on Monday, his one week birthday. He totally lives up to the videos we watched in the tiny little room of the Breastfeeding Center in DC. The notion that a newborn was not unlike a kitten almost through me for a loop four years ago. Now it seems that anything that prevents Ollie from moving into his preferred position does not make him happy.

Nursing Oliver has been a struggle, but continues to improve daily. His latch is lacking. Granted compared to Lucy, this is a cakewalk. She had a whole host of problems that I didn’t resolve for months. Specifically I had her frenulum cut at Week Four. And as I said previously, her dentist praised me for doing this during her first appointment.

We are barely to the two week mark and I really think I have this narrowed down to a posterior frenulum, which is frequently undiagnosed. But Lucy had it; I have it; and, I’m certain my dad has it. We all have that little space between our front teeth, which is a tell-tale sign. Mom quit nursing me around five to six weeks. But she successfully nursed Alex until he took a cup. His teeth slightly overlapped.

Thursday I was feeling down that this still hasn’t been resolved. Oliver was checked for it in the hospital, but it was dark and the nurse did not feel under his tongue. Having had Lucy’s cut in the past, I knew that they should have. And I really regret not speaking up then. I could have easily said my daughter had this and maybe it would have been a simple procedure before we left the hospital.

I visited an ENT who said it would stretch out in five to six weeks. Maybe. But that is the end of a milk supply in the breastfeeding world. And I have a four year old. I can’t wait around on the chance that would happen. I left stunned and wondering what’s next. Baby mouth exercises? Baby acupuncture? I did some research online, discovered this was a myth and called my pediatrician for referral for a second opinion.

The next appointment is scheduled for Monday. Fingers crossed all will be merry and delightful Monday night during what is normally our cluster feeding/feeding frenzy time. Although he is stable, Ollie is not regaining his weight like he should be, which is one of the many classic signs of being tongue-tied. I really want to resolve this before I start taking too many extra measures that are really hard to break. Primarily, I think he is going to be my sleeper and I don’t want to have to start waking him up frequently throughout the night.

I shed a few tears, far from the hysterical sobbing from Lucy’s conundrum. Just out of frustration that I am going through this again in a totally different experience than before. My Breastfeeding book reminded me that there is a steep learning curve with nursing that is generally really, really hard for the first five weeks or so. I really hope this doesn’t take that long. But it feels more annoying than heartbreaking. Perhaps that is part of the perks of being a second-time mom.

I also reminded myself that I elected to deliver Oliver naturally simply to help facilitate an easier breastfeeding experience. It was WAAAY more painful than I expected, but I would do it again in a second. My milk supply has been plentiful and our recovery was minimal. Actually I felt great after the delivery.

Some things seem to improve Oliver’s latch: crying for a long time (like being in the car), sucking on my finger, pumping for a couple of minutes with my super easy-to-use hand breast pump, being later in the day and growing older. But still… There is considerable room for improvement. And he has totally caught my vibe. After my mini-pep talk, he started putting more effort into the left. Yep, I think he is already a Mama’s boy.

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