I gave birth to my beautiful daughter on February 23 and she was a whopping 9.4 lbs. I was beaming after a relatively easy pregnancy and even easier birth (THAT’S RIGHT LADIES MY MAGICAL VAGINA DID NOT TEAR!!!!). Then we brought my adorable daughter home to start our new family of four. The first few days were typical: Cry, Feed, Poop, Pee, Repeat.
Then the screaming started.
Every night for 4-6 hours my daughter would just scream. It was obvious she was in some sort of uncomfortableness but nothing helped. Gas drops, gripe water, probiotics, different positions, and nothing worked. It was awful. One thing I noticed was when my daughter breastfed she sucked in too much air.
It literally sounded like GULP, SUCK AIR, GULP, SUCK AIR. I realized this may be contributing to the gassiness and screaming. So I went to my local breast feeding group. The Lactation consultant I knew from my first child and she is amazing. I figured we can find out if her latch was contributing to the colic.
What the Lactation consultant realized was my daughter was severely tongue and lip tied. Here are some pictures of what a tongue and lip tie look like.
It’s funny because I have one as well, but not as bad. With a lip and tongue tie it can affect latch, can cause colic, re-flux and teeth issues down the road, yet many doctors, pediatricians and even some lactation consultants do not believe it can cause issues or do not think it is something that is a big deal. Basically because of the lip and tongue tie my daughter could not make a proper seal on the breast or even a bottle and was sucking in loads of air.
To each their own but I knew in my gut (follow your instincts momma’s) it was affecting my daughters latch, causing her to suck in ghastly amounts of air, and causing her gassiness and colic to get worse. So I went to visit a pediatric dentist who does tongue and lip revisions with lasers. With lasers there are less infections, better recovery and less pain (always do your research mommas). Lasers also able to ensure the revision does not re-attach.
We met with the pediatric dentist and he went over the procedure and we decided to go with it (note: Mabel was only 3 weeks). It was funny because he could tell we were second time parents as we were not as stressed as new parents would have been (understandably so). I am not very good with watching my kids in any type of pain so I had my husband go in for the procedure with Mabel, while I stood outside.
The procedure took literally less than two minutes and she nursed right after. She was cranky a few days but overall the procedure did more good than not. Her latch improved over time (with also the help of an amazing pediatric chiropractor too) and week by week the colic got less and less.
It went from 6 hours a night of screaming at 3 weeks to nothing by 8 weeks. Granted she still gets gassy and cries like a baby but it is not long stretches of inconsolable crying. Her latch got better and better over time and it directly correlated with less colic. I think if I was a first time mommy I would have gone nuts. It is heart wrenching to watch your little one cry and not be able to do anything.
This time around I remember thinking two things as she was screaming:
1. Alright, lady, we have a plan of attack that should help. If not you will grow out of it, since I do not see 20 years olds crying for long stretches on the street.
2. I will just hold you as you cry, I may not be able to change anything but sometimes like in a bad break up nothing can change the situation but listening, and giving a hug can help.
Do not get me wrong, my husband and I dreaded the screams between 5-10 pm every night but didn’t let it get into our soul and psyche. It can be so tough when you are exhausted and feel very inadequate as a person and especially as a mother. So I suggest recognizing that sometimes a plan can help, but sometimes in the throws of the screaming just letting go and knowing you are doing all you can by just cuddling them is enough.
I also plan to reach out to any future momma’s I know who have colicky babies and offer to watch them because man it is brutal. So to all my mothers out there who have a colicky child, you will survive but also check out his/her lip and tongue – it may or may not be contributing. Lastly, grab yourself a big ole bottle of wine (for you, not baby).