That a baby just won't ever learn a correct latch or suck no matter how much time or effort you put in? My baby is nearly 11 weeks old and we have had problems since day one. It's better than it was, but I really can't keep going like this. He was born with a tongue and lip tie (both clipped at 10 days, although I'm considering whether there might be rehealing, or it wasn't clipped enough the first time), a mildly high arched palate (doesn't seem to be an issue or as much of one now that he's bigger), a tiny mouth (getting better now, I have large nipples so this one has been rough), a loose, misaligned jaw (corrected with chiropractic and craniosacral adjustments), mild low tone, and significant cranial bone misalignment leading to a dysfunctional suck. I've seen an IBCLC (who I feel was only marginally helpful, the pediatric dentist who revised the ties, a chiropractor, and continue to see a craniosacral therapist, who has been the most helpful.
At this point, he still does not latch deeply enough 98% of the time. I do my best to get an asymmetrical latch and deposit the nipple as far back as possible but he doesn't pull it in most of the time and often pushes it out to where it's comfortable for him (and painful for me). My nipples are often bruised or blanched, sometimes creased or ridged on the sides. I can feel his tongue rubbing on my nipple and sometimes he is clamping on it with an up and down motion, sometimes has a reverse suck, sometimes has a correct but weak suck with a chomping jaw or loses suction or I can feel the hump of his tongue sliding up across the tip of the nipple, rubbing and pushing it forward, when he closes his jaw/swallows. He clicks, clucks, and pops. I do have an overabundant supply and forceful letdown on one side, but none of this is improved by leaning or laying back, or on the normal side, if I am very soft, or with a slow flow bottle. I did not give him a bottle until 6 weeks and that only because I now have severe anxiety whenever I nurse and sometimes I just can't push through. He cannot hold onto a pacifier, and often just moves his jaw and doesn't get suction with his tongue at all. I can't nurse him laying down, it hurts too much. Cross cradle is the only position I have any success. I can't get a deep enough latch in the football hold.
He often cries/is fussy like he is in pain 15-20 minutes after a feeding. He thrashes his arms and legs and arches back. Not every time, but often. He doesn't spit up much (my first spit up buckets) and has very little gas- only when pooping and I don't get anything by pumping his legs or massaging his belly. The last couple of days he hasn't slept well during the day. Seems fine at night, but during the day he will only sleep in the wrap after I wrestle him in (screaming), hold him really tight and bounce or walk quickly, and then only stays asleep for an hour or less, and is really restless/easily woken.
He usually shows huge improvement right after a craniosacral therapy session but doesn't maintain the improvements.
He is growing fine and has loads of wet and poopy diapers. I wash diapers every night and there are generally about 15-18 of his in a load.
I have one other IBCLC I can call.
I just don't know where to go from here, if this is the end of the road. My stamina is completely worn down and this has been affecting my mental health for a while. I also have a 2.5 year old to care for, who has his own issues and he is really getting the short end of the stick. Is is possible my baby will just never nurse comfortably? I can't keep going if there's just nothing more I can do. But I would be heartbroken if I gave up now when if I had just tried one more thing or held on a little bit longer it all would have been perfect.