My second baby Maggie was born with a pretty bad PTT, upper lip tie, and high palate. Lucky me. My nipples were shredded and bleeding within a couple of days and I was in a lot of pain. Maggie also didn't regain her birth weight very quickly despite my OALD and ample milk supply.
Her tongue tie was clipped but the ENT warned me at the time that it was a very thick one and she would do the best she could, but that there would still be some tightness. She said the frenulum could only be fully clipped under general anesthesia.
The clip itself was a breeze, but Maggie didn't eat much at all for 24 hours and had me in a pretty major panic. After that clip, our latch improved and Maggie started putting on weight, so that was great. She has gone from 7 lbs at birth to 11 lbs 10 ounces at 2 months. She's chubby and thriving.
But while my nipples have healed up, the latch is still not great! My nipples come out blanched, creased (lipstick shaped), and sore. Nursing is uncomfortable, and sometimes pretty pinchy and painful. But I'm not blistered or bleeding anymore. So it feels sort of barely tolerable, but only if I think it's going to get better over the next few months. No way I want to nurse her for two years plus with this level of discomfort. Positioning Maggie perfectly helps a lot, but it's getting harder to do now that she's bigger and wigglier, and also, I have a three year old! I want to be able to nurse Maggie at the computer, in a side lying position, while walking around, in a carrier, any old place. I can't always nurse her in the perfect reclining position. I need to be able to do a "lazier" latch if at all possible. But right now, when I get lazy, it often just HURTS.
So I went back to the LC yesterday, and she had Maggie suck on her finger, felt around in her mouth, and examined our latch. Her conclusion - (a) she still has a tongue tie and it's preventing her from lifting her tongue up very much, so her tongue is rubbing back and forth on my nipple (which is EXACTLY how it feels too btw); (b) she still has a high palate and she's pressing my nipple up against it, leaving it creased; (c) the upper lip tie is preventing her from fully flanging out her upper lip, which adds to the pinching sensation. She was thrilled that Maggie is clearly getting so much milk, but commented that she looks like she's "riding the letdowns" and it's a good think I have OALD (this suggests that if my OALD calms down she might have a harder time, but with Joe, I pretty much had heavy letdowns up until the very end so I'm not so worried about that).
Despite what the ENT said about needing to put Maggie under general to do anymore clipping, the LC says I should go back and have her examine Maggie and confirm that conclusion. Maybe if she saw how tied she still is, she might be willing to clip a bit more. I'd rather suffer a bit of pain than put Maggie under general anesthesia at 2 months old, needless to say. She also suggested shopping around for a diff't ENT who might have a diff't conclusion.
And she suggested looking up a pedi dentist with a laser that might cut the lip tie. The nearest one who regularly does this is about an hour from us, but that's not that big a deal.
But with the high palate, it's possible that I could have both ties clipped and still be in some degree of pain nursing. And there is the possibility that Maggie's latch will naturally improve as she gets older. However, there is also the possibility that it won't, because the problem could be caused by the way she moves her tongue, rather than the size of her mouth.
So that's where I'm at right now. I could wait and see if things improve on their own, or I could start investigating more medical intervention. At this point, I'm pretty sure I don't want my tiny baby put under general anesthesia to clip a tongue tie that MIGHT be causing a tolerable degree of discomfort. If she wasn't gaining weight, or if I was still bleeding and blistered, maybe. But we are pretty close to a "good enough" latch here, so the costs/benefits are different. But it might be worth going back and seeing if they would clip just a little deeper? And the lip tie could be cut with a laser. It would be a massive hassle to all of this, and I'm wondering if it's worth it.
Has anyone had a badly tongue tied baby whose latch improved over time? Or does the tongue tie mean painful latching forever? I can totally handle our current latch for another month or two, it's not that bad. But I'm freaking out at the idea that she might still be latching like this as a toddler, you know? Any experiences or ideas?