Friday, March 25, 2011


When Jack was a few days old and we visited the pediatrician, she noticed that he was tongue-tied. Meaning that his frenulum (the little membrane part that connects the bottom of the tongue to the bottom of your mouth) was short and close to the tip of his tongue. It's a fairly common thing and it's genetic. One look at John's tongue and we knew where Jack got it from. It's obviously not a big deal (John seems to have done okay) but it can interfere with breastfeeding and, in some cases, cause a slight speech impediment. The solution nowadays is a very quick procedure where they snip the frenulum, thus freeing the tongue for serious movement. The pediatrician didn't think Jack's was too severe so she wanted us to wait and see how Jack breastfed. A few days after that the lactation consultant was visiting us and also noticed his tongue. She thought we should just have the procedure done.

Fast forward 4 weeks later (I'm a procrastinator) and we finally decide that we may have the procedure done. The doc says that he seems to be getting enough breastmilk so it's not absolutely necessary but it's our choice. I tell her that because he's tongue-tied, he has a hard time getting a deep latch while nursing and he's slowly killing me. :-) So she refers us to an ENT doctor and assures us it's a very easy minor thing.

So this week we strap Jack into his car seat to take him to the ENT doctor. I apologize to him profusely because every single time we've taken him for a drive, it's been to a doctor and brought pain with it. I promise him that one day, we'll go for a drive that doesn't involve torture. We roll up to the new doc's office and Jack takes his first elevator ride. He clearly was suspicious...

And he should have been suspicious because that elevator was taking him to no place he wanted to go.

I won't go into a ton of detail but, while it was a minor procedure (numb the little frenulum under the tongue, clamp it so there's no blood, and snip it with scissors), nothing is minor with a four week old. Jack screamed and cried while the doc examined his mouth, numbed the area, and clamped it. And then he unleashed a wail I'll never forget when he cut it. And another wail. And an neverending wail. He got so so worked up. He was bright red and sweating profusely. then because he was crying so hard, he got a ton of mucus in his throat and it sounded like he was having trouble breathing. Well, to his mom it sounded like he was having trouble breathing. The doctor did not seem concerned at all and just tried to suction it out of his mouth. To no avail. Jack's cries and sounds of agony seriously killed me. John did his best trying to calm both of us down. Nothing really worked (for Jack) until he eventually passed out in his car seat on the way home. As the doctor predicted, he slept for hours and hours after such a trying ordeal.

In the end, he's perfectly fine and will have no recollection of the entire event. (Unlike his parents.) And now he'll be able to do crazy tricks with his tongue and stick it out at me when he's throwing a temper tantrum.


  1. oh lis, that sounds horrible. i'm glad you all recovered!

  2. I agree with Stacey - even though you KNOW that they'll be fine and that it's absolutely in their best interest, it doesn't make hearing their sadness any easier. Good work getting through it!