Believe it or not, this photo best demonstrates how I feel one week after my adult tongue tie release! This sh*t's exhausting!
Truly I have a newfound empathy for new mothers who are trying to breastfeed, and not only are your nipples raw and hurting (FYI pain is common though not normal and should always be addressed by a lactation professional), but then you've got to do it all over again every 3 hours.
Let me back up. Many people, especially in the birth field are familiar with the occurrence of tongue ties in newborns. They CAN, although don't always, create functional issues that disrupt proper latching and can be fixed by a minor oral surgery called a frenectomy. This cuts the tie and allows for greater movement of the tongue which amongst other things, facilitates breastfeeding.
In my reading, by the way, I learned that there was a time when midwives would cut tongue ties when they saw them at birth with their fingernails, yikes!
When I was a baby, no one knew why I couldn't nurse properly and when my mother gave up after 4 weeks, I couldn't blame her! My tongue tie was so tight that I couldn't touch my palate unless my mouth was closed. Try it. You should be able to touch the roof of your mouth with the tip of your tongue with your mouth open, which I am happy to say I now can with the help of Dr Scott Siegel, MD, DDS.
I sat in his office just one week ago. Little ol' me and 5 other babies!
I won't go into describing the whole procedure, there are many videos about it online, but I will say that immediately after the procedure, I hadn't even realized how much tension I'd been holding in my neck and shoulders, but it all just melted away. I've never felt so relaxed in my life.
Fast forward, this week has honestly been miserable. It hurts to talk. It hurts to eat. The pain radiates from my teeth to my ears and way into the back of my throat. My tongue has never worked so hard.
In order to prevent the tie from reattaching too quickly, incredibly painful stretches must be done every 4-5 hours, including during the middle of the night. They help lengthen the tongue so that when it heals, EVENTUALLY, it heals longer and maintains the regained mobility.
I definitely don't regret it, because I know when the pain and soreness will go away, I can already feel how much better my posture will be. I even felt tension release all the way down to my sacrum and pelvis which I'm hoping will only positively impact our next IVF cycle.
But sheesh, am I pooped from this pain!
Bodywork has been recommended and I am very much looking forward to my cranio-sacral session tonight. It's the earliest appointment I could book. I've actually performed acupuncture on myself a few times (ST-44 and LI-4 are magic) which has helped temporarily for a couple hours at a time, but even 800 mg ibuprofen doesn't really do much.
As you know I'm always happy to share my experiences and I'd be happy to answer any questions if you have any.
This experience makes me extra appreciate the work of birth and lactation professionals that help to catch these things early on. Not only to preserve the breastfeeding relationship (by the way babies heal so much faster than adults) but also to avoid all the postural, structural and even digestive issues that are associated with tongue ties. (Tongue ties form at the same time in utero as the digestive tract and are considered to be a midline defect.)
I also heard an amazing story about a young child who hadn't spoken before having his tongue tie released and spoke his first words at I think she said 5 years old!
If you did one for your child, know you have given them a life-changing gift.
So that's what's going on with me.