I was prepared for the pain of childbirth. I’d been warned, read books, and even seen the movies. (What to Expect When You’re Expecting is more than just an entertaining chick-flick, after all). I expected the sleepless nights and the breastfeeding struggles. But I had no idea how badly it would hurt to see my child cry.
Oh, I had no idea…
Brady has had a few rough weeks of acid reflux and a belly so bloated with gas that it makes him scream. I’ve never been an overly emotional girl, but each cry brought tears to my eyes. I felt so helpless, when I couldn’t make him feel better. We thought that it might be something that I’m eating, so I was placed on a restricted diet. So far, however, that hasn’t given him the relief we were hoping for. All it’s done is leave me with a sweet-tooth-gone-wild. Thank goodness that my amazing sister Sarah has kept me stocked with allergen-free baked goods that are deliciously amazing! If not for her, I probably would have quit on day one.
…or succumbed to a state of madness, brought on by an intense desire for muffins, cookies, and bagels.
Finally, out of desperation after a particularly rough day for Brady, I met with a highly-recommended lactation consultant to find out if maybe he was sucking in air while nursing. Because let’s face it, for something that’s so natural, breastfeeding sure is hard. Or at least it is for the most of us…
It turned out that Brady had a possible lip tie, which hindered him from lifting his upper lip correctly. Although she couldn’t guarantee if that was the reason for his tummy troubles, the consultant was insistent that this wasn’t helping. He physically wasn’t able to lift his upper lip enough to even drink from a bottle correctly!
Flash-forward a few days, and Nate and I were at a specialist’s office to have Brady’s tie checked out. The specialist said that Brady had a very prominent tongue and lip tie, which – if left untreated – could actually hinder his speech, in addition to causing more oral issues such as excessive cavities or the need for surgery before braces! A ‘mere’ $1,500 later, the specialist had performed a laser procedure in Brady’s mouth to fix the ties.
I naively thought this was the end of our troubles
To keep the skin from healing back and reattaching itself, Nate and I were asked to do oral exercises on Brady for 4 times a day over the next 14 days. We’re only on day 7. And the exercises are brutal…
Nate has to rub the laser sites (basically holes in Brady’s mouth where the ties were) and then stretch out, in addition to pulling the tongue back towards Brady’s throat. Brady gasps and screams in ways that I have never heard a little baby do. It’s a terrified, hysterical cry that turns guttural, when Nate gets to the part where he has to stretch the tongue. And although most babies don’t get tears until they are 2-3 months old, Brady always cries a single tear during the stretches.
I die every time.
It breaks my heart. I want to curl up in a ball and cry, and yet I also feel this intense desire to punch something. Mama Bear comes out in full force… But Mama Bear also knows that these exercises are necessary, so she tries her best to be strong.
I’m no help at all, to be honest, and Nate had to take over by himself. He handles it much better than I do… Except I can see in his eyes just how hard this is on him too, even if he isn’t crying in a different room like I am.
Yesterday things got worse, as Brady screamed in pain all day. It was already five days past his procedure, so he was supposed to be feeling better. Yet I couldn’t put him down without endless shrieking, and he writhed in pain whenever I tried to pick him up. I couldn’t console him, and no amount of gas drops or gripe water helped him to feel better.
Finally, around 4pm, we rushed to urgent care, and the doctor said that she believes Brady is gulping in air every time he screams during the exercises. So there’s really nothing we can do. Brady has to suffer through it, and we have to realize that Brady won’t remember… and we will get through it. For now, his gas issues are just going to be worse.
Easier said than done, some days.
Most days I want to cover my ears so that I don’t hear the painful cries. I want to run away until he’s better… but yet I don’t want anyone taking care of him except for me. Most days I just don’t feel strong enough.
Now I know that I usually try to hold off on blogging until I have a positive or humorous way to look at a situation. But I felt as though I wanted to be honest with all of you, as I always am, and to admit that the past week or so has been tough. Because I know that we all go through tough days. Life isn’t roses and laughter all the time for any of us.
Boy, wouldn’t that be nice! 🙂
I’m learning that it’s okay to sometimes have days during which you do cry… During which you do call on a friend for prayer or for a vent-session. It’s okay to have the frustrated moments and the moments that leave you red-eyed, frazzled, and exhausted. That’s okay, because days like that are going to happen!
Just take that deep breath. And feel me sending you a warm hug that says, “You’ve got this!” 🙂 Because even if it doesn’t feel like it right now, you do… and you WILL get through! But remember that you don’t always have to be strong, and that feeling overwhelmed and emotional doesn’t make you a failure. It makes you human. 🙂