It feels really strange to break my NaBloPoMo streak, which dated all the way back to the beginning when it was actually fun and community-driven and felt like it meant something. But I decided somewhere in the last week or so of October that I wasn't going to keep myself up half the night every night this month struggling to get something written that was worth posting. I barely get enough sleep as it is without forcing myself through some kind of imaginary requirement of nightly writing. I'm a little sad over it, but not nearly as sad as I thought I'd be.
About a month and a half ago, Sam wrote a blog post about her littles getting their upper lip ties fixed. It inspired me to take another long look at Elliott's upper lip, and confirmed what my gut had told me when he was a newborn - he has a lip tie. I spent about a week feeling extremely frustrated, sad, and kind of pissed off that I'd asked at the hospital when he was less than a week old if he had a tie because his latch was so painful and poor, but was told that he didn't. Now after eight months of struggling and pumping and supplementing and taking domperidone and pumping some more, turns out I was probably right all along. Sam connected me with a super-helpful IBCLC via Twitter and she agreed with my gut after looking at a mostly-bad photo of Elliott's upper lip / gum area. This led to a recommendation that we see a family doctor in St Louis that specializes in lip tie / tongue tie correction, and luckily I talked to a local mom on one of my facebook groups who took a kid there and loved the doctor. I asked our pediatrician for a referral two weeks ago, and was just able to get Elliott in to see her for the referral on Monday. Our ped is taking a bit of a conservative approach to the situation which I can respect in that we are talking about (minor) surgery on a baby's face. But I definitely don't feel like she's giving my breastfeeding concerns the weight I was hoping she would. Her research led more to information on the dentistry aspect of it (it can cause speech problems and gaps in the teeth) and I definitely get the feeling she wants me to wait until he's older to see if affects his teeth before doing anything. She said that since he doesn't have trouble keeping weight on, his breastfeeding isn't really a concern. And okay, perhaps from a straight-up data perspective that's true, but the reason he keeps weight on his fat little thighs is because I pump four times a day and supplement with donor milk and take medication to try to boost my flagging supply because he only nurses reliably once a day, twice if I'm lucky. She did refer me to a pediatric dentist to have Elliott evaluated there, but we don't carry dental insurance for him yet. Since the St Louis doctor is in-network for us, she's covered by our health insurance. Honestly even if the dentist told me he didn't think Elliott needed any procedure, I'd probably still want to take him to St Louis for a second opinion. I'm strongly considering just telling the ped that our insurance wouldn't cover the dentist and taking him straight to St Louis.
We had to see the pediatrician again yesterday morning for poor Nico, who had a wheezy / croupy / asthma flareup type episode Tuesday night. He has albuterol to be given through a nebulizer, but he's only prescribed to have it every four hours. MB gave him a treatment at 5:00 Tuesday evening and by 7:00 he sounded like he'd never been dosed at all. I called the after-hours clinic that's supposed to be open until 9:00 PM but they were already closed at 7:30. The nurse on the help line suggested I take him to the ER. Not to discount the health of my beloved firstborn, but there was really no need to pay a $200 ER deductible to have them tell me he needed the same $10 steroid prescription he got last time he had a wheezy episode like this. I try to respect our ped's conservative approach to handing out medication, but I really wish we could have a standing prescription at the pharmacy for this. It's to a point where I know the difference between a little bit of allergies and a true breathing-problem situation. Regardless, it's all sorted now. He had to miss preschool yesterday morning, but he's all stocked up with a five-day steroid prescription and a nasal spray that he hates and permission to give his nebulizer every two hours if things get dire. I have unbelievable respect for people who have to manage their kids' truly chronic medical conditions...just a day and a half of one slightly sick, very whiny kid on top of a month of worry over Elliott's lip and I was ready to hide in the corner with a pint of Phish Food.
I have been reading so much lately and it's awesome. Note that here "so much" means "so much more than I was previously, when I had a newborn," and not "so much, like those of you with better evening habits / older children / more free time / long commutes / more discipline to not futz around slack-jawed on your phone for an hour every night." Books I have enjoyed of late include:
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Slow Getting Up: a Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile by Nate Jackson
Wild: from Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
And I just started Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield.