Friday, January 02, 2009

Their Tongues Are Free At Last!

The babies' tongues have been released! We are home and doing well!

We were up before 5am this morning as Jason and I got the babies ready for the trip to the hospital. I was not supposed to nurse the babies for 4 hours before the surgery (2:30am) but after reading numerous studies proving that breastmilk is safe 3 hours before surgery, I had decided to nurse them for the last time at 3:30am.

Unfortunately when they were both inconsolable at 4am, I caved. I nursed them both quickly and prayed that all would be well. Besides, don't I always tell laboring moms that it is more dangerous to aspirate something more acidic (stomach acid) than something with a more neutral pH like crackers or toast? If I were going to aspirate anything, I'd want it to be breastmilk!

We got to the hospital at 6:30am and headed up to the surgical floor of the Children's Center. The waiting room was empty and we were taken back pretty quickly. The nurses came in and took the babies' vitals while Jason and I held them and kept them calm.

Ryan was pretty fussy at first but soon fell asleep in my arms. We walked up and down the hallway with the babies while they wore their little hospital gowns. Nathan fell asleep briefly but woke up when the doctors came into the room.

The anesthesia resident came by first to tell us what to expect, followed by his attending. The ENT came in next and explained the procedure again before leaving us with the nurse. She was so sweet and she held Nathan in her arms and carried him back to the OR. Jason and I waited with Ryan who was still sleeping in my arms.

The ENT doc came back in about 40 minutes later and told us that Nathan was done. He said that once N was asleep he got a good look and the tongue was more restricted than he originally thought. He excised the frenulum and cauterized it and then sutured it so that it won't grow back together. The doc said that N was having a little trouble breathing because his tongue was siding down the back of his throat. We've been watching him all day and haven't seen any episodes of apnea or bradycardia so we should be in the clear!

He did want us to keep an eye on N's salivary glands because one salivary duct turned white after he cauterized the incision area. Damage to salivary glands is a possible complication of the surgery. I am sure he'll be fine though!

The nurse carried a sleeping Ryan back to the OR while Jason and I went to be with Nathan as he woke up. He started to fuss a bit as he was waking but I held him and nursed him right away before he could really cry. He was still clicking when he nursed but it can take a few days for babies to correct their latch after the frenulum is corrected.

Just as Nathan finished nursing, they brought Ryan in to the recovery room. He was still asleep and stayed that way for about 15-20 minutes. Jason held N and I held R's hand as we waited for him to wake up. When he did open his eyes he didn't cry at all. I scooped him up and nursed him right away. He never even cried.

The nurse have the babies Tylenol before we were discharged. Nathan has slept all day long, only waking to nurse. Ryan has been very fussy and I've been giving him Tylenol and Arnica. He hasn't slept much and seems pretty uncomfortable. They should both feel better once the sutures dissolve in a few days.
For those that are curious, I snapped a few pictures of the babies' tongues now. Do you know how hard it is to get a picture under their tongues? I had to wait for them to laugh really big- or yawn.
The white areas are where it was cauterized to stop the bleeding. The dark brown areas are sutures. The area that was excised is diamond-shaped, right where the frenulum is, in the center of the tongue. It looks pretty uncomfortable to me, but it means that their tongues are finally free. Free to breastfeed and one day eat, talk, and stick their tongues out at their mama.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers! Now just pray that our house sells and I can survive the coming months without Jason. One day at a time...
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