Tongue tied

Another obligatory event on the motherhood check list this month – a trip to hospital.

Phoenix was born with tongue tie which if you don’t know (and trust me, no one was more confused than me when they told me had he it: ‘what do you mean he’s tongue tied? Is he trying out some limerics?!) it’s when the tongue isn’t fully free in the mouth but is restricted by a bit of string at the front holding it back. Jeeze that was crap description, I can hear medical students wincing across the country.

I wish they’d have just snipped it when he was born as there would have been no anaesthetic and he’d have gone straight on the boob non the wiser, but I guess when babies are so tiny they don’t do anything unless they really have to. As he was feeding ok and they thought it looked quite mild they decided to let it be as they can grow out. But just before Christmas I noticed that the tongue tie had swelled up and gone all white. Arrgghhhh everyone panic!!! Drama queen? Moi? Never! So I took him to the docs and he referred him to the surgeon. Although the op is very, very minor the whole build up to it made if feel not quite so minor. Kicking off with the day surgery receptionist who told me over the phone that his last feed could be 3 am and then zilch after that, I got an incling this wasn’t going to be completely straight forward. As he’s now sleeping though I set the alarm for 3am and sent Ben down to stuff him with as much milk as possible. By the time he woke up he did his usual ‘I’m so happy I’m awake and can play that I’ve forgotten all about milk’ routine. So far so good.

By 9.30am we’d met the day surgery receptionist, the paediatrician, the consultant (who kept referring to him as Martin Phoenix because that’s how it was written on the notes; great can’t wait for you to get snipping in my son’s mouth mate) and the anethesisist (possibly the poshest person I’ve ever met, he looked at Phoenix and said ‘oh hello, how do you do?’) All of them, yes ALL of them, asked the following:

Does he have any allergies? Has he any surgery before? Is he well? Is he on any medication? Has anyone in your family ever reacted to an anaesthetic before? etc etc…

Is it really necessary to go through this 4 times?! By the last round of questions he was allergic to monster munch and had had a tummy tuck at 3 months. I mean, come on, four times, really? But my personal favourite question was this:

Is he wearing any jewellery? ….. erm, no. He is 7 month old baby boy, he is not wearing any jewellery. Oh apart from that nipple ring but just go around it.

We were waiting for what felt like ages; by 10.30am he’d been 7.5 hours with no milk. Ouch. He was such a good boy though he didn’t really cry much and as I took to pacing the corridor 2,500 times he nodded off in my arms. Then the bloomin pedatiricain came back in and made me put him in a tiny hospital gown which woke up a very hungry boy. Oh great. Now he’s crying, vulnerable and just god damn cute, I better get involved with this crying game too.

30mins later the consultant called in – ‘Martin Phoenix’. Sigh.

They sat him in my arms and put a little mask over his mouth and nose and released the vapours. I sang to him and promised him all the milk in the world when he woke up. As he started nodding off the anthesist had to sit me up as I’d had my face so close to his I’d been on the gas myself and was about to fall over. Once he was asleep they took him off me and guided me out. I say guided but I’m pretty sure they had to use a bit of brut force. My little boy on a operating table, he looked so tiny 😦

Obviously at this point I just went hysterical and hit the parents waiting room to cry into a polystyrene cup. I then started neurotically arranging all his stuff on his bed until 10 mins later I could hear him down coming down the corridor crying. He was back within my arms in 15 mins. Phew. He was starving; so hungry that when they were bringing him around he was trying to eat the tube. He guzzled a bottle in seconds. He was a bit unsettled but calmed down with relative ease. And that was that, all over. And the result? Well he’s noiser than ever of course 😉

Phoenix’s little snip was very minor and despite it not being a particularly pleasant experience for me, I did have a gut feeling that it was all going to be ok. And as I sat there crying into my cup telling myself to stop being so stupid I couldn’t help but think about those parents whose babies have to go in for really serious ops and who have to wait for hours for them to come back not really knowing what might happen. I cannot even begin to imagine how that feels. This made me fill up the cup even more with tears but it also motivated me to sign up for a 10k Bournemouthwith Bay Run and try and raise some money for Bliss the premature and sick baby charity (I was emotional it seemed like a good idea at the time). Now you may be thinking, 10k? Why didn’t she sign up for the half marathon? Well I’ll tell you why, because I bloody hate running! A personal trainer once said to me ‘Emma, you’re built for power bursts not long distance’ and I’ve clung to these precious words for dear life, shoving them in the face of any treadmill eyeing me suspiciously in the gym. So if you’d like to come and see me vomit on the finish line and collapse in a big heap feel free to come down and watch the race…but only if you donate first of course 😉 Here’s the link http://www.justgiving.com/emma-martin4

Cheers,

Ems x

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3 thoughts on “Tongue tied

  1. Honest Mum says:

    Really moving and funny post, had tears in my eyes, brave Mummy and son. Well done to you both and so glad baby is well and tongue untied.

  2. caron andrews says:

    Great post Emma….Jamie was due to have his tonsils and adenoids out when he was 3 but i got myself in such a state that i made an elaborate excuse a few days before the op and he never went through with it!!! Fortunately i think we did the right thing as he has only had one bought of tonsilitis since, but it must be the worst thing in the world to have a child needing serious attention!!! My heart goes out to every parent out there (and the child of course) who needs to find the strength to get through these times!! So good for you for doing the run….after a blurb that this how could i not sponsor you!!
    Anyway,glad all went well with Phoenix…night night x

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