Heart-Shaped Problems

December 18, 2017

Geez, when you are a mom, time flies.  Bailee is already 3 months old!  Um, what?  When did that happen?!  And Christmas is in one week!!!

For this blog post, let’s take a trip down memory lane back to September, when Bailee was born.  Part of the reason Bailee struggled with breast feeding was the fact that she was born tongue-tied.  Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, is a genetic condition that she inherited from her Dad.  This means that her tongue was connected at the tip to the bottom of her mouth.  This caused her tongue limited movement and caused a heart-shape when she tried sticking her tongue out of her mouth.


If you look closely, you can see how her tongue has a heart shape.

We were referred to Dr. Aaron Thatcher with the U of M’s Ear, Nose, and Throat department and had our first appointment at 2 weeks old.  They let us know that they could do the procedure in clinic up until 2 months old and then after that it would have to be done in the hospital with anesthesia.  This was due to the fact that younger babies have a lower blood pressure, so the possibility of bleeding is lower.  In addition, we were told that the tongue tie could lead to speech issues later on in life.  The doctor was prepared to complete the procedure that day, but we decided to go home and think about it.  As parents, we were both scared and worried about her having a procedure at so young of an age.  Plus, Brett didn’t have his surgery until 18 months, so we weren’t sure if she REALLY needed it done right away.

After going home and thinking and discussing, we decided to have Bailee have the procedure earlier than later.  The thing that sealed the deal for us was the possible speech issues later on in life, and the idea of having her under anesthesia at such a young age.  We wanted to wait until she was 6 weeks old, but October 13th (or 4 weeks old) the only appointment the doctor had until November.

On the day of the appointment, I was calm.  Both Brett and I knew that I would be the one to hold her while the procedure was done.  The procedure was way easier and quicker than either of us expected.  The doctor numbed the area in her mouth and then while I was holding her, they snipped the membrane holding the tongue down to the bottom of her mouth.  She barely bled at all and barely even cried.  The doctor gave her some sugar water to make her feel better after the procedure.  And I kid you not, she ate within 30 minutes of her procedure and was perfectly fine.  It was shocking and way easier than either of us expected.

I’m so glad we had the procedure when we did.  Bailee can now stick out her tongue far out of her mouth and she is able to move it all around as she starts learning to talk.


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