Tongue Tie & Breastfeeding

Make yourself a cuppa & grab a yummy biscuit. Lets get stuck in, read on….

Did anyone watch BBC news breakfast on Tuesday morning? The chances are, that if you’re reading this you probably did. Or you’ve landed here after scoring the internet for advice and help on tongue tie. Before my little bear was born, I’d heard the phrase ‘tongue tie’ being used in a jovial way for when you got your words all muddled up. Shortly after his slightly dramatic entrance into the world I had the displeasure of understanding it’s origin. Not a laughing matter I assure you. I won’t give you the medical low down, you can read that here:

I will tell you about my experience, and I hope in some way it can help anyone going through a similar situation.

You can see left, how restricted Bear's tongue movement is. & right- nickname bear, & a bear by nature!

You can see left, how restricted Bear’s tongue movement is. & right- nickname bear, & a bear by nature!

As you read on, it may be difficult to wrap your head around why I seemed so hell bent on pursuing breastfeeding, given everything I came up against? & In retrospect 2 years down the line, I often think ‘Wow, I was stubborn’. I feel so grateful that I had such an amazing support network around who backed me for persevering with breastfeeding, yet were really reassuring that if I wanted or needed to switch to formula this was perfectly ok too. I feel like I made the best decisions for Bear & me, at that particular time & that’s the most important thing. Would I handle it differently now? Maybe, maybe not. I’m satisfied I coped the best way I could back then. Ultimately I did what I intrinsically felt was right in that moment.

So I said bear made a slightly dramatic entrance into the world. The point is regardless of how he arrived, he did. He was healthy, here & that was the ultimate goal. After a ridiculous amount of hours in ‚Äòactive‚Äô labour on just gas & air, I had an epidural & eventually ended up needing an emergency C-section. It couldn‚Äôt have been further from my ‚Äòhypnotherapy-water-natural- birth please‚Äô but I‚Äôd always remained realistic, that these things no matter how well you prepare yourself, just don‚Äôt always go to ‚Äòplan‚Äô. As crazy as it sounds, I think it’s fair to say I always like to feel ‚Äòin control‚Äô & I may be stating the bloody obvious, that during the birth process this gets thrown out the window (along with all your heirs and graces)! But having total control taken away & being told ‚ÄòWe have to deliver your baby with medical intervention/ major surgery‚Äô I think sent me off on a crusade afterwards. I wanted to do everything within my power to be ‚Äònatural‚Äô & ‚Äòbreast is best‚Äô blah, blah, blah. When I was in a very sorry state with nipples so severely damaged that I‚Äôd rather have been in labour again, this was my driving force. Slightly crazy. No, downright bonkers really.

Baby bear: the first few weeks. As close to a breastfeeding picture i would allow to be taken!

Baby bear: the first few weeks (hours old, days old, weeks old). As close to a breastfeeding picture i would allow to be taken!

I knew from the very first feed in hospital something was wrong. I took full advantage of the nursing staff around & asked if he was latching on properly at every opportunity. They reassured me that his latch was great & it was just because my nipples needed to ahem, ‚Äòtoughen up‚Äô (What? Really?) & Explained that once milk production started it would be fine. Being a ‘first time mummy’ I just accepted this advice, I knew no different. & It‚Äôs hardly a hot topic whilst you‚Äôre pregnant, talking about what happens to your ‘udders’ in the early stages of feeding. I avidly followed a certain baby magazine & not once did I see any articles about breastfeeding hurting. You just presume that baby goes on & ‚Äòvoil√†‚Äô they feed. At least, that’s what I thought.

I had to stay in hospital for a couple of nights & I feel this was the worst but part of the whole delivery/ post birth for me: there you are, with your new bundle of joy, you‚Äôre recovering from major surgery, your husband/ partner is not allowed to stay, you‚Äôre all on your own. & Your baby just won‚Äôt stop screaming (Even though he‚Äôs become a permanent fixture to you breast for what feels like all night). You‚Äôre sharing a room with 3 other mother & babies and one rude, condescending mum turns to you and says ‚ÄòYou need to feed your baby‚Äô. Now, had I my wits about me I would have responded to her with my sharp tongue. But I felt like there was something seriously wrong with bubba’s feeding & her comment only served to increase my worry.

Baby bear starting to look skinny-worrying times

Baby bear starting to look skinny-worrying times

When I returned home, M commented on how much bear cried. Was it normal for a newborn to scream that much? Talk about feeling helpless. At 5 days old, my lovely photographer friend Lyanne visited to do a newborn shoot with us. She gets you to feed baby so they’re ‘milk drunk’ & snoozy, it makes for some great pictures (see below)! But little bear just didn’t want to cooperate with this. Ly observed Bear feeding & advised me to check with my midwife if he was tongue tied so I did, straight away. This was dismissed immediately.  Ly wasn’t convinced & neither was I, so I asked for second & even 3rd opinions. Dismissed every time, I resided myself to the fact that breastfeeding was just this bloody painful & required me to shed a tear every time a feed happened. I envied seeing women so easily feeding their child.

Little bear at 5 days old.

Little bear at 5 days old.

Mummy & baby bonding time, bliss! & a Photo shy but ever so proud daddy......

Mummy & baby bonding time, bliss! & a Photo shy but ever so proud daddy……

At 3 weeks old, I will say I hit a brick wall. I just couldn‚Äôt carry on being in so much pain. I wanted to enjoy & savour every precious moment bonding with bear, not fearing the pain. With so much conflicting advice about mixed feeding I just didn‚Äôt know what to do. I visited a local drop in feeding clinic where a lovely lady confirmed Bear was in fact severely tongue tied (90%). How the bloody hells bells, did that keep getting missed?! A referral to Kings Collage Hospital London was made for a ‘tongue division’, but I was warned this would take at least 3 weeks. Panic ensued within me. By this point, Bear had lost weight & it was starting to get very worrying: my GP & midwife were really concerned. I could not wait 3 weeks. I wouldn‚Äôt. It was early December, what if we had snow & it was delayed even further? In sheer desperation, I searched high & low and found a lady who would come to you & perform the procedure. I researched her & asked my local feeding clinic: although legally they weren‚Äôt allowed to recommend anyone, they said this particular lady was well known & had a great reputation. My husband M & I affectionately referred to her as ‚Äòthe boobie lady‚Äô, her name was¬†Ann Dobson.¬†She deserves a medal. I’m not sure what we would have done without her. She had visited us within a day of calling her & performed the tongue dividing procedure immediately. Unfortunately Bear had to have this operation repeated a¬†few weeks later due to scar tissue formation.

Eventually he started feeding better, I was able to express milk as well as breastfeed to top him up (& allow my nipples to heal) & he would have a little formula to help him along also. I‚Äôd suffered 3 bouts of mastitis, and severe nipple trauma & started to make a slow recovery from this. At 5 months I had taken all i could, & it was a easy transition to formula (I’m still not sure my nipples have forgiven me for the sheer bloody torture!)

We were extremely fortunate to have financial assistance from family to be able to afford a private practitioner, for which we are ever so grateful. This isn’t going to be an option for everyone, but what mother with a newborn will be prepared to wait 3 weeks when their child is already suffering? It’s incredibly frustrating that this can be so easily diagnosed & treated; yet there just doesn’t seem to be enough sufficiently trained ‘medical’ staff for this. I stumbled across a petition today calling for a mandatory check for tongue tie as routine postnatal examination We can only hope, right?

I can hardly believe that in just over 2 years this is the first time I‚Äôve heard tongue tie being discussed in the media. I‚Äôm so pleased it’s being explained on a platform such as the BBC & it can only serve to help raise the profile of this condition.

Super Busy Mum
All About You Link & Pin Party

IKEA ‘Be brave, not Beige’

The looming clouds above the IKEA chimneys reflected the mood of most shoppers inside!

The looming clouds above the IKEA chimneys reflected the mood of most shoppers inside!

If you’re crazy enough (like we were this weekend) to enter the manic world of off-the-shelf & mass-produced Swedish Design, in my book that counts as brave! When our house was but a mere shell, & more welcoming to the builders than any other civilisation (apart from the gigantic spider that refused to stay in the garden). This place became our regular late night haunt. Don’t say we didn’t know how to live! You would have found us there at least once a week pacing the self service isles, hunting down that one last component needed to complete a whole (as opposed to half) piece of furniture. Which for some reason & still remains unanswered to me, seems to be located in a black hole?

This was of course before little Bear entered our world, & trips to Ikea now have to be arranged around a time that lord snotface finds convenient.

On this occasion, it happened to be on a Saturday afternoon. Bad luck to us. It was heaving! Alas, the joke is on you, God’s of Saturday shopping! & You can’t scare me Ikea! For I (like a superhero), have the ability to recall your store layout! Ha! No dilly-dallying, and meandering through the winding walk paths. Nope, nadda this old carry on. Straight to the kids department, using the short cut. Grabbing the items I had pre assigned to our shopping list in my ‘memory bank’, whilst at the same time swerving like a rally driver to avoid an unprecedented amount of trolleys’. I think my shop was complete within 10 minutes (does that mean I should add ‘professional shopper’ to my CV?).

Inspiration for my budding Artiste!

Inspiration for my budding Artiste!

Like nearly all little boys, mine is obsessed with cars/ trains/ tractors. Car mat is a must. & he's in to 'snap snaps' in a BIG way...

Like nearly all little boys, mine is obsessed with cars/ trains/ tractors. Car mat is a must. & he’s in to ‘snap snaps’ in a BIG way…

But whoa there, wait a minute! I got a little ahead of myself, and it slipped my mind about the small detail of having to queue to pay for said items. Big mistake. The scene awaiting us as we approached the till area can be described best as a massive swarm of wasps. & I don’t like wasps. So how was this for a bit of ‘off the cuff’ ingenious thinking (in my humble opinion)? With Bear acting up, I took the executive decision that I could best entertain him and divert his attention by heading off on a walking adventure, whilst M stayed to wait out the marathon queue & pay (he he he)!

Shelf searching, manic queuing & crowds aside, you’ve gotta love a bit of Ikea. Our home reads like a page out of one of their catalogues. I’d say 80% of our purchases from there are decent quality & reasonably priced goods, which are great value for money. Bear’s nursery is kitted out head to toe in Ikea & it’s had dozens of compliments (even from friends who have spent a small fortune on their own bubba’s nursery). & Quite honestly, babies/ toddlers/ children are an expensive hobby, so where you can save a couple of ££’s without having to compromise on style, safety & quality it seems frivolous to me not to take advantage & ‘be Swedish’ as they say!

Lord of the manor's boudoir

Lord of the manor’s boudoir

The range that we have-looks tons more expensive than it is.

The range that we have-looks tons more expensive than it is.

A wise word or warning: the market hall. This welcoming area is sure to capture your imagination & convince you that just must have that candle, or glass vase. Don’t be sucked in, stay strong and don’t deviate from your list! Unless of course that’s what you’re there for (after all, we made all or wedding center pieces using ikea glass wear & candles).

As long as you enter the store fully prepared for a bit of chaos, & the idea of self-assembly isn’t too intimidating, Ikea needn’t be scary! Now, if I could just fine where I left that allen key…….






Morning Sunshine!

SO…after much anticipation, hours of preparation, a mammoth packing session, a ridiculously long rush-hour-busy Heathrow taxi ride, 2 plane journeys and another short drive….we arrived at our friends place on the warm isle of Grand Cayman! All in all nearly a 24 hour trip, Phew!¬†That makes me feel exhausted just writing it down. I think it was pure adrenaline that got us through our marathon travels, for the 2nd time this year! My darling boy only sleep for 3 hours out of the whole trip, resulting in a countless number of walks around the plane cabin. In contrast my other darling boy (aka. the old chap), fell asleep at absolutely every opportunity! Our first night’s sleep was without any jet lag interference (oh, the difference a good night’s sleep makes!). And with this view greeting you as you stumble out of bed in the morning, every sleep deprived and travel exhausting moment is worth while………

What better 'welcome to Cayman' could you ask for? The fuzz in the pic is our insect screen.........

What better ‘welcome to Cayman’ could you ask for?
The fuzz in the pic is our insect screen………

Our sun rise morning beach stroll…


sunrise2_Fotorsunrise1_FotorA Fantastic start to our Vay-Kay (gotta get with the americano lingo). Watch out world, here we come!


Missing In Action….holiday time!

Oh me, oh my! It’s been too long since i did my last post. I feel like a naughty child who hasn’t done their homework (No, the dog didn’t eat it)! I’ve been totally consumed in organising my little family for our intrepid adventures across the pond to the incredibly beautiful Cayman islands. And since arriving, i’ve just not had the enthusiasm to do, well, much really (hey, what are holidays for?)!¬†I’m planning on writing a more detailed travel post, as I’ve got so much to say but just too tired to get into the nitty gritty now.

As any traveller knows, the lead up to your holiday requires a fair bit of ground work and preparation, with a small toddely woddely in tow that seems to triple. how? They’re so small, surely they don’t need that much stuff? Gone be the days of any ‘capsual’ wardrobe for me and travelling light. It drives me potty now when i see articles in ‘womens’ magazines preaching about how you ‘only need a few staple items’ to get through a holiday (& is it me, or do they always pack white? White + holiday + small infant = disaster in my books!) Having said that, i do pretty well in packing the ‘essentials’ and we will all use 9/10 things bought away with us. & I’ve got some nifty tips………

Packing light?! More like movin' town!

Packing light?! More like movin’ town!

My secret...vacuum space saving bags

My secret…vacuum space saving bags

So my secret to saving on space and protecting clothes against any liquid spillages/ bags getting caught in tropical downpours is space saving vacuum bags. They fantastic! & they’re an absolute bargain… from ye old ‘pound shop’!

One thing that really annoys me when you’re planning your trip at this time of the year in from the UK (autumn) you really struggle to find holiday essentials readily available or much of a selection from either the high street or online. You seem to have to search the far reaching corners on the internet for any reasonable deals. & i Found one i’ll share with you… Suncream. I love Nivea, so when looking at a leading high street ‘pharmacy’ (not shoes, but B***s!) one bottle cost ¬£14.99- so special offers, no BOGOF’s. Shock! But buying direct through Nivea, i got 3 bottles of the suncream and a bottle of aftersun for ¬£20 (& free delivery)!!! SAY WHAT?!!!! Now that is a bargain in my books!

opening my nivea treats- what a cute package!

opening my nivea treats- what a cute package!

WOW! all that for £20?!!!

WOW! all that for £20?!!!

And a cute snap form Miami Airport (don’t get me started on the whole immigration/ customs/ transit situation at that airport! thats a whole rant post in itself there..)



My little Bear with ‘Harley’ and ‘larry’. Yup that’s right, we name his stuff. Harley the harlequin ladybird trunky and larry that ladybird backpack!

Right, off now….some lovely sunny posts to follow, make sure you keep checking back in!!

Sending y’all some sun!