I was talking to a neighbor of mine about my nursing problems. She said she had the same problems with her son, who is also 4 like the Kid. But she didn't know why until she brought him to the dentist at 3 years old. She ended up quiting nursing at 6 weeks because the pain was too much for her. It turned out the dentist found that he had a short frenulum...also called a tongue tie.
I told Hubby about it and he remembered that one of his best friend's kid had that AND had it clipped. And another friend of mine said her son has a slight one, but not enough to be clipped. I never heard of that before and now in 2 days I knew of 3 kids that had it, so I started to do a little research online. It turns out that we have MOST of the signs of a short frenulum; pain throughout the nursing session, the frenulum (the little piece of skin under your tongue that holds it down) is really close to the tip, there is a small indent in the tip of his tongue, a white line across my nipple from where he was trying to nurse, but actually biting...the list goes on and on.
I knew from day one that something didn't feel right...but I, thinking I am an "expert" breast feeder and breast fed the Kid for 19 1/2 months, figured we could work through it and he'd learn how to latch better. Well, it wasn't the poor baby's fault, or mine. He couldn't get his poor little tongue over those bottom gums to nurse correctly so he really was just biting me.
I've been pumping around the clock to keep my supply up and to let the girls heal and to give him my milk and not have to supplement so much, so hopefully after our appointment at the ENT (Ears/Nose/Throat) doctor today the frenulum will be clipped (they do it right in the office for babies) and we can start re-learning how to nurse together.
I have been so heart broken thinking that I wouldn't be able to nurse my baby for the first year of his life. I was not enjoying leaving the room and sitting attached to a pump for 20 minutes at a time every 3-4 hours. I enjoyed nursing so much with the Kid and I didn't want to 'short change' the Baby. Plus...the economy being the way it is, I was just cringing at the thought of having to buy formula for the next year. Breast feeding is an unbelievable savings.
I guess the moral of my story is...even if you think you know what you are doing. Don't be too proud to ask for a little help. If I had gotten a little more help and actually told the lactation consultant at the hospital I thought something wasn't right instead of telling her about my over 19 months experience and that we'd work through it, this may have been taken care of in the hospital and I could have saved a lot of tears.