I desire only for compassion, love and grace toward every medical professional we have worked with. They were each trying their best for Caleb I hope and I do not want even a hint of bitterness, slander, or unforgiveness to be in my heart or words.
In 1936 a baby girl was born in Illinois. Baby thankfully was able to breastfeed because unfortunately for her three siblings mother’s milk was deemed to be “poisonous”.
In 1959 the baby girl from Illinois gave birth to her firstborn in Oklahoma, also a girl. She cried continuously and just wouldn’t sleep. Extreme sleep deprivation set in as baby girl began to starve and finally the doctor discovered that mom didn’t have the milk for baby girl to nurse. Since mother had issues with milk production (her 5 following children were put on formula straightaway) no further investigation was made to see if there were any other underlying factors contributing to the infant’s inability to thrive on the breast.
By the 1940s formula companies had successfully influenced pediatricians to recommend their products through direct advertising (3). The widespread decline in breastfeeding culminated with breastfeeding commonly being considered unclean in the 1950s and ’60s. In 1959 formula companies began providing formula to hospitals and pediatricians as part of their marketing strategy in order to gain endorsement. (2) After taking a hit from organized efforts to save breastfeeding (such as the Nestlé boycott of 1977), formula companies began directly advertising to the public in 1988. (2,3)
In 1986 the baby girl from Oklahoma had grown and gave birth to her firstborn in New Mexico. This baby girl was able to breastfeed, but she screamed…a LOT. Colic nearly drove her parents mad for 9 grueling months, the entirety of her breastfed experience. When babysat she would refuse to eat even if it were an entire day, screaming and starving herself until mom got back. With solids she would eat and then vomit over and over. This little one had tongue thrust and into adulthood she frequently swallowed water “down the wrong tube” resulting in coughing fits as a result. Worst of all her husband had to frantically do the Heimlich on her during her third trimester because her swallowing issues caused her to start choking on a piece of steak. Thankfully her baby had already flipped during this very scary experience and even more thankfully the Heimlich maneuver worked!
Between the 1980s and 2015 babies continued to be born with everything from needing formula supplementation to help with weight, to colic, to slow eating, gaps between the two top teeth as toddlers, food pickiness, recurring ear infections and ergo recurring antibiotics, ear tubes, speech therapy needs, anxiety, mouth breathing at night, and plenty of orthodontic needs.
Then in 2016 a baby boy was born. He had had jaundice and barely avoided supplementation even with feeding every 2 hours. He was sent home with an SNS by labor and delivery nurses because of the difficulty mom and baby were presenting with nursing. He also presented with low oxygen saturation which landed him in the PICU at just a week old. After 2 rounds of antibiotics this full-term baby was diagnosed with “apnea of prematurity”. He quickly fell asleep on the breast and off the breast his sleeping deteriorated to only a matter of minutes, if he didn’t wake right upon being put down. His mother was sent to wound care by a pediatrician for her torn up breast and was instructed to dress her wounds between feedings…except baby would not even sleep long enough for mom to eat or even go to the bathroom! Mom also had chronic plugged ducts and experienced mastitis twice. Mom did find that lying on her back helped with feedings. In addition to the physical trauma on one breast the other side for mom was always creased after feedings. Baby started having watery green stools in addition to periodic projectile vomiting. Extreme sleep deprivation in both mom and baby began to set in and mom began to become unemotional toward her own baby as he kept on crying and not sleeping. Mom resorted to rocking him for hours on the birth ball. Once asleep he would roll to his side scratching and sucking at the walls of his bassinet. Baby grew animalistic during skin to skin, scratching and grasping at the breast. Finally mom realized that what she was going through was not simply the trenches of new motherhood but rather a form of oppression. The multiple doctor visits already had yielded no help and so mom cried out to God for their deliverance. God helped mom figure out that her baby was cutting off his milk supply by pinching her nipple shut (chomping vs sucking) and to get him enough milk as well as to heal her physical trauma mom stopped nursing altogether at 6 weeks. When she started pumping mom barely produced anything and had to supplement in order to keep up with her baby’s hunger (mom’s low supply gave way to an ample supply with regular pumping). With a satiated tummy baby finally started sleeping but he would choke and audibly struggle to breathe all the while. He also “chirped” in his sleep and even snored and whistled sometimes. The bottle feeding honeymoon was short lived because of huge burps, prolonged screaming, excessive leaking milk out of his mouth and the continued projectile vomiting along with choking and gagging. Baby was diagnosed with a “high arched palate” and put in therapy for feeding. His oxygen, sleeping and feeding problems continued. At around 2 1/2 months mom did find the oxygen improved drastically if he was laid on his tummy, however because of SIDS risk a pediatrician advised she continue to lay him on his back even though his airways were struggling to remain open in this position. Baby was diagnosed with silent reflux which resulted in pediatricians advising for his mattress and changing table to be elevated on one side and he was put on omeprazole. He even received a referral for a medical sleeping wedge. Solids went from exciting to gagging, vomiting and aversions to the spoon or food.
After a series of swallow-study x-rays, upper gi x-rays, a “fluff-to-make-mom-feel-better- x-ray” and a birth x-ray mom really wanted to try to avoid anymore invasive diagnostics…not to mention all the antibiotics, rx caffeine and omeprazole (a proton pump inhibitor) baby had been put on. God had already protected Caleb by providentially securing his medical grade oxygen monitor which had alerted mom to his choking in his sleep (the post Caleb Gabriel tells how this started with winning an Instagram contest) and from being put under to have a camera stuck down his throat by healing his 02 issues and showing mom about his allergies before the doctors (see post Red Lips). Still, with the continued feeding problems mom knew something was there, something elusive, something that none of the doctors, therapists or the lactation consultant were catching. The doctors seemed to favor the theory of it all being neurological, they had even thought the oxygen saturation issues were too…and neurological problems means generational anesthesia and an MRI after the other invasive diagnostics have ruled things out, including being put under for scopes and then all the x-rays and meds and allergy testing we had already started. Mom knew that this path of medical testing was not working, it was not catching the problem, she knew in her heart it was just damaging her baby further.
In May 2017 I shared a photo of Caleb’s tongue thrust with prayer partners and asked them to pray for God to show me what was causing it. On May 26, 2017 a prayer partner for Caleb sent me the same image with Jeremiah 33:3 inscribed upon it. What a prophetic word!
God had placed that feeling in my heart that there was a root to the problems. Then I was sent that verse. In July I took these things to the mat and grappled in prayer, asking over and over “Lord please open my eyes and help me see, show me that which is hidden!” I could feel it, there was something there, something in the dark that I could not see!
After months of pediatric specialists, therapists, x-rays, medications and more God did tell me great and hidden things…things that I had not known, that my mother, grandmother and great grandmother had not known…almost a hundred years of not knowing. The suffering had come to a head with Caleb and it took an all-out fight in the spirit realm for the light to shine on that which was hidden, but God did shine the light, and now I see. I cannot thank or praise God enough for delivering Caleb from the damaging circus of medical diagnostics and medications, and for showing me what had wreaked so much oppression in our lives.
Finally on July 23, 2017 as I was searching for answers in a Facebook forum another mom mentioned I should look into ankyloglossia. I had already been told by the lactation consultant months prior that Caleb did not have ankyloglossia and Caleb’s feeding therapist had reiterated this stating that Caleb could stick out his tongue so I kind of shrugged it off but politely replied by saying thank you for the suggestion and that I would look into it. I didn’t really intend to make a point of remembering to research it since I felt like the medical professionals we had seen had already evaluated that possibility it for us…But then the Holy Spirit deeply convicted me. I would be lying if I did not keep my word and look into it, and in a timely manner! In order to not be guilty of dishonesty I did a quick Google search that very moment and what I found made my mouth drop – literally. A blog with the symptoms of ankyloglossia that felt like a book about what Caleb and I had gone through.
Turns out Caleb was both tongue tied and lip tied! After a few days of research I starting wondering about myself…so I decided to check my tongue in the mirror, I couldn’t believe it, I am also tongue and lip tied! Then I asked my mom to show me her tongue, she is tongue and lip tied! The truth is out, no more tongue tie torture for mothers and babies in my bloodline! With awe and amazement I thank God Who so graciously helped me see. I am so eternally thankful to the Holy Spirit Who kept me at it, He helped me wrestle that answer out of darkness into the Light! Goliath fell in the Name of the Lord God Almighty for David and he can fall for us too in that same Mighty and Holy Name.
To God be the eternal glory, honor and praise. Amen.
Stay tuned for my next post which shares how it was possible for Caleb’s ties to have been missed even though we frequently visited many pediatricians, pediatric specialists, therapists, and more.
To finally get the answer it took an act of staying true to my word to the other mom on Facebook even when I wasn’t motivated to make it a priority. This is interesting because when trying to get pregnant I sought a referral to the only local reproductive endocrinologist on the grounds that I wanted to find the root cause of my infertility. When I got to her office and realized she intended try to get me pregnant with hormone manipulation versus uncovering and fixing the root cause of my hormone imbalance I decided to stay the course (and I am forever thankful for her hard work, night and weekends literally for us!). However, this ended up being dishonesty because I had told the referring doctor that I wanted to find the root cause, even if it meant I had to leave the state to see an in-network provider. I was given a rare referral to an out of network provider. If I had decided to stay true to my word even when tempted not to and search out a doctor that would help me find the root then tongue tie may not have even manifested in my child because of its link to nutrition. Our journey with antibiotics etc. which resulted in Caleb’s gut issues certainly would have been very different because I now know that much of the same opportunistic overgrowth (which is caused by overuse of antibiotics and the poor nutrition provided by the standard american diet) was at the root of my infertility.