Infertility, Homebirth, Tongue Tie {I Am Strong}

I am strong because after two years of marriage, my husband and I were diagnosed with infertility so severe we’re unlikely to ever conceive a child naturally.

I am strong because I was told we’d need in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive a child: a costly ($10,000-$15,000) procedure that is only successful in fewer than 30% of attempts.

I am strong because I found an IVF clinical trial thousands of miles away – an option that made treatment “affordable” for us.

I am strong because I gave myself injections of fertility drugs, all alone, thousands of miles from home.

I am strong because I only made one egg when most women make more, often up to 15.

I am strong because that one egg was fertilized via intracytoplasmic sperm injection, cultured in a petri dish for five days, and frozen for a month.

I am strong because that one egg beat the odds.

I am strong because the day I became pregnant, I was all alone in a big city in a cold, medical procedure room. We just didn’t have the money for my husband to travel to be with me.

I am strong because I gave birth at home, with my husband right by my side the entire time I labored.

I am strong because I was wrong. I thought the hardest thing I’d ever have to do was give birth, but it was breastfeeding that proved to be the biggest challenge.

I am strong because I breastfed my tongue-tied baby for six days, despite the excruciating pain it caused me.

I am strong because I asked for help over and over until someone finally believed my pain was not normal.

I am strong because I helped hold my six-day-old baby still while he had his tongue tie revised by laser.

I am strong because I kept breastfeeding, even though the pain didn’t go away.

I am strong because I continued to ask for help and found out I had vasospasms in my nipples.

I am strong because I take a pill every day to keep the pain away so I can breastfeed my baby.

I am strong because I am still exclusively breastfeeding my baby despite milk blisters and plugged ducts that have no signs of stopping. I also have no plans to stop any time soon.

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  • Megan

    oh wow, your breastfeeding experience sounds exactly like mine. Those vasospasms are so painful. My lactation consultant, OB and Pediatrician all had never heard of vasospasms so I basically had to diagnose and treat myself. Hot compresses after nursing and when going to bed helped tremendously. And the only hot compress that worked were those things that is like a bag of sand you put in the microwave!

  • Ashlee

    You are INCREDIBLE! Keep being the strong, amazing woman that you are and enjoy every moment with your precious baby!

  • Ashley

    I feel you sister! I have had the SAME exact breastfeeding experience with my son. I bite my tongue through almost every feeding session and put on my hat of “courage and strength” every time my son is hungry, out of my love for him. He has had 2 tongue clips and the pain is still relentless. I am going to see another specialist next week. Thank you for encouraging me just by your similar struggles!

  • Sharon

    Wow! I had a similar experience. I was told my son had a tongue tie but they said it wasn’t severe enough to be corrected. I was in excruciating pain also, but all they did was give me numbing cream that I was supposed to wash off before feeding my baby. The “numbing cream” burned like hell & didn’t even relieve the pain. I stopped using it but kept breastfeeding my baby until 2 months, then I switched to pumping which was also very painful but not AS bad. I also had dysphoria every time i pumped or breastfed; I’d feel nausea & just a bad feelung like dread in the pit of my stomach. I fed breast milk exclusively until 4 months, but pumping instead of BFing made my milk diminish (I already had a pretty low supply even on domperidone).I tried to reintroduce breastfeeding to assist in milk production, but by that point the baby didn’t want to wait for the slow milk flow. So I had to supplement with formula. It went from mainly breast milk to mainly formula by 6 months. At 7 months I stopped pumping because it still hurt & caused dysphoria but I was hardly producing anything, maybe 1/8th of an ounce after 30 minutes. It was hard & not fun, but I feel I tried my best & I’m glad my son was able to get at least some breast milk for the first 6 months & exclusive breast milk for the first 4 months. But you can only do what you can & your baby will be fine! 🙂

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