Ariel (top) and Grace (bottom) before their upper lip revisions

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On the drive to Albany NY

On Wednesday we brought Ariel and Grace to Albany NY to see Dr. Kotlow for laser Frenectomy surgeries. They did so well for the 4 hour drive up. Grace got a little annoyed by the end but over all, they did fantastic the entire way up. They had their car DVD players all hooked up and it turned off at every bump in the road, which meant we never got through a single show we brought, but the girls never complained about that at all. They ate snacks and played with toys and watched their fragmented movies. Grace needed to be nursed a few times with me leaning over her carseat (I know, not the safest thing ever but it’s life and stopping on major high ways every time she wanted a little to eat was not an option. Grace hit a point whee she really wanted to be held and stopping was not an option so she ended up settling for my hand on her cheek and fell asleep for me that way.

We arrived in Albany an hour early and had some lunch at a little cafe in the plaza across the street from Kotlow’s office. The girls were thrilled to be out of their carseats and using their legs! They were DONE with being in the car (little did they know they still had anther 4 hour drive home to do).

We arrived at Dr. Kotlow’s office and were thrilled to find he had a nice little play area for the kids for a tiny waiting room. There was a stationary Merry-go-round, a pacman machine, a kids eye level fish tank built into the wall, a fun house mirror and no one there seemed to mind the kids just running back and forth and all around while we were waiting.

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Grace right after the surgery, nursing

Dr. Kotlow himself came to the waiting room and called us back to a little consultation room where he examined each of the girls, discussed some of what to expect and played us a video that fills in a lot of the details on laser frenectomy’s. Then it was time to roll! We found out during our consultation that Grace need both her lip and her tongue done. I was surprised she needed her tongue clipped because she does extend it out of the mouth some and it is not like the photos I’ve seen but he felt it was still tight enough that it should be done. So we consented, because I am not going back out there in 2yrs when she is having speech issues and we realize it should be clipped!

Grace went first and I think I went into shock from that experience. Ive never handed my baby over like that. Not in the hospital did she ever leave my sight. Not at the pediatrician office does she ever get handed over and go anywhere without me. Never. Close family members are the only people who get her without me right there with them. I felt sick to my stomach knowing she was down there, being held down and lasered, and crying. And then knowing Ariel would be next.

Grace was brought back and I think I just walked through a haze of motions then. I took her, the doctor told me he though she needed a diaper change. That just confused me but I went into diaper changing mode (she had peed but was fine) right there and noticed her gums bleeding. It really took me a minute to snap out of it and really get into reaction mode. Yeah, I don’t know why. I’m annoyed at myself for that one! Then I nursed her and calmed her and she fell asleep on me. While I was nursing Grace Ariel was taken by the doctor. I barely saw her go.

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Ariel being cuddled by Daddy right after surgery

I had a moment of panic when he took her because I didnt see him come and didn’t even get to say anything to her on her way out. Now it was Jason pacing the room and waiting and staring at his watch over and over. I caught site of the doctor at the desk minutes later and said to Jason Ariel was back and he zoomed out and got her and swept her into his arms, where she curled into him. She had certainly cried and had that quiver to her breathing but was not still actively crying. After a minute of resting into her daddy she showed us the little green dragon toy the doctor had given her.

Grace was still sleeping on me until the doctor came in and showed me how to pull her lip and tongue back each day. That was a very shocking and painful way for the girl to be woken up and she gave the doctor the worst glare a 9 month old can find, once she calmed down and stopped screaming. That broke my heart to have her woken that way, though, it was def necessary for me to see how I need to care for the wounds as they heal to keep them from reattaching in the healing process.

Grace's gums 1 day after procedure

Grace’s gums 1 day after procedure

Anyways, to make a long story short- We booked our butts out of there and began our long journey home. Our very very long journey home. The drive back to Southern NJ from Albany NY felt 3 times longer than our trip up there had been. The girls were not nearly as happy and were very tired of the car. On a positive note, they both napped for half the drive home but when they were up I had to get creative to keep them entertained and at times, just give up, and realize that they were done being happy.

Now it’s been a few days and the girls are still a little swollen and very sore. They are fine when they are eating and playing but when it’s time for me to apply the vit E oil to their mouths and separate the area to keep it from healing back together, they are very unhappy little campers. On top of that, Ariel is now down with a little upper respiratory something or other. So, a lot of this is why the blog has been a bit slow. Prior to the surgery I was obsessing about the surgery and since it we have been recovering and just dealing. I hope to get up some new posts very soon! Thank you for your patience while we delt with this family madness.

For More Information on Upper Lip Ties or on Dr. Kotlow’s office, CLICK HERE