Sunday, May 06, 2007

Tessa's First Mouthpiece

Technically this thing is called an obturator but basically it is a retainer just like you get after braces. The only difference is that the impressions on the top of this one are of Tessa's nasal passages. The bottom of it is hard like a palate and the top is rubbery. We get it wet and spray it with extra strength Fixadent (for dentures) and then pop it right in.

The first day we had it was a very tough day. Tessa had it in maybe three hours and we took it out because it looked as though she was unable to breathe. We HATED it. The next day we brought it to our lactation consultant and she said it fit fine and it actually had a higher arch thansome other ones she had seen... not the news we wanted to hear. She said again this will be one of the hardest things you will ever do. It was physically draining for Tessa to breathe with this thing in. Her abdomen was going in and out, her neck muscles were getting quite the work out, and she just looked like she was in major distress. She would try to breathe and be so exhausted that she would just fall asleep without eating. It's incredibly emotionally draining to watch your child fight to breathe for hours on end just hoping she figures out how to move her tongue out of the way so she can breathe through her nose.

Day two with it we managed to give it to her for 5 hours and then gave her a break. Today, Sunday has been our longest day with her having it in for 6 hours...praise the Lord it gets easier (the dentist WAS right...imagine that!)

The next day Dad had a mission to find a way to help make her breathe easier. I went to BabiesRUS and bought every package of newborn pacifiers they had (it's amazing how money doesn't matter when it comes to helping out your baby!) I was going to "jimmy rig" one that would fit her mouth. Just like the Dyson vacuum cleaner, I also had many prototypes until I came across one that would fit, sort of.

This is my first prototype

This is my second prototype.

Here is a video of Tessa feeding with the obturator in after maybe the fourth day of practice.


cristina said...

its so good to hear that tessa is getting a little more comfortable with the obturator...
i think about her everynight i put my retainer on and hope she is doing well with hers :)
she is such a trooper!

Sarah said...

yay for getting used to obturators.