Thank you all for your comments, suggestions and support on my last blog post. It has been a real eye opener to read and hear about others who have been through the same thing as I have when it comes to breastfeeding and kudos to those who go through it and persevere! It really isn't easy! After having a visit from a lactation consultant who observed that Cohen has a tendency to be a lazy sucker on the boob and hard to latch, I tried a few times independently (with mixed results) before deciding that breastfeeding isn't for me. What should have been an enjoyable bonding time between my son and I was turning into a time of anxiety (me) and impatience and stress (him) so I have decided to continue exclusively pumping and bottle feeding expressed breast milk to him with the occasional bottle of formula thrown in as a top up (rather than waste precious breast milk if he is still fussy after guzzling down 60-100ml of breast milk, I give him 50ml of formula and that way if he only drinks 10ml or decides he's not hungry after all than I am not wasting the good stuff). This is working really well for me and I only have to express three times a day and not at all during the night in order to get enough to last us through. He has gained 400gms in 9 days so clearly I am doing something right! He is a little piglet and I am finding that I am still bonding brilliantly with him regardless of the fact that I am bottle feeding as opposed to having him on the boob - we are still snuggled together and I talk to him and he is happy and content which is important to me. I know that some people who read this blog may frown on my approach but it's working for me and we're both so much happier.
As for everything else, we are learning the art of swaddling and boy what a difference it has made to his sleep pattern through the night! I initially threw the idea out the window as he would scream having his hands tied down but I have since discovered that he is more than happy once he is swaddled and swaddled up nice and snug so he can't escape and I am now getting 4 hour sleep stretches through the night! Yay! It has also helped to actually get out of the house and go for walks with the buggy and get some fresh air.
So all in all, we are doing brilliantly and I am such a proud mumma!
And just because I can't help myself, here is another picture of Cohen - he is already starting to look more like a little boy than a baby!