So Monday morning Cohen and I headed into the hospital to see the LC and collect the breast pump. I have been taking medication, and since Monday I have been trying to pump every 2 - 3 hours. Which for some of this week has been very difficult to manage time for, with Cohen getting over a sniffle and cough. Nonetheless I have been able to do it with Cohen's new found ability to do the "ta for mummy game". If Cohen is playing whilst I am pumping I will call out to him "ta for mummy", whatever he is playing with he will walk over to me and give it to me. If I say "another one" he will go and get another one and give it to me. Even if I don't have my hand out waiting for the item, he grabs my free hand and puts it in my hand......ohhhh it's so cute.
So the pumping is meant to be stimulating my breasts regularly enough during the day to encourage further milk production. I haven't been able to express any milk to save and offer Cohen, but I can feel the change in breasts and can tell that things are slowly happening with milk production. This morning in fact I woke up and I felt that little bit heavier in the breasts. When Cohen woke this morning and the first thing I did was go to his room and sit down in our feeding chair and he latched on straight away. He stayed latched on for at least 15 mins. I could tell with the way he was sucking that he must be getting some more substantial volume of milk then what he has been getting up until now. I could feel the strength of his suck changed while he was attached and on a few occasions I heard the sweet, sweet sound of those little gulps that tell you that they are getting something to swallow.......ahhh bliss.
Up until this mornings efforts Cohen has been happy to latch on most days up to 3 times a day with at least one of these times being for about 15 mins. I am fairly certain that he has been getting some milk at these sessions, but it would have only been very little snacky ones. I think it has also been providing him comfort regardless of getting milk until now, but at least it has been giving my breast stimulation which has resulted in today's efforts. Oh and I must add that after Cohen latching on first thing this morning I tried pumping for a while and was finally able to express a small amount into the bottle. With the pumping I am not expecting it to turn into me being able to express quantities of milk. When Cohen was originally breastfeeding full time I struggled to express 30 - 40 mls most of the time. So at the moment I am looking at the pumping as stimulation for my breasts, really at the end of the day the most efficient extractor of milk from a breast is a baby who is naturally design for the job not a machine (or at least in my case).
So that's where we are at, at the moment with our re lactation efforts. It is an up and down journey some days he is super keen other days he isn't as keen as the day beforehand. But overall every day we are having our moments and starting to establish a routine of sorts. In the morning I offer him boob even before changing his night nappy. Then after he has had his time at the boob I change him and then offer him his bottle which is still being hidden up my top with the teat against my boob and nipple (if that makes sense to you all). He has a bottle mid morning and this is our most challenging one of the day and I have not been able to get him to show any interest in the boob before or after this bottle, so I am not pushing it as I can't upset him on this re lactation journey. When Cohen has an afternoon nap often he will wake after 30 mins still exhausted and crying, regardless of him being that way or not I offer him boob at this time. For at least a week, nearly two weeks now he will have time after his nap at the boob. Nine times out of ten I will lay down with him during this one as he is often unhappy, and he will fall back to sleep at the boob for the rest of this afternoon sleep. After dinner and before bed I have been trying to offer him boob again before his evening bottle, and some nights he is keen for a little time at the boob maybe 5 mins or so and sometimes he is not. Also whilst he has been unwell from his sniffles and cough if he has woken early in the evening I take him from his cot to our bed and he has latched on during cuddles to settle him back down to be returned to his cot.
So overall things are going fairly well, I don't know where this journey is going to take us with the re lactating or how long it will last. If I look at things realistically with Cohen's interest in the boob at sometimes of the day and not at others, I think his return to the boob is going to end up being his supplement to the bottle. So all I can do is stay on our current path and allow him to direct where he wants things to go. I would love to think that he would drop the bottle all together and exclusively breastfeed again, but I can't push things with him. All of this re lactation started by his doing basically and I have just put in the effort to give him as much opportunity as possible. In the long run I don't know how long we are going to continue to have these moments that we have reclaimed together........but boy oh boy he is the luckiest bubba and I the luckiest mumma to have this time all over again with him. For the time being as long as he is showing interest and working at the boob I will be working to continue this journey for him. I guess at the end of the day this journey is open ended, I have no idea when or where it will end or end up.