I'm brand new here and your thread just caught my eye. It's been very interesting! I've been going through a sort of similar phase with my son, my 2nd child. He is now 6,5 years old and indeed tested PG. Life with these kids sure is no picknick and I had forgotten how puzzling his infancy was! There are a lot of similarities to my son in this entire thread, which I'm not sure are all related to the problem. He somehow wasn't programmed to sleep and nursing him was soo complicated, to say the least. We had the refusal thing and being extremely distracted, but I also had a practical breastfeeding issue during that time which apperantly made it hard for him to nurse, maybe you recognise something like this from your past weeks? It's long, sorry!
He was awake for about 8 hours straight at 2 weeks and just wouldn't sleep during the day. Extremely alert from first moment on, lifting head up to look on his first day, smiling on 28th day and never stopped seeking and enjoying contact. At about 3 months he too began to refuse to drink, or he would just nurse for about a minute and stop, often after some choking noises! Then smile at me, giggle, look around and refuse to continue. Lots of arching his back away from me too, like planking all the way back. (me too, I'd love to know more about any link with giftedness??) All the interaction attempts were sweet, but I knew I'd be sitting there again in no time for another non-feed so I felt like putting a burbcloth over that smiley face so he could'nt see me and would drink on. Didn't help, only more fun.
This resulted in nursing again on his request within 2 hours, for less than a minute again. At the same time he started crying more during the day, getting more cramps and basicly acting like a very tired baby. But when I put him down to sleep he could scream for hours if I would have let him.
I was getting extremely tired myself and tried everything, sought help, tried to lengthen the time in between, but no one had heard of this.
I soon learned part of the problem was that I had too much milk, that started coming out with extreme power after some suckling. He basicly choked on the flood and stopped, resulting in an even much fuller breast the next feeding etc. And when he had stopped the worst hunger was over, so then the world was so much more interesting than food.
Would it be possible that after you have nursed a couple of times at night and much less often in the day, your breasts get fuller during the day, maybe causing the chocking noises when your reflex goes on? If it has been uncomfortable for him, that may cause the refusal. (They say that gifted babies give up quickly, when they see they have no success. Like when grabbing at something, they'll stop trying after a few attemps if their hand can't reach it, while other babies will keep trying)
For my son, it helped a bit when I let the first milk go in the sink until most of the pressure was off. This also helped with the tummy cramps and lenght between feeds, that were worsened because he only drank the sweeter first milk and not the fatter last milk. He just never got to that part.
At 5,5 months I taught him to sleep with the book from DR. Estivill, btw. Made all the difference! Turned out he became a much happier baby that actually loved to sleep and drink.
This somehow passed and then the next weird thing started, as it always will, with babies. In my experience, nothing will ever go by the book and provided you take good care of yourself and get help from friends and family, that's what makes it interesting and fun. It sure sounds like you are doing a great job. And gifted or not, I hope you will enjoy your little boy immensely.
All the best, M.