[sorry, I had to.]
Pumping breast milk is kind of the worst. It hurts, it takes forever, and it hurts. And I'm really just building a stockpile right now... Ruthe was only eating about 4 oz. over 24-hours for two or three days. And they'll start her off really slow again, at about a half-teaspoon every couple hours to see how she tolerates it. So when I get seven-ish ounces in a day, I know that it's all going to sit in the freezer for weeks! It's not very motivating.
I am really glad that the hospital has been so great about storing the breast milk for me, and all the nurses have given me some good tips on getting the most milk for my effort. The dietician we met today even said that while Ruthe's in the PICU the hospital will provide breakfast and dinner for me because I'm pumping. Score!!
Ruthe will still be fed through a tube for quite a while. There are a handful of things that have to happen before we can try to breast- or bottle-feed. Her chest tube has to come out, along with the arterial line (I think), and she has to tolerate larger feedings well enough to have the energy to be able to suck long enough to fill her belly. And even after all of that, we may have to experiment with different bottles and holds because of her cleft palate. I have a feeling that getting her to eat well enough to go home will be the biggest hurdle we face. :/