Charlotte is now a week old. She is off the ventilator and off the morphine. The chest drain is gone, and the dressing comes off the surgery site soon. The only tubes attached are the tube down her throat (for feeding and keeping the oesophagus open) and a canula in her foot (for nutrient feeds in addition to milk).
Today I got to cuddle her and I held her while the nurse gave her 5ml of breast milk through the tube (see photo). This is the first milk she has ever had in her tummy, as my attempts at feeding on her first day actually went into her lungs. Apparently reflux is a common problem with repairs such as Charlotte's, but she kept it all down.
Much as I hate pacifiers/dummies, Charlotte has one to suck on when feeding so that she associates sucking with a full tummy. This should help the transition to breastfeeding in about 4 days when the tube comes out. The hospital has lent us an electric pump for expressing at home, which is great because the hand operated one just doesn't cut it for 5-6 milking sessions a day, especially at 3am!
I am getting through a lot of reading right now. Like one book every 2 days. I fear I will never have so much free time ever again, so I'm making the most of it!