I'd love to say we're perhaps seeing a light at the end of the tunnel--I don't want to jinx anything, LOL, but honestly, I do have hope that before too long we'll be nursing "for real" and not having to use all these other contraptions to get enough calories into Zaden's little body.
Last night I fed Zaden at 8 pm, and we kept him awake until 10 pm. He was happy and alert, and then Charis and I gave him a bath, and he was mad and alert, ha! Then I fed him again at 10:00 and put him down after that feeding. He nursed much more slowly, but I was watching a Christy episode with Charis, so I didn't worry about it...took him about 45 minutes to drain the SNS. I was in bed by 11:30ish. We woke at 2:30. I pumped with the hand pump on the left side to get letdown, then tried nursing him on that side without the SNS. He did pretty well!! I let him go close to 20 minutes, taking him off once or twice to burp/wake him up, and he was swallowing pretty regularly--hence letting him go for awhile. Then on the other side he did well, and he only took about 1 ounce from the SNS before he quit on his own, seeming content. So I was very encouraged!!
I pumped in the kitchen while watching the Survivor season opener on my laptop. (Or at least the first half!) It was actually kind of fun! Got quite a bit pumped, too, since we had gone a little longer between those feedings. (I pumped after the 8 pm feeding but not after the 10 pm one, just wanting to get to bed as soon as possible. Still had to wash all the stuff, though--doh! Should have done that after the 8:00 feeding, and then I could have been in bed earlier!)
Went to bed around 4:30 and couldn't fall asleep until just after 5:00, but he didn't wake me until 7:30! I did the same thing with him as at the 2:30 feeding, but this time I only let him nurse on the left side closer to 12 minutes, as he wasn't swallowing quite as regularly. He was nice and awake, though--I can't blame sleepiness with that. He nursed on the right side and took 2 1/2 ounces with the SNS.
Anyway, I'm encouraged...I've been starting each nursing session today with just me, no SNS, and watching him carefully. He's definitely doing more sucking and swallowing than he did last week, though I don't think it's safe yet to NOT use the SNS. But, Lord willing, we'll continue to see improvement with his latch and ability to transfer milk. I'm praying that the SNS will soon be history!!