I have to respond bc my babies were born at a similar gestational age-- 30 w 5 d, and Aquila's story left such an impression on me, so I hope my experience can help you in some way. My guys were 3#2 and 3#5 at birth. They spent 6 weeks in the NICU. One came home after 42 days (6 wks exactly) and the other at 45 days. They were on cpap for a day, nasal cannula for a day, and then breathing room air. They were in isolettes for 3 weeks, and open cribs for 3 weeks. They could start eating orally at around 34 weeks gestational age, and waiting for them to be able to eat with no apneas, bradys or desats was excruciatingly long. I'm telling you this so that your expectations might be realistic based on my experience. I hope, hope, hope that your little girl will be robust and strong to come home sooner than mine did!
I'm so glad your milk is starting to appear! For me, it took FIVE DAYS to get anything. Prior to that I sort of made the flanges wet when I pumped, but that's all. Pretty pathetic. The good thing is that as young as the boys were, they couldn't eat at this point anyway! They had to get nutrition thru an umbilical IV line. Also, the baby will eat so little at the beginning, like 3, 6, or 12 cc's per feeding, that even if you only get a tiny bit of milk per session, it's ok! You have plenty of time to build up all the milk you need, and a freezer stash. I have a bucket full of frozen milk in the freezer, mostly from all the time in the nicu when I could pump more than the boys could eat. (Now they eat more, of course, so I don't add to the freezer stash too often.) So, make room in your freezer! As you of course know, your milk is the best thing you can give your baby at this time. Your milk is more calorie dense than it would be if she was born at term, because your body knows she was born early, so your boobs will compensate with richer milk.
Other things. My nicu gave me a lovey doll for each baby that I would tuck in my shirt and then leave in their isolettes with them for them to have my smell. And I kangaroo'd them every chance I got. I hope you will be able to do the same.
Simply put, it is devastating to be separated from your baby. I went sort of crazy like Claire in Lost while they were in the nicu - I got a comfort animal that I have and would wrap it up and cradle it like a baby and cry. Ugh. Just an awful feeling. It's so horrible to have to pump and not be able to be with her. A pump is such a poor substitute for a baby when you're separated.
I don't have any other kids, so I don't have any words of wisdom on that front. I don't know what I would have done if I did. I was at the nicu for 7-12 hours per day as it was.
Oh, and people do always say "take time for yourself" and all that bs. I'm like Hell, No, I'm spending time with my babies, and if I'm not with them, I'm doing something for the benefit of the babies. I ate, slept, showered and NICU'd. That's it. So it's normal to not indulge in many things for yourself.
Best of luck to you and Willow, and I hope to hear more updates!
Mama to twin boys born at 30 weeks. 5/21/10.