Re: Dear Little Girl
The first thing that came to mind is why is she still in the NICU? What are her issues? And what is her current weight? Typically the NICU puts a time limit on nursing - and sometimes won't even let you try - because the baby expends too much energy and therefore calories trying and not getting enough nourishment. If she is too small, you might want to hold off on the aggressive attempts. What is/was your due date? My pediatrician, who was also my LC, gave me some advice that was so true for us. She told me that while she encouraged me to continue to try, to not get upset if my little one can't nurse before her gestational due date. My daughter latched for the first time on her due date. It wasn't perfect and I still needed to give her expressed milk for another month after that, but it was a major breakthrough. My son, who was born full term, also took 3 weeks to latch properly.
My advice is to get your baby well first. Get the NICU behind you and into the comfort of your own home and then begin your journey into breaking nipple confusion. Enjoy your little girl. Do as much kangaroo care as the hospital will allow you and let her lick your nipple. But don't get frustrated if she's not ready. Then when you get home pick a day and toss the bottles.
If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn