Throughout the years, I have often heard people (with children) say that once you have a child, you will encounter a love for your child in a way that you could never imagine, nor thought possible. And as a result of this love you will do anything for your child. Over the past 6 months, I have slowly started to uncover the truth behind these words. Almost immediately, I fell victim to what is known as a parents love. My outlook on life, my priorities completely changed as I now have a son to provide for. My own flesh in blood who deserves the best that I can give.
Now, you never know what lengths you will go to when it comes to your child until you are faced with such a situation. On another note, I am a very modest individual, however, as many moms will tell you, modesty goes out the door when you have a child. I just assumed that was purely a reference to delivery, but have realized over the past 6 months, and most especially the past 48 hrs that this was indeed not so.
Several weeks ago, I was invited to join some great colleagues on a 2 day business trip. Knowing I had a baby, the invite was prefaced with ensuring I spoke to my husband to make sure we could make proper arrangements for the babe in my absence. After accepting the Invitation, my mind started spinning with all of the logistics that would be required to leave my almost 6 month old for 2 1/2 days. Some might wonder why this would be tricky…Four letters….FOOD. I am still breastfeeding exclusively. Many questions started running through my head. Do I have enough milk on hand to feed him for almost 3 days? Will I be able to pump at the clients’ office? Is there a fridge I can use to store milk while onsite with the client each day? Does the hotel have a fridge? If available, should i freeze the milk or simply refrigerate it (freezing was preferable, but there were many dependencies which would make this the wrong decision)? What are the rules about flying with breastmilk? Is it safe for the breastmilk to be placed in the x-ray scanner? What size cooler should I bring? OH and there was a short window between when our meeting ended and when our flight left which meant that it was in my best interest to be able to pack a carry-on or risk missing the flight if running behind forcing me to catch the next flight home which included 1 stop (not preferable when flying from Connecticut in January). With some help and coordination, and a few phone calls, I was able to find answers/resolutions to several of these questions. Luckily, I had anticipated the possibility of a business trip for a couple of months and had slowly been building up my frozen supply so I knew the most important need was met. I could certainly feed the little guy while I was gone and that supply would simply be replenished upon my return.
However, over the days leading up to the trip, I grew slightly anxious…ok, more than slightly. Aside from the fact that I was leaving my son for the first time EVER, I was also embarking on a very important trip where my #1 responsibility as a mother meant an added obstacle. This “obstacle”, was not even met with the batting of an eyelash, because I knew this was just one of my many duties as a mother…to provide for my son. BUT, if you were to tell me 10 years ago that one day I would be pumping in an airport, toting a pump around a clients office as if it were my purse, using a clients’ personal fridge in his cube to store that days’ milk (did I mention that I had never met him before…and he was a HIM ;), storing ice packs in hotel kitchen freezers, and having very candid conversations about my pumping related issues/escapades with all of my colleagues (male and female), I would have said YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND.
Each night I laughed myself to sleep thinking about where life has taken me and about how I wouldn’t trade a thing. I guess this is what it feels like to be a grown up;) All I have to say at this point is “BRING IT”!!