Well, today I had my first business trip since Aysia was born. In and out of Detroit for a 2 hour meeting.
I had to leave at 4am to catch a 6am flight. Which meant getting up at 3. Yikes! Now, we've had 7 days in a row of Aysia sleeping 7-8.5 hours straight, usually 8pm to 4am, and then a quick feeding, followed by another 2 hour sleep. However, last night?? Not so. I did the bedtime routine, and put her down at 8. Slept for a few mins, then cried. DH's turn. Few minutes, then cried. My turn - I nursed again. Slept a few minute, cried. DH - same. Now it's almost 10. So I settled in bed, put on the TV, and planted her on my boob. We alternated between nursing, watching TV, and sleeping in my arms until around 1am, and then I put her down. She slept til about 3:30. I didn't have time to nurse her and finish getting ready before my ride at 4, so DH fed her while I pumped (I hate that - much rather nurse, but it takes longer!).
So needless to say, it was a tiring night and busy morning! But my biggest stress was pumping and storing the milk while I traveled.
I am happy to say, that I have been able to pump twice, and I have a total of 14.5 oz! I have had to pump in the restroom at the Detroit airport, standing up in a stall. Not the best situation at all. Luckily the restrooms in Detroit are a lot nicer and cleaner than Newark! In fact, I got my biggest pump to date - 8 oz during the first pump. And I have to say, I'm proud. Quite an accomplishment, considering when I first started pumping I would be lucky to get 2 oz! And I even had the nerve to ask my client if they had a fridge I could use, so I could store the milk/icepack while we met. And I had to tell all the airport security I had breast milk and an ice pack to take through security. Newark gave me a little bit of a hard time - they pointed out there was no milk, just the gel pack, and I pointed out that I needed the frozen gel pack to keep the milk cold once I pumped it. We went back and forth a bit, but I won! So hopefully it will stay chilled until I get home around 7pm.
So the good thing is that I will hopefully not lose as much ground as far as milk as I thought, but the bad news is that by only pumping twice, I'm not helping my milk supply at all.
One thing that has really surprised me - pumping is much harder to do and limits you MUCH more than breastfeeding. I can feed Aysia in public with a nursing cover, pretty much anywhere. Nothing to lug around, nothing to wash. Very easy. But you can't pump in public, you need to be somewhere private, like a smelly restroom (I have a pumping bra that allows you to be hands-free, and it looks crazy, with these two big flanges sticking out of your chest!). You have to lug the pump with you. You have to be able to store the milk and keep it cold, and you have to wash the pump parts if you need to use it again before you return home. So much more complicated than breastfeeding. Luckily, at work I have an office, so I keep a second pump there, along with a small fridge, and all the supplies. But when traveling - what a pain!
I can easily see how it becomes too hard to keep up breastfeeding once back to work. My goal is 6 months, but I'll just do the best I can. I do have about 30 oz stored up in the freezer, plus another 40 or so in the fridge, but she's drinking more and more - probably around 24-30 oz a day. But as difficult as it is, I like feeling like I'm doing something good for her while I'm away at work. Helps with the guilt of being at work. A little.
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