Tomorrow I leave on my first business trip in about 9 months. Junior is 7 months old. I am still breastfeeding first thing in the morning, after his lunchtime nap, at bedtime, and through the night (more on that another time). I plan to give up the afternoon feed this week given that from the week after next I'll be back at work full time.
Dropping feeds has been hard, my boobs have felt pretty buzzy and I've had several leaks. While this makes me feel happy about my breastfeeding success, it is hard to be experiencing it just when I have to give up. I don't want to give up, but continuing to feed just isn't compatible with my work life. I am away tomorrow night and won't be home until after bedtime on Tuesday. I am supposed to be away again on Thursday night. And in mid-March I will be away for a full week - leaving Sunday, coming back Saturday morning (going to Toronto, anyone want to meet up? Aurelia?). While I can pump through a 36-hour absence, I'm not sure I can do so through a week - won't he simply forget how to feed in that time?
I am not ready to stop breastfeeding, and I really wish I wasn't going back to work so that I could keep going that bit longer. When he settles in for a feed, particularly the afternoon one where he's a little bit sleepy from his nap, I feel like I can really do this magical, but utterly basic, thing I've always dreamed of.
That March trip is just over 4 weeks away, so I'm not deciding today what to do then. What I do have to do is deal with my sadness at leaving him at all. Although I've left him for an evening, I haven't left for longer than a few hours, and it feels very sad that for two nights in a row he won't have me there at bedtime. Or that I won't have him. Or both. There all the niggly issues associated with being away. I had to buy a portable pump and it turns out Medela has changed its attachments for this new pump so my existing kit doesn't fit it. I need to dig around to find my passport, my adaptors, portable hair dryer, etc.. I don't know if I'll be able to get the hotel to freeze my icepacks, or if Zurich airport will let me transport the milk I pump. It's all irritating, all that little bit stressful. Not to mention that I actually have to turn my brain on to a different channel and start to engage with my colleague again. We will see how I cope. But mostly I'm not stressed about all of that, I'm just sad about leaving my baby for the first, and very definitely not the last time.