I work for an international telecom company for 12 years already. For the first time in a long time, the company decided to hold a sales kick-off for the entire sales force of the company in Macao. To some its the most exciting experience to look forward to. In all honesty, I felt kindda torn about it because for the first time I will be apart from my little one.
I am an exclusive breastfeeding mom. I plan to be one until my son decides he is ready to wean himself. The dilemma I had was how to be able to prepare to be apart from my son for one week!
Since I knew that my trip was in July, beginning April I started to save about 2-3 oz of breast milk each day. I would store in bpa free plastics and freeze it in the freezer. I would label each plastic the date I expressed it and the volume.
I also began observing my baby’s schedule. His daily waking hour, his daily eating time, his sleeping schedule, his bathing and playing time, and his milk drinking periods. What was difficult to tell was how much milk he was drinking from me at night because it is straight from the breast. So I “guess-timated” because it was pretty hard to measure.
I also began to pray to prepare my baby and myself for that particular week. I prayed that my son would be okay, and he would be able to sustain a week without me, to have enough milk, and to be accident free. Most of all I prayed for me to be okay. Mind you… I have not been away from my baby for more than 6 hours for the entire 6 months of his existence! So this was a huge deal for me.
So before I left, I saved about 90oz of frozen milk packed in containers according to chronological order. I made a schedule for yaya Jovy to follow. I was also super grateful to my sister-in-law, Pria for staying in The province to oversee Joshua for me.
I took the night flight out to so I could stay as long as I could with my baby. I was able to breastfeed him and I left him in a happy playful mood. But that flight gave me butterflies in my tummy from all that anxiety of leaving. That night and every night away from home, I found it difficult to sleep because I was not used to sleeping by myself. Weird as it may sound but I felt something was missing so all my sleep were light and stressful.
The sad part about that week was the fact that I could not store and bring home the milk I would express while in Macao. So it was a “pump and dump” week. I felt so sad when my breast milk was being thrown away. I guess my only consolation was thIs thought “I’ll get to eat and drink all the food and drinks I have refrained from all these months! Hello spicy food, hello coffee and tea, and hello wine!”
I had to trust that while I am away, Joshua was in good hands, had enough milk and food, had a schedule of sleeping, eating, playing and bathing that my helpers were following. Most of all thank you Lord for technology whereby I see photos and communicate with my baby. I had to remind myself God is with us and He is the ultimate protector and provider of Joshua.
It was time to also let my hair down and have fun! It was also good for me to engage in learning and applying concepts at work. It was also an awesome experience to socialize with other team members from all over the globe.
At the end of that long week, all I wanted to do was go home to my family. After all our sessions, I took the next flight out which happens to be at night. When I got to Manila I had a 4 hour layover and took the first flight in the morning to General Santos. It was a tiring trip but was the best decision to travel that way because I could not wait to hug and snuggle my baby and husband. It was perfect timing too because my baby was down to his last milk stash.
I don’t think I can probably go on a trip away from my baby for a while. But it was a good learning experience for me. I learned that Separation Anxiety is not a myth. It is real!