Age: 15 3/4 months
I like: Waving, cats, kissing – but not on demand, pizza
Earlier this week I went away overnight for the first time on my own. The company I work for has locations all over the UK and Europe and in a few other locations from South Africa to Honduras so sometimes a bit of travel is required. Since I returned from maternity leave I have not had anything urgent to attend that I haven’t been able to turn around in a day. There was a conference in Brussels I really wanted to go to so Mr O and I decided it was time to bite the bullet and go for it.
I was very nervous about being away overnight. Little O still wakes up to be breastfed and on the odd occasion when I am out over bedtime he often just holds out until I come home and put him to bed. I was also a little bit excited because I have not slept in a bed all on my own all night for a very long time.
When I initially left I was wracked with guilt but I thought I was okay. By the time I landed in Brussels I was fighting back tears. I think my fears were somewhere between being terrified he’d think I had left him forever and that he would not even notice I was missing. Fortunately Brussels has lots of beer with which to distract yourself, I was travelling with three lovely colleagues and our hotel was very cool.
I suppose the question everyone wants to know the answer to is, how did everyone sleep?
Little O went to bed without any incident and then woke up three times. The first two he just wanted a cuddle. The third one he got a bit annoyed and complained for about 20 minutes but calmed down after he was offered a bottle of expressed milk.
Mr O told me he now understands what I mean when I say I am always listening out for a wake up and I only ever just doze. Try almost two years of it, mate.
I found it incredibly difficult to fall asleep and still woke up every two hours. I think I actually slept worse than I do at home most nights.
Of course being away from home has logistical challenges if you are breastfeeding. I pumped in the evening before we went out for dinner and again in the morning and then felt utterly defeated as I poured 15oz of milk down the drain. I have never done very much pumping but apparently that is a lot for a couple of 12 minute sessions (6 mins each side). I think I might basically be a bovine animal.
The conference was pretty good and things were all chugging along until our flight got delayed by an hour. I only got home at 10.30pm after a very long cab journey. By then my boobs were on the very edge of explosion. It was extremely uncomfortable. I managed to feed Little O (who was asleep but refusing to be put down) and still pump 5oz for the freezer.
Somewhere along the way in my travels I must have eaten something that wasn’t quite right as when I eventually got into bed I felt really ill and could not sleep. Then Little O woke up and was restless all the way through the night until I had to get up at 6am to go to work. I was utterly knackered yesterday. So while future overnight travels are now a little bit less daunting, I don’t think I will be volunteering to do on regular trips any time soon.
It wasn’t until yesterday evening that I actually got to see him properly and he was more excited than usual that I had come home from work. I think maybe he did miss me a little.