The first night away

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.


  1. Oh, I’m sure he did. Your trip sounds bittersweet. When your heart is elsewhere, the best colleagues and beer and locations are tainted. Glad you are back home safe and sound.

    1. I think I have just been having a challenging time emotionally anyway and getting used to maintaining all the different elements of my life and personality are very hard. I think I will need a few more trips away before it becomes the norm for me and I can relax a bit.

  2. That first night away must have been a daunting prospect indeed. It was a shame that you didn’t sleep any better, and the upset from eating something might well have been the accumulated stress. But everyone survived, and nothing terrible happened. So, it was positive in many ways.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. It had to be done sooner or later and there will be more trips. I am just glad I don’t have to travel as frequently as some of my colleagues.

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