Today I’m linking up with one of my #MHBlogs group members Bereaved and Blessed and her “Time Warp Tuesdays” series. This week’s prompt is DECISIONS.
We make them every day, for ourselves and often for loved ones, such as our children, elderly parents, employees, students, etc. Some decisions come more easily than others. Today I’ve chosen a post from my archives about a time I had to make a decision: Should I Take the Baby to BlogHer ’11?!? Today I talk about my choice and how it affected my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter Ellie.
Almost 2 years ago, in July of 2011 my daughter Ellie was just over 17 months old. She was still a nursling. Our breastfeeding journey actually began well before her birth. You see my first-born Ronin never directly breastfed. I never knew how important breastfeeding would be to me until I couldn’t make it work with him. And the result was that I exclusively pumped for him for 13 months.
To this day, I still do not know how I managed that incredible feat. Many thanks go to my husband John for his support, and to my sister-in-law Rachel for giving me all of her frozen breastmilk–liquid gold–to give to Ronin, as I struggled to pump enough for my child.
When I became pregnant with Ellie, I knew immediately that I must change hospitals. The hospital I chose was designated “baby-friendly” with incredible breastfeeding support. My entire goal was to breastfeed my 2nd child as long as we mutually decided (mother and child.)
So in July of 2011, when I was faced with the decision whether or not to bring my 17-month-old daughter on a business trip to BlogHer Conference, I was anxious. She wasn’t ready to wean, and neither was I. And I was afraid that four nights away would be detrimental.
But I CRAVED a break. I needed it so much. In 17 months I hadn’t been away from my children, and I knew the trip would be great self care, as well as an opportunity for networking and professional development.
So I made the decision, and hopped a flight from Seattle to San Diego without my nursling daughter. I suffered from engorged breasts while gone, but had such a great experience hanging with my roomie Kerri @_themaven, and meeting women like Eileen @momcentralchat, Jenna @Frelle, Robin @FarewellStrangr, Lizz @lizz_porter, Tracy @chimomwriter, Katherine @postpartumprog and on and on and on. And while I did learn a TON about blogging, the connections and friendships I made have been so important to me. And the time away, really was wonderful self care.
My poor husband suffered a couple of nights of screaming from our dear daughter who missed mommy and mommy’s milk, but she did get used to me being gone, and had some great bonding time with her Grandma and Daddy.
And in the end, in seconds after my return she asked to nurse and went right back to our usual routine. In fact, I continued to breastfeed Ellie and took 2 more trips away from her during the past 2 years without breaking our nursing streak.
And just last weekend, when I traveled cross-country to Washington DC for The Overnight, my new goal became weaning. Yes, I am still nursing/now weaning my 3-year-4-month old daughter. Of call that a breastfeeding success.
Looking back at my decision to attend BlogHer alone, I kind of laugh at myself for being so stressed out about it. Hindsight in motherhood in more than 20/20, isn’t it? We make so many of these types of choices as parents, and so often feel like we’d be a bad moms for choosing to take care of ourselves.
I contend that often times taking care of you is exactly the thing that makes you a better mother.
And as for me, breastfeeding a toddler, then pre-schooler has been full of so many joys for both of us. Its been healthy for her in many ways. Our attachment is very strong. But so is her confidence and independence. I’ve always had an extra source of comfort and love to give her. Great nourishment when healthy, and lots of immunities and antibodies when sick. And even though it was a difficult start and there were certainly challenges, I wouldn’t change it for the world. And I know neither would she.
Now, I do know I’d have been sad if she HAD weaned after that trip to BlogHer. Very sad indeed, but it was a risk I needed to take at the time for my own sanity. This mama needs a charge every now and then, and that’s A-OK.
This year, when I *hopefully* attend BlogHer ’13 in Chicago, I won’t grapple with a such a difficult decision. Thank goodness!
So, who do I get to meet at this year’s BlogHer!?! Will I see you there?! 🙂