Last week I had to suddenly go out of town for work – in Uruguay. Sounds like a totally normal request on a moment’s notice, right?
I found out two days before I was supposed to leave on a plane so I had to act fast. Could I possibly bring my daughter? I asked my husband and he considered it… until we looked up how long the flight was – 15 HOURS! Nope! We almost went insane on a flight from L.A. to D.C. earlier in the year. He would stay with my daughter and, along with day care, he’d be fine. Could I bring my regular pump? Not at all! There aren’t any outlets on American Airline flights to Uruguay. Could I just miraculously ween my daughter in one day? Ummm? It’s impossible and I still like our night and morning breast feeding sessions.
So, I ran out to the local breast feeding shop and bought myself a manual pump. When I got to the store, I literally had 5 minutes to shop – I had to get to work and was working 14 hours the following day. So, I tried to pretend I was patient as the annoyingly calm and Zen shop keeper asked questions of the even more annoyingly calm and Zen pregnant ladies. Can a lady with milky boobs get some help up in here?!
When I finally told the lady, very politely, that I was in a rush, she said, “You shouldn’t stress. It affects your milk production.” Bitch, please! The only thing stressing me out right now is your annoying judgment. Please just accept my money so I can buy this manual breast pump and leave. Grrr… there’s nothing quite like someone telling you to not stress that makes you feel more stressed than ever.
With my manual pump in hand, and waaaaaaay too many videos of Moira to watch on my iPhone because I knew I’d miss her like crazy, I was off to Uruguay. And here’s my experience with Uruguay: I got to manually pump my breasts in a beautiful country. Did I see a lot of it? Nope! I was only there for about 48 hours and I was working and/or pumping milk the whole time. What was it like? The people were very kind, considering I was manually pumping my breasts in front of all of them. Seriously, I think there are only 3 million or so people in Uruguay and I’m pretty certain 60% of them personally saw me pump my boobies in front of their Uruguayan eyes.
I’m glad I did, though – once I got back, Moira had a little cold. I’m not totally sure if the breastfeeding helped with immunity, but it gave me peace of mind. Also, I still really love the bond it gives us. I’m sure there are some weird videos of me pumping my boobs on the airplane or in Montevideo and, if you see them, I should definitely put them in Moira’s baby book: “See! I may be a terrible Mom but look what my boobs did for you!”