Going on a trip without my EN - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 07-12-2004, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We were originally going to take him with us but I'm pregnant now and very ill. I'm still going only because dh has to go for work and the tickets are already paid for by us. I've never left one of my kids this young (he's 20 months) or at all for that matter. I left him overnight to "test" it out and he was OK. Any tips for easing the transition? And should I pump while we're gone? We'll be gone for 6 days.

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#2 of 17 Old 07-13-2004, 12:23 PM
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Maybe I'm missing something, but why can't your nursling come along as planned? Is he in someone else's care right now, as you are ill?

Sorry you're sick.

Six days, imo is too long to leave a nursling as young as your son, if it isn't an emergency. I couldn't do it as I'd be worried about my nursling weaning when he would naturally need nursing still. JMO.
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#3 of 17 Old 07-13-2004, 12:53 PM
 
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In April, I went on a short trip and dd stayed with dh. I was supposed to be gone for 4 days and 3 nights, but ended up missing my flight and had to stay an extra night. She was fine, a bit upset with me by the time I came back (didn't want to talk to me on the phone after the first two nights away)
I didn't get engorged at all, and she kept on nursing just fine. However, she was 29 months... and I did start 'filling up' towards the end of my trip.

I don't think you can really 'prepare' him - if you talk about it ahead of time, you'll probably just upset him (I think it's too young to grasp a concept of something that will happen in the future) Just try to call him when you're gone, tell him you'll be back soon? Maybe put a little photo album for him with pictures of you, dh, family, etc. (I did that for dd because dh travels a good bit, so he used the same album when I was gone, going over the pictures, telling her mommy misses her and will be back soon, and how he was sad too that I was gone, etc.) I think that really helped her.

You have to do what you have to do. If you can't take him with you, then just relax and enjoy your time. Everyone needs time to themselves! (the irony is that when we do get that time, we spend half of it missing our babies and not knowing what to do with ourselves ;-) )

sorry you're ill, but try to enjoy it!!

let us know how it goes..
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#4 of 17 Old 07-13-2004, 01:06 PM
 
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oh, forgot to say.. if you have a pump, maybe take it with you. you might want to use it. In my case, I might have had to use it by night 5.

if you don't have one, maybe get a really cheap manual one (or actually, you can always hand express.. or have your dh 'help' you out )
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#5 of 17 Old 07-13-2004, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This has not been an easy decision by any means. I've never left my kids in 12 1/2 years of parenting but it's happening now and I'm trying to make the best of it. I really think he will be fine. I feel totally wiped out and think this vacation will really help me out emotionally and physically. He's so much older than my first three kids were when they weaned and if he weaned now I would be slightly sad but not really as it is not easy to nurse through a pregnancy.

Thanks for the advice.

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#6 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 11:29 AM
 
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I am uncomfortable with this decision, to leave a nursing 20 mo for a week. Unless it was an emergency.

Who is going to be watching your 5 children?
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#7 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My parents will have the children. I'm sorry that it makes you uncomfortable. Feel free to judge me if you like. I have lost much sleep and spent many hours in prayer over this. I wasn't asking for judgement just advice from mothers that are experienced in this type of thing.

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#8 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 04:38 PM
 
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well, as someone who actually KNOWS you and KNOWS your 20mo and KNOWS your situation and as someone who will be watching said 20mo

Here's my 2 cents...

Who gives a flip if some STRANGER who knows nothing about you, your son or your situation is "uncomfortable" with your decision. As long as YOU are comfortable and DH is comfortable and the caregiver is comfortable (she is!) then as Chi-Chi Mama suggested - ENJOY YOURSELF!!!

Enjoy and appreciate the time to yourself and alone with dh. It is much deserved and needed by both of you IMO. I believe it will really help energize you in this difficult part of your pregnancy and hopefully also strengthen your marriage.

YOU are an excellent, giving and self-sacrificing SAHM who does not take this trip lightly. I know how you have struggled and prayed over this decision. The benefits to you and your family outweigh the drawbacks.

And as someone who actually has advise for you b/c I have been in your situation in addition to knowing your situation...

Take along a hand pump for when/if you get engorged. Don't worry about actually pumping and storage.

I doubt there's much you can do to prepare J. When I left my dd3 at 16mo for 5 nights and 4 days, she was also too little to really understand but just as you're leaving your son, she was with people she knew and was comfortable with. I do think it would be better if he could be w/your parents and all his brothers and sisters, but I also know your mom so I know that's not an option.

Also, as you know, dd3 did NOT wean at 16mo after 5 days off of BF. She picked right up where we left off. Not saying that will happen for you, but it is possible.

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#9 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 04:41 PM
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ekblad+, I'm sorry you seem to feel defensive about this. I can't speak for DaryLLL but I agree with her discomfort upon reading your posts here.

I think it is unreasonable to expect support for this sort of abrupt absence and probable forced weaning of your baby when this is an Extended Nursing forum. I do now see the for a CLW forum.

Mother led weaning can be really upsetting to a baby. That is a fact. I'm sure we all hope your nursling is 'fine' as you think he will be. But fact is, many babies are not 'fine' and need a lot of extras if they are forced to go to zero nursing. Extra hugs, time with mom, mom just focused on them, etc. You won't be able to do any of that if you aren't there. I don't see how grandparents can meet that need either, given there are five other children to care for when you are absent.

I honestly do not understand the difference between caring and nursing your child when you are home and ill and in bed compared with being in a hotel room in bed with him. That is why I asked that in the first place (if someone else is currently caring for him as you are ill). I also do not understand being 'very ill' and traveling when that can be very hard on the body.

I am very concerned that if/when your nursling exhibits signs of a difficult, upsetting transition (because he is not able to nurse at all), you aren't there to reassure him. Any lactation consultant or btdt mom would advise to watch for signs of emotional hardship and be there to reassure the nursling. That can't happen and that is troublesome. I mean, it's not that you're dropping day nursing or a night feeding, this is going cold turkey for a 20 month old and I fully expect that at MDC in Extended Nursing, that would raise big red flags.

It seems you are determined to go on this trip. I do not think that is the only conclusion in this situation, this isn't a medical emergency. If it were, you could not fly away. But of course, it is your choice and your family. You also sound like you'd be relieved not to nurse through a pregnancy (I don't know if you've ever done this, it can be an okay thing, doesn't have to last through the whole pregnancy). I just wanted to bring some perspective into this as it is a distressing situation.

$.02
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#10 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Deleted because I have to stop caring what strangers think.

Amy - Blessed wife to Jesse (the best dad in the world), mother of 10 on earth plus 8 in heaven.   PROUD to be a Catholic! : winner.jpg familybed2.gifhomeschool.gif

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#11 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 06:04 PM
 
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Oh boy! I just got pulled out of hiding for this one.

Also knowing you and your family personally, J. is a very attached little boy, 5 days out of his 20 months is not going to change that FACT!

You and DH need this time together. After 5 kids and another on the way, this will be such a special and important time for the 2 of you. I think it's important for the kids to know you and DH are dedicating this time to your relationship.

As for advice, be optimistic and assured that J. is being well cared for by family and friends. You've made a hard decision so now it's time to enjoy yourselves.

Rachel
ps. I like the advice about a little photo album for him
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#12 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 06:14 PM
 
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complete at some of the responses

ekblad,

"I think it is unreasonable to expect support for this sort of abrupt absence and probable forced weaning of your baby when this is an Extended Nursing forum"

Well, I think is it totally reasonable to expect support here. Where else if not here??? And I really think describing this as 'probable forced weaning' is way too dramatic.

the OP stated she was sick and has spent a long time in turmoil over this decision. But I guess that doesn't get compassion from some people. And going on 13 years without ever being away from her kids is aparently not enough to convince you that she is dedicated to her children. She didn't ask to help her make a decision, she asked on how to help her son through this time.

ok, maybe I should stop... I'm not sure why this got me so upset. It just sounds like this mama had a hard enough time with her decision and is not something she is taking lightly.. Why not try to support / help her???

enjoy your time honey!
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#13 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 06:23 PM
 
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I just wanted to post this link from when I was deciding on whether to go on my trip in April.

Though most of the kids of the moms that responded were older than your ds, there was one mom that went away from her 25mnth old ds.

not sure if you'll find any of it useful, but the responses I got were a lot friendlier (so maybe this is the right forum to post this in after all )

and gosh, with everything going on in your life, I would have thought everyone here would be understanding...
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#14 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 06:32 PM
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That is wonderful you have such friends who feel you are a great mother, ekblad+ and the fact you haven't left your children except for overnight is great and obviously your choice entirely. Never said it wasn't.

But ITA with the smilie you included in your OP when you stated the number of days you would be absent.

I don't think anyone here is wishing sorrow upon you or your nursling. To act like this isn't a big deal, that there isn't a wealth of data supporting gentle, easily retractable decisons when it comes to nursing such a young baby is to be foolish about this.

Definitely put up the photos, call your children, make it fun. Pump for comfort. But let's be real here: There isn't the possibility of comforting your child upon a complete cessation of nursing for six days and that is a big deal. Why else post a smilie like this?

I know it is popular to say 'oh, don't worry, the child will be fine' but people like Dr. Sears, kellymom.com, Joseph Chilton Pierce, and other AP folks have spent many, many years trying to get it through the Western World's heads that kids are not 'fine' when we rush them toward milestones they are not ready for, or remove essential nutrition and comfort like nursing abruptly. Not saying that is your son.

No one knows for certain how your child or other children will react. I do not understand what mcimom meant when she said she wished your 20 month old could be with your parents and other siblings. Does this mean he is not going to be with his brothers and sisters during this time? That might be more than enough disruption for such a wee one.

I hope you have a great time and are able to heal. I never wished you any harm. It is fair to acknowledge that the six days your son will have without you could be difficult for him. Maybe all the photos and phonecalls and treats will make all the difference in the world. I hope so.
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#15 of 17 Old 07-14-2004, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Rachel, mcimom, and chi chi mama. I'm very torn about this decision but I do feel it's the best one at this time. I am so very ill right now and feel like I will do well to have some time to rest up. Ds3 is only nursing once, maybe twice/day.

I really thought I would get support here. I've seen women post about going on a business trip or a long weekend and have gotten lots of support. I've been a member of this community for many years and thought I could come here, of all places, and be understood.

I guess I was understood by a few people.

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#16 of 17 Old 07-15-2004, 01:50 AM
 
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Hugs to you mama. this is obviously a really hard thing for you to do. I agree with frequent phone calls, pumping for comfort, leaving pictures for your baby. I had to leave my 29 month old for 3 days, fretted that she might decide it was weaning time or be upset with me, but she did fine with my parents, they give lots of love and cuddles, and she went right back to nursing.
Take care of yourself and do what you think is right.
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#17 of 17 Old 07-15-2004, 05:14 AM
 
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just wanted to pop in and say that playdoh, ITA with you! But ONLY if I take what you say as a general statement. Yeah, of course not ideal to leave a nursling for 6 days. But who here hasn't acknowledged it?? But to come down on a mother who already had an agonizing time making a decision and just came here for advice on how to handle it better is quite shameful imho.

ok, i obviously need to go to bed.

peace to everyone, and lots of s
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