Thursday, July 29, 2010

Adventures in Breastfeeding: Long Road Trips

NOTE: All links are non-money earning links to places mentioned, just in case you want to learn more about them. ;0)

Very recently, my beloved family and I embarked on a very long road trip. When I say long, I don't meant 3 or 4 hours. Not even 5 or 6. I mean 13 hours! From our door to my in-law's door, one way. We were told it was possible in 9 hours, however that obviously was not with 2 young children and a baby on board. We had to stop for potty breaks, for food, and of course to feed and change the little. Problem was, we just couldn't seem to time our stops and get everyone taken care in one stop. No, no matter how hard we tried, we ended up stopping almost every hour for one reason or another. Needless to say, the trip there was an adventure in itself.

Once we reached the in-laws (and one day of rest), they had to show us the points of interest. Unfortunately, they live in Laughlin, Nevada and none of said points were near by. In fact, with the exception of several hotel casinos along the Colorado river/Nevada-Arizona border, nothing is in or near by Laughlin, Nevada. The first trip was to Oatman, Arizona on Route 66. The trip took us about an hour. No big deal. However, I didn't keep track of the time and ended up with a hungry baby when we were back on the road headed towards our next destination. With no place to pull over for a full feeding, I hopped into the seat next to her and (upon surprising suggestion of my MIL) performed what my BFF lovingly refers to as "Tossing A Tit" which, in front of my ILs, was awkward in more ways than one. For obvious reasons, this feeding was cut short. The day included one more stop at Lake Havasu to see the London Bridge, several more hours on the road, more rushed partial feedings and one fussy baby.

I decided for my own sanity (and a potentially shorter road trip home) I'd break down and purchase a bottle and some formula. (I know.... eeew!)

We decided to road test our formula feeding theory on our 2nd (and even longer) day of "site seeing." This time we were on the road for 2 plus hours to Las Vegas, Nevada to see Circus Circus and sneak a quick visit with my beloved grandmother so she could see her great-grandkiddos. Trip started off well enough. Fed with out stopping. However, by the time she needed to fee again, I was in PAIN! Ya, didn't totally think that through.

(I didn't take pics of Las Vegas. *hand-forhead* So here's a cool pic of the fountain in front of the London Bridge)

Let me preface this next part by saying, I am ALL for NIP (nursing in public). I support it 100%... out in the open... full boobage... all ok by me and I'll fight for a woman's right to do so. That been said, I am a huge chicken!!! LOL

I was so gun boob shy, I found it hard to just whip it out, or even sneak it out to feed her. I ended up sitting on a bench sandwiched between the stroller and my DH who went with me upon my request for protection, just in case someone confronted me about it. Ya, I'm a chicken. He was great though. He looked like he was hoping someone would say something so he could chew someone out. In fact, he was so awesome about it, he snapped at his own mother when she suggested we could maybe find a bathroom or something. "No, MOTHER! She isn't going to feed my baby in the BATHROOM!! Do you eat there?!?!?" LOL I love him. hehehehe Although, I think she was thinking of how shy I was being about it, not how others would react. She doesn't care what others think. LOL!

But I digress. Between my personal hang ups and the formula feedings, I was not only in serious pain, I exploded. Literally. Luckily, I was wearing a black shirt, it was dark out and we were headed back to their house.

The formula only plan had back fired in more ways than one. Besides leaving me in a bad situation, someone had failed to explain it little, she wasn't supposed to be hungry every 2 hours with formula. So really, it didn't save us much time and it only added to the problems. However, we prepped for the trip home with bottle and formula at the ready. We left the other 2 kiddos to stay with the in-laws for a 3 week summer vacation from the baby (something I am struggling to enjoy, but will grow accustom to just in time to get them back, I'm sure.) and headed out.

We tried to be smart about it. We were adults in control of our needs (for the most part), so we did our best to care off all 3 of our needs at each stop. At first, I did feed her formula on the road to cut back on stops, but the pain put a quick end to it and I was back to feeding from the tap for both our sakes. It was then that it dawned on me what I should have done all along. I should have brought my pump. I could have pumped on the road, fed by bottle on the road and changed her when we stopped to pee. That would have solved all our problems! DUH!! Hindsight is definitely 20-20. *eye roll* We reached home 11 hours later. We shaved 2 hours off our time. With the pump, we might have cut off another hour. Who knows? However, I hope we don't repeat that trip to test that theory any time soon.

Luckily, the in-laws are bring them back. ;0)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

You know you're a sleep deprived mama when...

You bring a new baby home and you think, "I can do this. I've done this before. No big." They sleep a lot and you sleep when they do. When you are both awake, you breastfeed, change and you both pass back out. Right?


You intend to sleep. However, LIFE demands your attention. This kid wants a snack. That one asks if they can paint. The dishes need to get done because the kids are using paper plates left over from a party 2 years ago to put their snack on and the guilt of how "not green" that is, gets you and you're fighting the baby blues. Oh! And then there's that load of diapers you need to do (so you don't use a disposable... see same guilt as listed above) and the small fact that your son told you this morning he is out of clean underwear, nags at you as well. Soooo, you throw in the dishes, a quick load of diapers (with a few pairs of unders for the boy) after slicing some apples, pouring some juice and popping in a movie so they are entertained for at least 15 minutes and you crawl back to bed. Rest is in sight.

Wrong again! This is when your youngest will take her cue and wake up. Why? Her hiney exploded! Not only did it soak through on to her clothes, but her bedding as well. Fun! So, after quickly treating the bedding, her outfit and misc. items from your own sadly neglected mountain of laundry and positioning them next in line for the washer, you dress the bed and make the kid. Things start to fuzz together. Coffee becomes a sweet day dream. The question in your mind is now, do you sleep or do you push through it and caffeinate yourself. Hrmmm...

No matter your decision, you eventually lose the battle and become sleep deprived. You may not even realized you've become sleep deprived as it tends to sneak up on you with out you even knowing it. However, there are signs that you have indeed fell victim to this terrible disease. I am here for you mama! Just in case you miss said signs, I have decided to list them for you. I don't know them all, but as I learn of them, I will post them here. If you learn of some I have missed, please do add them. It's for the greater good of all mama kind.

What will we do with all our new found wealth of knowledge? Commiserate? Use it to guilt our significant others into helping out more so we can get so much needed sleep? Or just get a really good laugh out of it? Who knows. Maybe all 3. Wouldn't that be nice?

Hey. One can dream..... when they sleep. Ya, but who gets to do that? *eye roll*

You know you're a sleep deprived mama when...

* You go to change your breast pads and find a third one hiding in the bottom of your bra.
* You make your baby and change your kid. (see paragraph 3)
* You have to read things several times before you totally get it.
* You use toothpaste on your baby's diaper rash and brush your 4 year old's teeth with Desitin. (no, I didn't do this one. But my MIL is guilty of the whole Desitin dental scrub)
* You go to pour milk into your children's cereal and realize the milk somehow ended up in the cupboard with the bowls.)
* It's then you realize you are also snacking in your sleep.
* Not only have you walked out the door forgetting to put on shoes,
* but have been in public for hours before you realize your shirt is on inside out.
* And backwards. (yes. It's happened to me.)
* You've had to re-wash the same load of laundry 5, 6, 7... hell, a dozen times... because you keep forgetting it's in the machine.
* You forget to run the dishwasher, find yourself drinking out of a dirty cup, shrug and keep drinking. (try not to gag and don't judge. I was really REALLY tired.)

Like I said, I KNOW there's more. I'll add them as I think of them. Please do the same. Hope these gave you a good laugh, guilt power and made you realize you are not alone. ;0)

Sleep tight mamas!