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)


Not Bless'ed Mama said...

I'm all for NIP too but that doesn't mean I want anyone lookin' at my.... nips! hahaha couldn't help it :)
glad you all had a safe and reasonably sane trip!

KidLit said...

Thanks for reading GF! ;0) Figured you had considering you answered Vic's question for me. hehehe <3