Two weeks ago I traveled for the first time for work in a LONG time. I have traveled a lot for work over the years and I don’t mind it too much… but this time was different.
I spent nights without my baby for the first time!
I was gone for approximately 65 hours. This meant I missed
- 3 night times
- 2 mornings
- 3 day care pickups
- 3 days without nursing my muchkin
- AND a doctors appointment
Let me start by saying THIS WAS HARD. I have a rockstar husband and I knew Lincoln would be fine with his Daddy but the emotional attachment of being gone was not great!
And on a side note.. I was headed to Bismarck, ND, so not even a desirable location.
Now the logistical issues about pumping while on a work trip for all you moms who asked. I am blessed to have a freezer stash (approximately 3 days worth) so my goal was to replenish what Lincoln ate while I was gone.
I pumped 13 straight sessions without my baby and brought home 65oz of this liquid gold to replenish my freezer stash.
I pumped on the plane
I pumped in the airport
I pumped at my client
Here is what I did to prepare and what I encountered;
1) I brought a cooler /lunchbox and LOTS of ziploc bags (both gallon and quart size)
2) I made sure my hotel had a mini fridge (and luckily it had one with a freezer compartment)
3) In the airport I had food establishments fill my quart size bags with ice. I used the gallon bags to put the liquid milk bags in and I also put the quart size ice bags in the gallon bag (Important Note: The ice will melt and drip). – Bringing a plastic bag or other waterproof bag to put the cooler in would also be a great idea, but one I didn’t think of at the time.
4) When I arrived at the hotel I put the quart plastic bag with melted ice (water) in the freezer section to make solid ice blocks.
5) I flew home with 65 liquid OZ – I do have the Willow so my milk was in individual sealed bags.
6) TSA told me since they could not ‘test’ the milk and since it was not frozen I could go through but they had to search all my belongings and pat me down (even though I was TSA precheck this didn’t help).
This part was a bit much and I was flying through Bismarck (a small airport- who seemed to be stopping every other bag in the scanner). Not sure if this is the TSA protocol or just my luck!
All in all I was able to make it work and Lincoln my survived with Daddy for a few days and took the breast like he didn’t even know I was gone when I returned (I was worried he would refuse it after 3 days of JUST bottles)!
The trip was a bit stressful and although I dread any future trips away from my baby, I know both of us will survive when we are apart. It was a huge stepping stone!
Have you ever gone through TSA with breast milk?! I would love to hear your experiences!