I'm planning on traveling again in a couple of months, but I need to make the arrangements now. I was selected by my supervisor to travel to New York and Seattle on two separate trips in April/May. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity, but I'm trying to figure out what to do with Ella--take her with me, or leave her home?
Seattle is no problem--my husband went to school in the area and has always wanted to bring me to see his old stomping grounds. Since I'll be flying and staying for work, he just needs to buy a plane ticket and all three of us will head out a day early to see the sights. Like I did when Ella and I flew home for my sister-in-law's baby shower, we'll just carry her in the Baby Bjourn and leave the carseat at home. (This might sound really ignorant, but I can just bring her in a carrier on public transportation...right? My mom had a carseat in her car for our last trip home).
But I'm trying to figure out what to do about New York. My husband has Army Reserve drill that weekend, so he can't come with me (and he's not too keen on the craziness of such a big city). Nor can he take care of Ella. So I essentially have two options: 1) leave her at home with someone; or 2) take her with me and have someone watch her while I work.
Option 1: My very-dear friend has graciously agreed to care for Ella for the weekend when I'm gone, and since she has an abundance of breastmilk, she even offered to let Ella have her milk so that I wouldn't have to worry about pumping 100+ ounces for the long weekend. (It's not ideal, but I think I'm okay with this, as I totally trust her and it would make my life so much easier). But even if Ella is fed for the weekend, there is still the problem with my milk. It would take me nearly all day to fly from Arizona to New York, so I would have to worry about the hassle of pumping whenever I had a chance (before the flight, during the layover, etc.). More and more airports have "family rooms", so I could try to find a place to hide away and pump, but there's no guarantee. How humiliating would it be to have to pump in the middle of a public restroom? I could bring a hand-pump, but I don't know how effective it would be. Then there is the issue of either dumping the milk (which breaks my heart) or storing it and bringing it back with me (which wouldn't be the easiest thing to get a fridge in our hotel room and transport it through security and back across the country).
Option 2: Fly to New York with Ella and have my mom meet us there. My mom had planned on coming to visit us in Arizona for her birthday in late February, but that's also shortly after my sister-in-law is due, so I don't think she'll want to leave her brand new grandbaby. She figures that if she has to fly to Arizona, it wouldn't make that much of a difference to fly to New York instead. The clear benefit would be that I wouldn't have to worry about pumping during our travels--just during the portion of the day when I'm working. And I wouldn't have to worry about missing my baby and I would get to see my mom (and my mom would get to see Ella). However, my husband thinks it's silly to traipse Ella all over the country and expose her to an airplane full of germs. She did great on the trip home and back, but she's going to be just over six months at the time of the New York trip, so who knows how she'll act.
So what are your thoughts? Should I bring her with me and meet my mom there, or leave her at home with my very dear friend? I realize that there are plenty of business-women-mommies out there who travel all the time...how do they do it?
Today's blessing was the chance to go to church and see all of our friends again. I was absolutely too sick to go last week, and was home for the shower the week before (and was too sick to go to my home church either). As part of our bible study for married couples, we talked about when we first knew that our spouse was "the one". It really was a blessing to hear such special moments in our friends' lives, and to be reminded of what my husband saw in me that made him think that he wanted to marry me.