Of course, we didn't think about any of these issues until after we told Pat's boss we would go. That left us with three options. We could 1) not go, 2) have Pat go alone, or 3) both go, leaving Madi with my mom. Since my mom was having baby withdrawals after her day-and-a-half ladies' retreat (she's got it bad), she had already volunteered to watch her. We went with option 3.
Warning: If you would rather not read about my milk production, I would advise skipping the following italicized paragraph.
Problem: we decided to try the babysitter route about three hours before we needed to leave, and I had NO milk pumped. We're guessing that she eats about five ounces at a time right now. I can usually only pump about three ounces at a time. And I needed to feed her twice before we left. Therefore, in order to be able to go, I would have to produce ten ounces to feed her directly plus six ounces for her bottle. That's sixteen ounces (a whole pound) in three hours!!! After pumping three times in a two hour span, I was miraculously able to get six ounces. Phew!
Mom got back from her retreat with just enough time to walk her dog and dash over to our place before we needed to leave. Everything happened so quickly from when we decided we would go without Madi to our actual departure that I hadn't been able to really process what it was we were about to do. When Pat started the car, I finally realized that, for the very first time, I would be more than an hour away from my baby.
Thank goodness I had decided to wait for the drive to apply my makeup. Before we turned off of our street, I was a swollen-faced, sobbing mess. Pat was starting to think we would have to turn around when he finally managed to distract me. The evening that ensued was a strange mix of enjoying myself, silently worrying about Madison, and planning the fastest route home, along with a quick explanation for the officer that would surely pull us over for speeding.
I thought I was doing a good job disguising my distress until Pat's supervisor started consoling me. Apparently I was easier to read than I had thought.
Mom was kind enough to text me updates of how Madi was doing: "She's in her swing with her monkey", "She's asleep", and "I'm about to feed her." I gradually started feeling better. And then it happened. What I had dreaded over the hour's drive came true: my phone rang. We had a problem: the bottle was leaking milk all over Madison. I felt like the biggest failure; I had forgotten to put the gasket in when I made her bottle! I imagined the worst; half the milk must have spilled out!
We left the party a few minutes later; Pat knew I couldn't handle any more. On our way home, my mom texted me to ask what she should do with the "rest of the milk". Thank God! Madison got enough milk! I could breathe again. For a few minutes, anyway. Then my next irrational worry hit; what if we got into a car accident and never made it home?
Saturday night was a lesson learned: I am not ready to be separated from Madison. It hurts waaaayyyy too much.
Does it get easier?