My first night away
JILLIAN, NEW JERSEY
I got an invite in January to my friend’s wedding, and I really wanted to go. Jessa was 5 months old, but would be 8 months when the wedding came around. My older kids were 5 and 6, and this would be the first time I’d be away from all three of them.
Until that point I’d nursed Jessa, but she took a bottle every week and I had lots of milk in the freezer, so I figured we’d be fine. But literally from the day I decided to go the wedding, she point blank refused her bottle. It’s like she knew. I tried lots of different brands, nipples, flow rates. I was in two breastfeeding groups and five mommy groups on Facebook, and I asked everyone for advice. They said to try sippy cups, straw cups, this brand, that brand. I spent a fortune but nothing worked. I was super anxious. I just didn’t know what would happen and how Mike would cope.
My older kids too are very, very, very attached to me. They’d go back in the womb if they could! Jordana, my 5 year old, was really sad. In the couple of weeks leading up to the wedding there’d be tears before bed every night. She didn’t want me to go away. But on the day itself, she and Jacob were too busy playing the made up Kings & Queens game they always play, so they didn’t really care. They just shouted “Bye mom”. And that was it.
And in fact everything was ok in the end. The build up to going away was awful, super stressful and I was really anxious. I was going to be a 5-hour drive away so I knew I couldn’t just nip home. But everything was totally fine. Jessa was onto solids by then, so Mike made up two giant bowls of food, mixing 6oz of breastmilk with oatmeal. It took one and a half hours to eat but she managed it.
They even all went to a baseball game. My friend took a photo of them and sent it to me to prove they were all fine and having fun. Jessa even slept through the night, and she never does that. She normally wakes up around 3am for a feed, but she slept 11.5 hours straight. It’s like she knew I wasn’t there, so was just happy to relax and sleep through.
As for the wedding, it was really nice to get some me-time, and I didn’t stress at all while I was there. At the end of the day, I was only away for 36 hours so it really wasn’t that big a deal.