“It could be worse.”
“It’ll go by fast.”
“Hang in there!”
Those are a few examples of what I’ve been hearing since I found out I’d have to be away from my baby and husband for about 2 months this summer.
I know, I know. It sounds a bit dramatic. I realize there are mommies and daddies that are away from their families for a year or longer in military situations. I realize that in retrospect, 2 months is an overnight stay compared to what others have experienced. That being said, I haven’t been away from home that long since I went to Basic and tech school almost 9 years ago! I didn’t care back then. They could have sent me away for a year. I didn’t have a husband or baby. I would have gone. Things are different now.
The FIRST night away from my peanut was hard. The morning that I left, I just hugged him and kissed him and cried my eyes out and talked to him and took a video in bed so I could watch it every morning while I was gone. My eyes were super puffy from crying the night before too.
I also cried a few times in the car. Especially when the little receiving blanket I brought with me to smell him while I was away got some coffee spilled on it. “Hi, my name is Leilani, and I’m obsessed with my kid.”
I spent the night at the halfway mark which was Biloxi, MS. I was exhausted and sad and all I wanted to do was lie down. Instead, I decided to get out, go get some supplies for the other half of my trip, and ride around in Biloxi for a little bit. Luckily, my husband positioned the baby monitor so that I could see Noah in his crib like I usually do every night at home. That helped.
I’ve never been away from him for more than 8 hours at a time. And now, the first time that I’ll be away from him, it’s for almost 2 months. For a breastfeeding mommy, this has taken an emotional toll on me. My goal was to breastfeed for 1 year; now he’s almost 8 months and I may be finished. I’m one week in and still pumping – and very successfully actually.
Hopefully I can maintain a supply so that I can resume breastfeeding when I get back home. According to Noah’s pediatrician, my supply will slowly dwindle until it drops completely, due to being away from baby for so long. I will keep trying! I have to remind myself that it’s ok if my milk supply dwindles. I breastfed for 7 months and still the baby is drinking breastmilk due to all the stash I froze!
Besides the baby mama firsts, I’ve never driven so long in a vehicle by myself. 18 hours from Savannah, Ga to San Antonio, TX with an overnight sleep in Biloxi. That’s rough. Props to all you truck drivers out there. If I knew I had to make those long interstate trips for a living, I would probably choose another job. I’ve made the trip to Biloxi from Savannah before and it seemed like an eternity. However, knowing that I had to drive the same amount of time two days in a row (roughly 8-9 hours) made the trip seem like a piece of cake. No GPS needed for that one.
While I stay busy, I forget about missing home. My training begins at 0730 and ends at 1600. By the time I get back to my hotel, I have to do homework, study, workout, eat and get some sleep. But yesterday, Friday, I was really missing home. There was no homework. No alarm to set for class in the morning. It was just me, in my room, creeping on the baby through the monitor again.
It’ll get better.
This morning I woke up feeling rejuvenated and well rested. Something I haven’t felt since before I was pregnant! And even though it felt wonderful, I still missed my peanut and husband. #DatMomLifeTho
I’ll do my best to stay busy this next weekend away. Maybe go to the Alamo. I’m about 5 minutes from SeaWorld as well, which is actually free for military, however, after watching Blackfish, I just can’t. I could maybe check out Aquatica too. I would go to Six Flags but I may see if my fellow prior service classmates want to go as a group.
Cedrik is doing amazing daddy things at home. I left him a “Noah’s Day” checklist on the fridge to go by and it seems to be helping. We FaceTime at night which is nice. THANK YOU, TECHNOLOGY. Also, my baby has started to crawl. *cue waterworks* I’ve been away literally 5 days and he is crawling. Who knows what else he’ll develop while I’m gone! What if I get back and he doesn’t warm up to me? What if he cries out of sadness when he sees me again? I can’t think about that right now.
The quicker I get through this training, the quicker I can progress militarily and the quicker I can get back to my family!