Our family is currently on our way to Sarasota, Florida. We had a full day of travel yesterday which meant constant navigation of the road and our baby’s emotions.
We had a game plan. We executed it. We adjusted. She cried. Then I cried. Then we stopped for food and to nurse. She needed to sleep so I leaned over her car seat with my head inches from her face for a half hour (I must really love her) and she slept.
Wasn’t it one of the Kardashians who would lean over the car seat to nurse while they were traveling? I almost resorted to that after two hours of wailing.
I feel as if I should be in a support group: “Hello my name is Allison Graber and I’m a human pacifier.” [The circle of moms nod in acknowledgement as I slowly sit down.]
As I’m typing this, it’s the middle of the night and my infant daughter is curled up sleepily next to me, nursing. I have uncomfortably covered my head with a blanket so the light from my phone won’t wake her. I move an inch at a time because dang it, I want to sleep and she’ll know if I’m even thinking of moving.
1. I wear her in a baby carrier while she sleeps in the mornings. Even if I’m not holding her, when I hear a baby crying, I start bouncing in an attempt to comfort. Oftentimes I don’t realize this until I’ve been doing it for minutes.
2. A baby carrier is helpful when I’m hungry- I have both hands to prepare and to actually eat the food. But I’ve often found lettuce, condiments or pretzel crumbs plastered on my baby’s head hours after my last meal. I don’t clean it up. It makes for a nice little snack.
3. I spend half my life with one breast hanging out. More often than I’d like to admit, my husband will have to tell me to put it away in the mornings after I am groggily brushing my teeth. I shove it back without looking.
4. I am perpetually covered with old milk. One day I had a craving for cheese because that’s what I smelled like. Old milk cologne.
5. I am absolutely honored to be able to nurse my baby. It is a privilege I don’t take lightly.
With only a few hours to go until we reach our destination, I remind myself that during the difficult moments of motherhood when I feel as if I am a Swiss Army knife (a useful tool for any situation), I know I will look back on this time with fondness. Also, if pacifying the babe on this trip means a week at the beach, I’ll take it as a bonus.