Houston…We Have Milk

I suppose the title should say Tulsa instead of Houston. I don’t live in Houston. I didn’t travel home through Houston. I’m getting off-track here…

I’ve returned home from our glorious 5-day vacation in Riviera Maya, Cancun with my breast milk 🙂

While I do believe the resort lost about 20 oz. of my milk, I’m not up in arms about it. I still came home with about 90 oz. of milk that is now stashed in my freezer and I’m confident my breastfeeding journey can continue for a few months to come because of it. For that, I am grateful.

It was a lot of work keeping up with pumping while enjoying an all-inclusive resort vacation. I mean, who wants to leave the beach to go pump in their hotel room? I didn’t want to, but I did.

Major props go to our personal concierge for being so nice about storing all of my pumped milk in the restaurant fridge for me. The mini-bar fridge, obviously, was not big enough so he came running whenever I called him so he could take it to the restaurant kitchen. God bless that sweet young man!!!!

Traveling home with 90 oz. of breast milk in tow was nerve-wracking to say the least. When I got all of my milk back from the restaurant as we were packing to leave I noticed they had stored it in the freezer instead of the fridge. So now I was faced with the task of keeping it frozen in transport. And, of course, the missing 20 oz.-ish was a little frustrating but, again, not the end of the world.

As I approached the security checkpoint in the Cancun Airport, my stomach was in knots. It was at least 100 times leading up to that spot that I read/heard (signs, intercom announcements, baggage check-in personnel, etc.) to discard of all liquids over the 3.4 oz. limit. While putting my belongings on the conveyor belt to be scanned I motioned for the security guard to come to me. As I read in the TSA instructions to do, I alerted him that the bag I was holding was full of pumped breast milk for my baby. Of course, he barely spoke English so we had a little difficulty back and forth before he understood. I think my hand gestures signifying “baby” (cradling arms) and “breast milk” (grabbing my boobs) really helped out here. Although, they may have looked a bit bizarre to any on-lookers.

I walked through the scanner and awaited the security team’s next move. The same guard came back to me and asked me where my baby was – another thing I had heard was a common question from security in traveling with pumped milk. I told him politely that my baby was home with grandma and grandpa.

My milk made it through the scanner and a different security guard brought the bag back to me and said he was going to have to look inside. Fine. I expected this. He dug around a bit – destroying my beautifully organized placement of milk to ice pack ratio but now wasn’t the time to throw a fit about that. LOL. He then called over the security supervisor. They spoke to each other back and forth in Spanish for a bit. I didn’t recognize a word of what they were saying except “leche”. But the supervisor gave me the go-ahead and I was on my way. WHEW!!! I’ve never been so relieved in my life!!!

I’m really thankful for this experience because it has given me full confidence in my option to travel in the years to come when I have a nursing baby at home. Something that I had previously thought would be impossible – or, at the very least, not worth the hassle.

On a related note, I’m so happy to be home with my little man! My heart ached for him while we were gone. Especially the last 2 days of our trip. I am at peace today. We’ve nursed. We’ve played. We’ve ran errands together. And he’s been all smiles the whole time.

Little Man
Little Man

Until next time Mommas 🙂

~entrepreneurmomma

Mothering, Entrepreneuring and Vacationing. Oh My!

This week, the Husband (Russ) and I are preparing for our first real vacation since our son (Rory) arrived. Really it’s a business trip for Russ but he gets to bring a guest and it’s all expenses paid to an all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya Cancun so we’ll take it!!

But it’s requiring a lot of plan-ahead and organization on my part for 2 VERY BIG reasons:

1. Erica Weddings has TWO weddings this weekend, while I’m away.

2. I’m a nursing Momma. Need I say more? But I will…

The weddings taking place while I’m gone are not of huge concern to me. I have an amazing staff who I trust to get the job done and represent my brand well in my absence. But the breast milk issue. Has there ever been a subject matter more stressful to a working mom than the issue of breast milk? Keeping supply up, pumping milk, storing milk, keeping milk fresh in travel, getting milk through security (specifically in another country), etc.

I’ve done my research. I know the TSA guidelines. I’ve spoken to other mommas who have done this exact same thing and the vast majority of these women have nothing but positive experiences to share. But, if I’m being honest, I have this awful, dreadful nightmare on replay in my head that I’ll be watching over 100+ oz of my pumped milk being thrown in the trash as I try to get through security at the Mexican airport on my way home. Just the thought of this possibility makes me well up.

Why so emotional for me? Well the breastfeeding moms certainly understand…no explanation required. For everyone else, here’s some background. I’ve breastfed Rory from day one. He’s never had any formula (no judgment to the formula mommas!!). I built up a great freezer stash in the early months of his life which I’m so thankful for now as it’s gotten me through some dry spells AND it’s enabling us to take this baby-free trip. BUT, taking this trip will be wiping away my freezer stash completely. There’s no way I can breastfeed up to the 1 year mark as planned without coming home with a fresh stash of pumped milk to put in my freezer. Enter these 100+ oz I will be pumping while I’m in Mexico. THIS milk is critical to my sons nutrition – I need it to supplement in the coming months as my supply goes through it’s peaks and valleys. I know having to supplement with formula will not be the end of the world. It’s just not my Plan A.

Maybe everything will be fine and I’ll breeze through security on my return trip home. But, until it actually happens, I’m going to worry about it.

I’m fully prepared with my breast pump, pump supply cleaning materials, insulated carry-on bag, breast milk storage bags, travel gel-cool packs, print out copy of the TSA guidelines regarding this matter and a copy of Rory’s birth certificate (in case I need to prove I actually have a baby). But if any of you Mommas have any experience with this that you can share I welcome it!! Every positive story relieves my stress a little bit.

Until next time Mommas 🙂

~entrepreneurmomma