In my last post I mentioned that I was on route to my first full night away from my babe since she was born 19 months ago. It was a long time coming, and I’m thrilled my hubby was man enough to take on the challenge of solo parenting our still co-sleeping, breastfeeding, up-several-times-a-night toddler so that I could experience my first taste of what life was like pre-baby.
Here’s how Mom’s first night out went.
Now, since this was a celebration of my beloved cousin’s impending matrimony (ie. a bachelorette), I will not be gracing you with all the nitty gritty details. What happens at ladies’ night out, stays at ladies’ night out. Except for the following.
Actually, let’s begin with my 5-hour trek from my little island home to the big city of Vancouver. It was glorious. I usually don’t enjoy the long, multiple-ferry journey, especially when followed by the hot and crowded transit trek to where I need to go, but when you’re used to a toddler bouncing off your lap, walls, windows and constantly needing to be connected with, being able to sit and read a book for hours, nibble at food at your leisure, without scarfing it down in record time and giving your stomach an ache – all of this seems like a special treat.
As for the actual festivities, I could not have had more fun with such a fabulous group of ladies. Everyone was friendly and I enjoyed getting to know the new faces and catching up with my cousins. There were actually quite a few (5?) other breastfeeding mamas who were also enjoying their first night away from their little ones, so my enthusiasm was shared and there was a lot to talk about. I know, I know. You’re away from your child to enjoy adult time and you want to talk diapers and tantrums? Yes. My baby makes up a lot of my world right now, and I love her. I won’t force in on you, but if you ask about her or to see a picture of her, I will eagerly offer it up.
I have no danced so much and so enthusiastically in a very long time, and had a complete blast cutting a rug (or several rugs) out on the dance floor with these ladies. Surprisingly, though, I wasn’t even sore the next day. Dancing truly is the best workout. Love love love.
And as for inebriation? How did I fare with the freedom to indulge?
I guess the last couple years have had a wonderful impact on me and my self-control, as I didn’t even really get a buzz. Surely the price of a drink where we were was good encouragement to abstain ($9 for a single gin and tonic? Really??), but the fact was that I was actually enjoying myself far more than I ever have at a bar. There is something to be said for being able to think, converse, and act like a normal human being without losing your train of thought, slurring, and stumbling all over the place. Plus, going to bed without the spins and waking up feeling refreshed and energized is pretty nice. Who would have thought, eh?
But nothing can be all good. Here is the crummy part, and a word of warning for any of you mamas thinking of heading out for the first time yourselves.
Waking up was bittersweet. A full bed to myself and sleep without interruption was phenomenal. However, not having nursed my little milk monster in close to 24 hours left me quite uncomfortable in my chestal regions. I had gone back and forth on a friend’s suggestion to bring my pump, but had settled on leaving it at home since it was so big and I wasn’t looking forward to lugging it around. This was a mistake, since hand-expressing just doesn’t work as well. By the time I was on the 3 o’clock ferry headed to Victoria, where I would catch my final connecting ferry back home, I was eagerly counting down the minutes to mama-snuggle-time.
Unfortunately, me being me, I made a very silly mistake and, instead of loading up on that final boat ride, I kept on reading my book and completely missed the ferry that was docked one ramp over. ARG! I have never been so frustrated with myself in my life. Okay, I probably have. I’ve done a lot of silly things in my time. But this really sucked, too. And not in the good way that desperately needed to happen. (See what I did there?)
Finally, after over 32 hours of not nursing, I narrowly escaped mastitis and my pain gradually subsided as I rejoined my little love and we shared all about our weekend.
She was a superstar for her dad, apparently (aside from not being able to be wooed back to sleep at 5:30am Sunday morning), and had a lot of fun hanging out with her Dad while I was away. I had nothing to be worried about. Phewph!
If you’re a mama who has yet to make a solo journey away from your little munchkin, I hope that – when you’re both ready for it – that you have someone who is supportive and capable enough to sub in as caregiver so you can get some you time and recharge.