My entire life I've always wanted to go on a cruise to Jamaica. I'm not sure why, but the combination of ocean, sand, and rasta has always enthralled me. We were going to take a cruise for our honeymoon but it never happened. We've never had a honeymoon. So, guess what. Livinity is taking everyone on a cruise to Jamaica in March! With the bonuses I've qualified for, the whole five night cruise on Royal Caribbean is going to cost us about $300. Woohoo! Right?
Not so fast Turbo.
The cruise is from March 13-18, 2010. We would have to fly to Miami on the 12th and we would fly back on the 19th. My Birdie will be 10 1/2 months and we will still be breastfeeding. Is it possible to spend a week away from a 10 month old baby and return to breastfeeding when its over?
Ideally I would like to take her with us. That unfortunately is not an option. The cruise has a minimum sailing age of 12 months. Barring that I would like her to be at least two before we leave her for that long. That too, is not an option, seeing as how the opportunity is now. I want to go, so I've begun looking into maintaining a breastfeeding relationship with a separation of a week. So far what I've found isn't comforting. I don't think I'd have any problem keeping up my supply, but I'm afraid that she would wean during that time, and I don't want that. My goal is to breastfeed for two years. I'm not willing to risk that relationship for a cruise, no matter how cheap or how awesome.
If we were to go, she would stay here. I've got enough family right here that she is comfortable with. From talking with my Dad, Grandma, and the Birdie's Uncle Hat (I'll do a post on him one of these days) it sounds like she would even be able to sleep at home in her own crib. That would be helpful and would cut down on the change in routine. I would have enough milk stockpiled so that wouldn't be a problem. I know she would be well taken care of. I doubt she'd even have to miss church.
For me, the thought of leaving her for so long is difficult. I'm just as attached as she is. DH really wants to go. We never had a honeymoon, and she'll be nearly a year old. He's ready for a romantic getaway.
As I said before, if I can't find some reasonable advice on how to keep up the breastfeeding relationship while away, then we won't go. Breastfeeding is too important to me. Does anyone know of any good resources? I've checked out LLL and Kelly Mom but I haven't found anything really helpful yet. I may have missed it. Does anyone have experience with leaving a breastfed baby for a week? How did it work out? I know alot depends on the age of the child and its temperament. I need advice!! Send this post far and wide and find me brains. I need to decide one way or another in the next 10 days.