Our First Weekend Away
Brian and I hadn’t been away together without Vincent since he was born. That’s almost 9 months. So, when we had the opportunity to go to a wedding in Wisconsin a couple weeks ago, we jumped at the chance and decided to make a weekend out of it. We knew we needed the time together as a couple. We asked my parents months in advance if they could come out and watch Vincent while we were gone. My sisters jumped on the opportunity to spend some time with the little man as well, since they hadn’t seen him in months. Everything was in place and I knew he would be in the best hands.
As the weekend grew closer my excitement to spend a weekend away grew as did my anxiety for leaving Vincent. I was not worried about leaving him with my family, like I said, I knew he was in the best hands possible. I was worried about leaving him in general. I had not been away from him since the day he was born. I had not left him for more than a couple hours. I had always been there for bedtime. I had always been there in the morning. I have always breastfed him. AND on top of all those things, for about a month or so prior to us leaving, Vincent had not been taking a bottle. Cue all the fears, feelings, and mom-guilt for knowing this and still wanting a weekend away!
The mom guilt and anxiety set in the Friday we were leaving. I felt myself holding back tears as the fears were creeping in. Is Vincent going to take a bottle? Would he sleep? He is teething, how could I leave when I knew my baby was in pain and struggling. My mind raced on and on. I took a deep breath, made sure I packed everything I needed, nursed Vincent down for his nap, gave him a couple minutes of extra snuggles, kisses, and told him how much I loved him.
Before we left, I made sure my family knew Vincent’s schedule, had all the emergency numbers and information just in case, (ok I had two typed pages of information for them – but hey, it made me feel comfortable and I did not feel bad about it). And made my family promise to send lots of videos and pictures!
As we drove away, I found myself very anxious. Worrying about every little detail. Then the pictures and videos started flooding my phone. One after another of Vincent smiling, laughing, playing, etc. For the moment, my fears were calmed. As 7pm drew closer, my fear of bedtime and him not taking a bottle rushed over me. As we got ready for dinner I felt the tears filling up behind my eyes just waiting to burst. I was convinced I was going to get a message that said, “he’s not sleeping, he didn’t take a bottle.” And just as we were pulling into the restaurant parking lot, I got a text message with a picture of him sleeping soundly that said he ate all his dinner, had fun in the bath with papa and took a couple ounces in his bottle! Phew! What a relief. I was able to breathe a little and enjoy my night.
The pictures and videos continued throughout Saturday! I got videos of him taking his bottle and holding it all by himself along with other pictures and videos. It was so much fun to see him having such a wonderful time with my parents and sisters. You could just see the happiness in all of them! Knowing he was happy and good, released all my fears and anxiety and allowed Brian and I to enjoy every minute of our time together and weekend away. We had coffee uninterrupted! We talked. We slept without listening for the monitor! We didn’t plan out our entire day around nap schedules. It was so much fun to be together, just the two of us. And, I didn’t feel bad about it either. I let myself fully enjoy the time, the feelings, and the freedom.
As much fun as I had away, I was dying to get back home on Sunday. I was ready to snuggle, play, and see our little man. The reuniting was just as satisfying and fun as the weekend away! It also helped me learn to let go a little, trust that Vincent can be cared for by others, and gave me the confidence to know that Brian and I are able to go out on date nights and take trips without Vincent in the future.
So, mamas, leaving our babes was so hard, anxiety ridden, and scary for me. But, it was one of the best things I could have done for myself and for Vincent. It is also something I am glad I didn’t do before I knew I was ready. I had seen friends go on trips and their babies were much younger than Vincent. I am so glad I didn’t rush it or feel pressured. I am sure it would not have gone as well as it did if I hadn’t trusted myself and trusted my timing.