Mama Stories

Traveling Milking Mama

I traveled to Bangkok a month ago. This by far, was the trip I was most worried about – mommy duties, breastfeeding, etc. My breast milk supply has already gone dipping. I used to pump at least 4 ounces a few months ago, but since I started going to work again, I can only hit the 2-ounce mark maximum. So, I decided to maximize the time and remaining milk by taking in more supplements to bump up the supply. Unfortunately, I was bound to travel during this time of struggle.

Thinking about traveling at this point made me very uneasy. I did a lot of research and even contacted the Consulate of Bangkok for their rules with checking in breast milk on flights. And even if they assured me that it’s fine, I was still worried because Immigration officers are really meticulous and curious or however else you can call it.

The flight to Bangkok was rather easy. I brought my manual pump instead of the electric one to avoid declarations (it’s considered a medical apparatus) and lengthy explanations. I packed antibacterial ice packs and gels, pump paraphernalia, storage bags, insulated packs in my check in baggage.

At the hotel, I was very lucky that the staff were very warm and accommodating. My personal refrigerator did not have a freezer so the staff goes right up to my suite to pick up the insulated bag, wait for me to assemble the breast milk pouches, then bring it back to the hotel freezer. My principals from TaylorMade-adidas Golf as well made sure this trip would be a breeze. They assured comfort checking up on me every now and then if I got enough time to pump on breaks.

On the flight back home, I was more worried because I hand-carried the breast milk. Fortunately, I was assigned to a woman officer during the inspection. My bag was just held for a few minutes to get checked. She asked if it were for a baby girl or boy. I was so relieved that was the kind of question asked! I thought they were going to fire me a lot of questions about it. The woman officer even told me how lucky my baby is for me to get him food while I’m away. I answered politely and smiled while putting on my shoes.

I was smiling to myself on the flight. Days of research and hours of pumping have finally paid off, I have gone home with something my baby would definitely appreciate (he can’t be utterly happy about new toys and cute apparel yet). Hahaha! I would love to thank the staff of Hotel Indigo – I mean it’s their job, right, but their assistance didn’t seem like a chore (FUN FACT: They even got my Writing Project mailed for me!). I would love to express my utmost gratitude to the airport officers again for being nice and sweet. And of course, to my TaylorMade-adidas Golf SouthEast Asia Team for facilitating a very smooth and mama-friendly trip for me (also for the gift last February when I delivered my little boy)!

Oh, if you are wondering, knowing this TSA policy helps a lot! If you are still in doubt, contact the Consulate of the country you are traveling to.

Cheers!

Mother’s Day Random Ramblings

Last week, a colleague congratulated me for my first Mother’s Day celebration. I totally forgot about it until tonight that I’ve gone too emotional watching “Mom” videos on my newsfeed. Funny how becoming pre-occupied as a first time mother leave you with remembrances, realizations and emotions at random times (like now while having breaks doing the laundry).

Honestly, I haven’t imagined myself a mother until the moment I got confirmation that I had a tiny human inside. I was not ready, but I guess you’ll never be really ready until you get there. I deemed myself a mother as early as then. After all, I was already nursing and nourishing him. I had to change diet, skip vigorious activities, and even obey weird traditions roughly suggested by the oldies.

Pushing him out to the world is another story. I was never as frightened. I was not only scared for myself, I was scared for him more. But again, when you have no choice but to be courageous, well, you got to be. Imagine my relief when I saw him for the first time lying on my chest.

And motherhood doesn’t end there. Somewhere I’ve read said that real motherhood comes after you leave the hospital and take the baby home. Sure was right! My baby has been around for almost three months and I can no longer count my tears and sighs out of frustration, fear, paranoia, etc. Knowing there’s a lifetime ahead of him, God only knows how much more I need to bear. But I am not complaining, he’s our best gift (cliche, I know), our most terrible weakness (how can you say “no” when he puts up a cute crying face?), and my husband’s replica, only waaay more handsome (if I loved my husband’s annoyingly happy face, how can I not love my son’s?).

You know in art when they put together totally unrelated things to communicate one solid message? That’s how motherhood is like. It’s always a crazy unpredictable mix of emotions – some intense, some so-so. But unlike art which emanates multiple possible meanings, motherhood comes with but one message. It’s always the same every time – Love.

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Happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms out there, most importantly, to my Mama. Now I know the truth in your rants! Hahaha Sending greetings to my husband’s mother as well, for raising such lovely man.

Props to my boys, too, for this wonderful and exciting journey. I love you both.