Receiving the Schengen visa today made it more real that I would be leaving my 7 month old boy in a couple of weeks for a European holiday. It was the hardest decision to make, to bring him or not. Eventually, we decided not to. Just thinking about weaning him from breastfeeding so soon breaks my heart.💔

To make myself more at ease I’m listing the pros and cons of leaving Jolo behind.

Pros

  • Eventhough I know I will miss Jolo terribly, it will be a big unload on my part if I don’t bring him. No strollers and loads of baby stuff, no crying and fussing, no carrier, etc.
  • Sophie’s previous yaya, Ate Nors, is an excellent nanny. She will take care of Jolo when I’m not around, so I know he’s in good hands. Plus the 2 other helpers at home, my inlaws and parents will often come over to visit him. And there’s Facetime! I can see Jolo everyday even just on screen.
  • Maybe aside from the sudden weaning, Jolo will be stress free at home. No jetlag, no early morning call time, no all day everyday touring to places he doesn’t know and won’t even remember.
  • If he gets sick (I sure pray not), medical help is available anytime. Clinics, hospitals and pharmacies are all nearby. When Sophie got sick in Israel during our Holy Land tour, there was nothing in the small pharmacy nearby. I regretted it a lot and wished she hadn’t gone with us that time.
  • It would be a great bonding moment for Sophie and I, as most of the time she wants my attention but I’m more focused on the baby.
  • I can fully (or at least try to) enjoy the trip! I can also watch a musical in London without the baby (plans, plans)

Cons

  • Jolo cries in fits if he hasn’t seen me for 3 hours max. I cannot even imagine him crying for several days during my 17-days trip.
  • I have enough stash of breastmilk in the freezer, but he doesn’t like to drink from the bottle and just directly feeds from me. If he won’t drink breastmilk, I bought several formula for him to try. I’m not really against formulas, its just that abruptly stopping him from my breastmilk is truly heartbreaking for a breastfeeding advocate like me.
  • I also cannot even begin to imagine the pain of my would-be engorged breasts, maybe as hard as rocks. Theres no even use in pumping, when theres no baby to give it to, and no means of proper storage.
  • Maybe the saddest part would be unable to see for the first time if he has a new milestone, like standing on his own (since he’d be 8 months by that time).

We did not apply any visa for Jolo, so I would be forced to leave him.

The guilt of leaving my breastfeeding baby behind is killing me, esp since the reason is going for a holiday. But I just couldn’t let the opportunity pass, as I’m not paying for the trip.

I do hope to relactate when I return, and hope Jolo is still willing to breastfeed from me. Aww, the woes of this breastfeeding mom is strong! 💔