Traveling solo with an infant, plugged ducts, and a January Paleo Challenge

Monday, December 30, 2013

The past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind for me.  I can't believe that Christmas has come and gone and we are in the final few hours of 2013.

During the week before Christmas, I embarked on a journey to visit my family with my 8 month old son.  My husband couldn't get the time off work, so I had to travel alone.  On the way to visit my family, I wasn't really alone because two of my sisters traveled with me.  It was nice to have a few extra hands to help me carry stuff.  I was even able to carry everything on.  They helped keep B entertained when our flight was delayed.

On the way back, it was a completely different story.  I was alone in every sense of the word (well, except for having B with me) and on several occasions wanted to either scream at the top of my lungs how everyone sucks at life, or sit down and start crying in the middle of the terminal.  I have listed out a few lessons learned from the trip.  It might help someone out in the future.

1.  Check most of your luggage if you are flying solo with a baby.  I found this out the hard way even though I actually ended up checking my suitcase on the way back.  I still had a backpack, a diaper bag, blankets, a B.O.B. stroller, and a front pack (not to mention my jacket and B's jacket/hat).  No one would help me put up or take down my luggage from the overhead bins and even though they could see that I was struggling to hold the baby and reach overhead, people rolled their eyes and sighed loudly when I was holding up traffic from exiting the plane.

2.  Don't expect your baby to breastfeed on take-off/landing.  I tried to time things perfectly, but B was not interested in eating during the times that I wanted him to eat.  He wanted to squirm and look around.  I gave him his pacifier and that seemed to do the trick.  He never got too upset so I don't think he was ever really in pain from the pressure changes.

3.  Upgrade to business class, if you can.  The seats are wider and only 2 across (on my plane, anyways).  I actually sat in the first row, which was nice to have the extra space in front, but bad that I had to store everything above me.  I also got to check 2 bags for free, got free booze (didn't get to imbibe, unfortunately), and unlimited "snacks".  You also get on the plane first and off the plane first.  That is key.

4.  Bring a stroller & a front pack.  The B.O.B. is kind of bulky, but they will check it at the gate for free and you can use it to haul some of your stuff around if you keep baby in the front pack.

5.  Don't bring a bulky jacket.  Besides being a pain in the ass to get through security, you will roast your tail off on the plane when you are trying to restrain a baby when they are wiggling or when you are holding back your aggression towards a society of selfish people who watch you fall over while trying to handle a baby, a backpack, a diaper bag, blankets and a stroller.

6.  Get to the airport early.  You never know what sort of issues (ahem blowouts) you might need to deal with that could prevent you from making your flight.

7.  Bring a copy of baby's birth certificate!  They did not ask me for this on my departing flight, but they did for my return and they almost would not let me on the plane with the baby.  Luckily, it was Christmas Eve and the lady stressed how nice she was being by letting me go since I was returning home.  Phew.

8.  Beg for a gate pass for your spouse, mom, or other family member.  Another Christmas bonus that they "graciously" allowed us was a gate pass for my mom so that she could help me get through security.  I am not sure how I would have done it otherwise.  Seriously.  They say that they don't like to give these out and I guess I understand, but seriously, a mom with a baby, alone.  It is just mean to deny that.

9.  Fly in the morning.  The atmosphere is normally more stable = less turbulence.  If you are lucky, baby will sleep on the flight.  Plus, no one likes to be around a baby during the witching hour.  


One thing that my trip blessed me with was 2 instances of a plugged duct.  This is the same one that was plugged a few weeks back, on the top right breast.  I got one the day that I got to my Mom's and the day after I got back (stress much?).  Then it decided to plug up again, last night.  

I was able to get rid of it the first few times by sterilizing a needle and pricking my nipple.  Yes, that sounds disturbing, but after G.oogling the heck out of my situation I came to find out that there was a small white "bleb" or "milk blister" on my nipple that was causing the milk to back-up.  After taking a long hot shower and pricking my nipple ever-so-slightly, I was able to get the clog out.

Last night, neither the hot shower nor the needle worked.  I squeeze my boob so hard I am sure that I have bruises.  I cried.  I woke the baby up and attempted to feed him to unclog it.  NOTHING worked.  I was ready to jump out the window.  I ended up taking 2 ibuprofen, slathering my nipple in lanolin cream, taping a band-aid over it, and going to bed, resigning myself to the fact that I would wake up with mastitis.

The baby woke up at midnight and I decided to try feeding him again, only this time, I tried something else that sounded ridiculous when I had seen in on G.oogle, but I was desperate.  I laid my half asleep baby on my bed with his head pointing towards the head of the bed.  I leaned over him with my head facing the foot of the bed and let him eat that way.  His chin was pointing right at the clogged area.  Low and behold the plug was out after 5 minutes of sucking.  Sweet relief.  Thank you baby.

This morning I fed him again the same way at around 4:30 AM before getting ready for work.  After the feeding I slathered my nipple in lanolin and taped on another band-aid.  I am praying that this stops happening.  I really want to make it to 12 months breastfeeding.  3 1/2 more months to go!


Part of the CrossFit experience is following a paleo diet.  Right now, I am following a paleoish diet.  For the most part I don't eat much in the way of grain, except for my daily bowl of Barbara's Oatmeal Squares.  I don't eat any dairy and I don't eat any soy.  I stay away from most sugars, but eat honey, maple syrup, and agave from time to time.  I eat dried fruit at least once a day.

January at my "box" is the Paleo Challenge.  This is basically where you follow a fairly strict paleo diet for a full month and document everything.  There are actually cash prizes for the people who lose the most body fat/weight.  One thing I disagree with though is that they are allowing whey protein and not allowing dried fruit/honey.

Vegetables (no potatoes)
Nuts and seeds
Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
Sweet potatoes ok ONLY in a post-workout meal
Whey protein supplement drinks

Dairy (cheese, yogurt, milk, cream)
Wheat (flours, breads, etc.)
Processed foods
Grains (rice, couscous, millet, quinoa, etc.)
Legumes (beans [green beans ok], lentils)
Peanuts and peanut butter
Quest Bars, Perfect Foods Bars
Dried fruit
Fruit juices
Sugar and artificial sweeteners
Sauces, dressings (BBQ sauce, etc. b/c they contain sugar - ok if they don't - check labels!)
Maple syrup
Coconut sugar, date sugar

You are supposed to take pictures for the front, back, and sides of your body, get your weight and body fat measured, and keep a journal of what you eat every day, the exercise you do, how much you sleep, and how you feel.  So you guessed it, I am going to try to use this blog to be my journal.  You can all watch me torture myself in the coming month.  Hopefully it makes me healthier and doesn't make me lose my milk supply and start getting slower at running.

Happy New Year everyone!!

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One Response to “Traveling solo with an infant, plugged ducts, and a January Paleo Challenge”

  1. Wow, I am always impressed by people who eat paleo and I didn't even realize how intense the yes/no list is! Thanks for sharing that.