Long Car Trip, A Funeral & Breastfeeding?
Q: I went to PA over the weekend to see my ex-husband in the hospital. Arrived late Saturday night, and went to the hospital on Sunday. Unfortunately, when I was there, he was not in good shape... talking to people that weren't there (but were earlier... seemed to me that he was repeating a conversation from earlier in the day), and he was in a lot of pain, and very agitated. He didn't recognize me at all. (Also, a strange patient tried to snatch Charles from me in the hall! Very disconcerting!) I left Monday, and returned home late that night. My ex passed away yesterday morning. :( His parents are planning a funeral service in their hometown, in western PA. The trip to where my family lives (and where my ex was hospitalized) normally takes about 6-7 hours or so (without stopping to nurse a baby). To drive to the funeral would take about 12 hours (again, without stopping to nurse a baby). The trip down and back over the weekend was hellish... Charles was very unhappy being in his car seat for so long, and with stopping to nurse him, took more than 8 hours each way. I'm torn on attending the funeral. I'd really like to be there to support my daughter, but... while his family would be polite to me (I think), I know they would prefer I wasn't there. It's also going to be a big hit to our budget, and I really can't afford it. And I'm concerned for Charles... with stopping to nurse him, it could easily stretch into a 15+ hour drive (plus at least one night in a hotel). He spent all day yesterday nursing because the whole weekend stressed him out. And I'd be traveling with him alone... my SO has to stay here with Valen and our 4 dogs. And, ugh. Lots of holiday travelers will be out on the roads, too. So what to do? My daughter would appreciate me being there, but she understands if I can't (and she's coming to my house with my parents over Xmas, and will be here for a week). My ex's family would prefer I not be there. I can't afford the trip. I'm worried that it would affect Charles negatively, and damage my milk supply. I was always taught that you attend funerals unless there's extreme circumstances that prevent it (like being halfway around the world, or hospitalized yourself). But I'm just so torn. What would you all do?
A: perhaps -- but being there for the daughter at the funeral of her father is a pretty big deal -- and I would try to do it [it is irrelevant what the ex's family thinks -- your daughter has lost her father, that is what is important] I agree that the car trip alone with a nursing baby is too much. And I don't know the cities involved. BUT you might see if you can get a last minute priceline ticket [or similar discounter e.g. hotwire] for minimal cost. My husband and I once flew half cross the country to see our daughter in a college play -- we paid less than $200 apiece for last minute tickets on priceline. We recently flew our daughter home for an event for about $150 with a last minute hotwire purchase. There are moments in life when it is worth making whatever effort you can to be there -- and being with your daughter at her father's funeral seems like one of those you might regret later if you don't do it. I would go, your daughter lost her father, it's important that you be there for her. I'm assuming you were still on okay terms with your ex too, it's not like it would be inappropriate for you to be there, regardless of how his family feels, this is your daughter. What about taking the train? You'll get there faster and still be able to pay attention to the baby, or what about pumping and leaving the baby with your husband so you can be there and support your daughter, if only for 1 day...it's inconveinient, and probably not what you want to do--but funerals are never happy occasions.