Meredith Rawls

My husband and I had already planned a cruise vacation months in advance of our baby’s arrival when she would be about five months old. My in-laws agreed to watch her for a full week while we flew to San Diego and cruised to Mexico with a boat full of nerds and Jonathan Coulton fans on the JoCo Cruise. The thought of having to do zero baby-care related things aside from pumping for a full week was heavenly!

I had already been pumping at work, but I knew a week of exclusive pumping would be a lot to coordinate. While Milk Stork does not ship internationally, we were going to be away for more than 24 hours before the ship departed, so a 34 oz Pump & Ship was the perfect way to get a full day’s supply back home to Seattle. Transporting the milk I pumped all week on the cruise was trickier, but I made it work with a couple heavy-duty coolers, lots of trips to the ship’s buffet ice machines, and one priceless (and overweight!) checked bag home with nearly 200 ounces of milk inside.

A few weeks after we returned home, I went on a short trip for a work conference. Once again Milk Stork was the ideal solution (this time I used a 72 oz Pump & Ship). Compared to the cruise, a couple days away in a hotel room with a proper refrigerator and a FedEx right next to my conference site was easy! I did have to wash all my own pump parts, though, since my husband was back home taking care of the kiddo. I also had to convince my employer to reimburse me for the cost of shipping my milk home, which took many emails, but I was ultimately successful. I’m happy to have set a precedent to make this logistical hurdle a bit easier for other pumping parent colleagues in the future.

– Submitted by Meredith Rawls, Astronomer

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