I flew in almost a week ago to attend an ILCA Conference. It has been amazing to be with so many like minded people. Not like a La Leche League Conference because this is for lactation "professionals: and La Leche League Leaders are the "non professional" experts.
I met with long time LLL friends and met with lactation professionals who knew very little about LLL at all. I kept busy, Attended lots of workshops. Learned new things. Slept through some stuff because I think my brain just couldn't take it all in. And some of the speakers had such mellow voices that I was tranquilized.
I felt sad, angry and lonely some (much) of the time because I was attending alone, and couldn't figure out how to connect for meals and get togethers. There might have been a virtual bulletin board, but I didn't know where or if it existed. So I ate my breakfasts and dinners alone. It's okay. Really. Just frustrating.
I also felt at times that my brain has just not totally recovered from brain surgery. I tire so easily.
On the brighter side, the steroid shots I got in my knees before heading west really helped.
Before I got these shots I couldn't walk from one end of the house to
I stayed in a Hilton Hotel with a beautiful view of the city by day and night.
In the past when I have come to Portland I have felt this terrific emotional draw. This is the city where I was born. I felt that this was my real home, my roots. I imagined my parents here and wondered what they would think of it now. especially my mom. She hasn't been here since the 60s. Now, my parents are both gone. Not even buried here. My daughter has her own house. I don't have that same tugging. I don't know if there is any logic to why I felt that way before, or how I feel now. Or even how I will feel on another day.
Maybe in part it's because Nick and I have a new house that will be our home for as long as we can take care of it. And the new home we have doesn't have any ghosts. It is brand new. We are the first and only people to have lived in it. Us and our dog Buddy. I have never been pregnant or nursed a baby in the new house. Nick and I are in a really good place in our lives. We really like each other and love each other and share laughs and sorrows. We are two very individual, independent interdependent people.
My one really kind of surreal conference experience was the realization that the Thai doctor attending the conference was the same doctor who, 40 years ago, in the hospital nursery in Bangkok, cheered support when I was pumping colostrum for my sick newborn, Courtney. I didn't say anything to the doctor. I didn't want to break the spell. But, she cannot imagine how she impacted my life, and in turn the many many moms and babies I have helped. Karma is real.