My daughter is now about 2 1/2 and I had to take another business trip away from her. I wasn't sure we would be able to continue our nursing, but I know it means a lot to her (moms of nursing toddlers will understand) so I decided I would at least pump during my trip and let her decide as soon as I got home if she wanted to continue. Once again it was a grueling add on to an already packed work trip, but I somehow managed to make it a priority and kept up my supply while transversing the globe (I flew to Singapore and back). I had similar problems this trip, soreness that comes from exclusive pumping, slight engorgement, and exhaustion, but I knew what to expect and I had promised my daughter that even though I had to go she could continue nursing when I returned if she wanted to.
Our reunion was a joyous one, she is always so happy to see me and of course I cried upon seeing her and my husband. I guess the tears were for the time lost, and in just 8 days she really had grown and is talking a lot clearer. I offered her time to nurse as soon as we sat down for the metro ride home and she gladly accepted. She then surprised me by nursing almost non-stop for three hours while I rested (jet lag finally got me). She's still nursing a little more than usual (I think it helps her feel closer to me), but she's settled down a lot and seems to be as happy as ever.
Any working mom who is considering pumping while away on a trip should definitely try it, I truly believe nursing makes our separation easier, it keeps me attached and committed to my daughter and it gives her a little comfort before and after that only nursing can provide.
Hopefully I will not have to repeat this experiment for a while, and yes we are self-weaning so we'll just have to see how long that goes. For now I take it one day at a time and enjoy our closeness because I am sure all too soon she will be an independent little girl and no longer my nursling.