Adventures in air travel

Posted on: May 17, 2011

Lots to share today, so this may be a bit long.  However, if you enjoy reading about the misadventures of others, read on…

This past weekend my husband and I took our little monkey on his first trip out-of-town.   Being first time parents we were a little apprehensive about bringing “G” on a plane.  We weren’t quite sure what to expect.    The morning of the trip started out well and then we hit a bunch of snags……

When I picked “G” up from the babysitter she said he had a runny nose all day.  Not good to hear when you’re going out-of-town for the weekend.  (Snag #1) Well, we went home and had to rush off to get to the airport on time.  We arrive at the airport only to discover our flight was delayed 2 hours (Snag #2).  Not what I wanted to hear.  I could only begin to imagine what sitting in an airport for 2 extra hours with my little man would be like.  Dinner time…bed time…not something I was looking forward to. 

We continue on and go through security. Somehow we ended up in the line with a new TSA agent who was in training so the line took twice as long to get through as it should have (snag #3). Then, they flagged my bag and pulled it aside (snag #4).  Being a nursing mom, I brought my breast pump with me on the trip so I could continue to pump milk.  Well, when the TSA lady saw a square metal thing with a mechanism inside it in my suitcase, she felt the need to search it (Gee, I wonder why….).  I explained to the woman what it was, she checked it out, and then we were on our way. 

Things were going fine until it came time for my  little monkeys dinner.  I really wanted to nurse him instead of giving him a bottle but I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it sitting at the gate (even though I had a cover up and no one would have seen anything).  I just know how it goes..people see a woman nursing and make all kind of faces at you, they stare, give you the “I can’t believe you’re doing that in public” look, and I just didn’t want to deal with it.  So, my little man and I set out to find a spot to feed in.  This particular airport does not have any family restrooms (at least, not that I could find) and the regular bathroom didn’t have any space for nursing either.  So, I opted for the inevitable…sitting on the toilet and nursing.  I just prayed the automatic toilet wouldn’t go off and leave me with wet pants.  For any of you nursing moms out there who have ever had this thought cross your mind, let me give you a word of advice..DON”T do it.  It was not exactly comfortable for me or “G” and we only lasted about 10 minutes.   I gave in after that, went to the gate, and gave him a bottle.  *sigh*  (snag #5).

It finally came time for us to board the plane.  By this time, it was way past “G”‘s bedtime but he was still awake and very over tired.   He started to fuss and cry and all I could think was, “I hope he’s not like this the whole plane ride”.  Fortunately, we were able to calm him down when we got settled on the plane.  After sitting down, I glanced across the aisle and the woman sitting there gave me this half-smile and look that said, “Oh great, you have a baby.  I hope he doesn’t cry the whole flight”.  As much as I hated her for giving me that look, all I could do was hope for the same thing.   Eventually, he did fall asleep and slept most of the flight.  All in all, the actual flight wasn’t so bad.  Wish I could say the same for the rest of the trip… 

We didn’t arrive at our destination until midnight and by the time we got to my mother’s house it was around 12:30am.  I wish I could say we all went to bed and woke up the next morning refreshed but, I can’t.  My poor little man was very congested, over tired, out of his routine, and miserable.  He was up crying until 2:30am (snag #6).  I finally just slept with him in my mother’s recliner in the living room since he wouldn’t stay asleep in the pack n play.  I woke up at 4:30am, put him down in the pack n play, crawled into bed and fell asleep.  Ten minutes later, he was up (snag #7).  My mother graciously got up and took care of him so I could get some sleep.  However, I was up at 6:30am to feed him.  It had been quite a night…..

The rest of the weekend went well (except for major fussiness at bed time due to baby being sick) and our flight back home was easy.  Little man had a bottle when we got on the plane, fell asleep, and didn’t wake up until we were at the gate and ready to de-plane.  Phew! 

All’s well that ends well, I guess, but it was quite a weekend…..

**Side note:  I did find a very accommodating nursing area in the bathroom at our destination airport.  Made me very happy.  I firmly believe all airports should have this.

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