Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Adventures of Flying with a 3 month old...

Like I mentioned in my previous post Macy and I flew back to Orlando two weekends ago for my BFF's wedding. I was super nervous about flying with a baby and all it entailed. I had dreams about it for literally weeks. We flew out on Wednesday night at 6:30 PM, which is right around Macy's bedtime of 7:30 PM. We weren't due to get into Orlando until 11 PM (or 10 PM Texas time). The few nights that Macy stayed up past her bed time were not good nights for her. At the stroke of 7:31 PM she turns into Little Miss Cranky Pants and screams like a lunatic, so you could understand my fears.

We arrived to the Corpus airport 1.5 hours early so I would have time to make it through security, have her breast milk screened to make sure it wasn't an explosive liquid and still have time to change her diaper if natured called. So yeah, anyone who has flown in or out of the Corpus airport knows that is waaaayyyy too much time. Ummm, even with a baby who drinks breast milk and needs her diaper changed. The airport has a total of 8 gates and only 4 are actually serviced by airlines. I thought during the long wait in the airport terminal would be where meltdown #1 would happen.......and possibly #2. Well, Macy did great which gave me slight confidence when I was boarding the plane. But of course, the skeptical side of myself decided that I shouldn't get to high on my horse. I thought surely Macy was saving her energy for the plane ride!

But actually, Macy was great on both flights into Orlando. She didn't make a peep! I was a tad nervous on the last flight from Houston to Orlando since she was wide awake for the whole flight. I was just waiting for the bottom to fall out. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved when we landed and there were no tears. Whew, I dodged a bullet.

We flew back on Monday and lets just say I wasn't as lucky. The first flight from Orlando to Houston was eventful to say the least. I was lucky enough to sit by a wonderful older couple who didn't mind babies at all. I was shocked that they willingly picked the two available seats next to me when there were plenty of other seats unattended. Usually on Southwest, people see a woman holding a baby they continue down the aisle to find another row. The seat next to a woman holding a baby is ALWAYS the last seat to be occupied on an airplane. People will try to avoid taking that seat at all cost and only take it because THEY HAVE TO. Anyway, these people made my airplane ride more manageable and I am thankful we got to be seatmates!

For the first hour or so everything was going great. Macy was sleeping and I gabbed to the couple next to me about Macy, their grand kids and again about Macy. It was during this conversation I felt a small explosion in Macy's pants.......only to be followed by a large explosion. I knew it was bad when the couple's eyes got wide and the both said "Oh my!" at the same time. I thought great, now I am going to have to figure out how to change a poopy diaper on a sold out flight. Even better, my diaper bag is stored in my rolling suit case in the over head compartment. How am I going to hold a baby, get my suitcase down, get my diaper bag out and change her? Luckily the man who I was sitting with offered to get the suitcase down for me. By this point Macy was screaming because I was trying to wrestle with the suitcase and she was sitting in shit. The woman was kind enough to offer to hold Macy while I got things situated. It was when I handed her over I noticed the shit stain on the back on Macy's sleeper. Ugh, great. Poor lady......and poor Macy. And OMG, I totally handed my baby off to a complete stranger. Someone a few rows up from me mentioned that the bathroom in the front of the plane had a diaper changing table. I guess I was making such a ruckus that the whole plane was aware that Macy was in need of a diaper change.

So I finally gathered everything up and Macy and I headed to the bathroom. I was a little skeptical that the airplane bathroom had a diaper changing table but sure enough it did. I get Macy on the table, change her DISGUSTING diaper and I start rooting around in her diaper bag for a change of clothes. It then dawned on me that I didn't have any clean clothes for Macy in her diaper bag. I forgot to restock it and all of her clothes were in my checked the bottom of the plane. I had no choice but to leave Macy in her shit stained clothes. What else was I to do?!

Finally we get back to our seats and Macy is still screaming. At this point she was hungry because the last time she ate was over 2 hours ago in the Orlando airport terminal and she was going through a growth spurt. Of course I didn't have a bottle made so again I had to wrestle with my diaper bag to try to get some breast milk out and transfer it into a clean bottle. I guess the lady who was sitting next to me learned not to offer to hold my baby after the shit stain incident, so this time she offered to transfer the breast milk into the bottle for me. It was when she unscrewed the lid to the breast milk container that the third explosion of the day happened. I guess the pressure from the plane or the cold ice pack that caused breast milk to fly everywhere. Not only was breast milk on the lady but it was also on her husband, me and Macy. OMG, I wanted to die!! My own breast milk grosses me out so I can only imagine how these people felt!! Immediately the couple was mashing the call button asking for something, anything to soak up the breast milk that was everywhere. I was mortified! I quickly started to pat down the couple (one handed....remember I am holding a screaming baby) with Macy's blanket. Personal space etiquette was thrown out the window as I was seriously standing up wiping down the couple and their belongings!! But eventually I managed to get milk into Macy's bottle and she quickly settled down once she got some food. But after the scene I just made I wanted to crawl into a hole and cry! I was just counting down the minutes until I could get off the plane and never see these people again!

But the couple took everything pretty well.....considering. They were very nice and understanding about the whole fiasco. They insisted they carry my suitcase for me to my next gate for my connecting flight. It was there I learned that due to our delays in Orlando that I missed my connection. Luckily there was still one flight that day into Corpus. The couple left their phone number with me in case I didn't make it on that flight. They lived in Houston and offered me a place to stay on the off chance I got stranded. I couldn't believe how generous they were. I wish more people were like them!! Luckily I never had to take them up on their offer and I made it onto the Houston to Corpus flight with no problems.

Macy did have a melt down on the Houston to Corpus flight though. She was so loud that at one point the flight attendant got on the overhead speaker and sang lullaby's. It didn't make an impact but I was greatful the flight was short and relatively uneventful unlike the other flight.

We finally made it back to our house around 10 PM that night. We got home much later than anticipated which was not good for my pumping/breastfeeding situation. I will have to fill you in about that in another post. Let's just say I could have given Dolly Parton a run for her money......

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