Monday, January 5, 2015

Reece's First Flights

Well, we made it home. And back again. (And it was so good to see our family and celebrate the holidays with them in Washington for the first time in four years!) Honestly, Reece was a great traveler on the way to the States. Sure, he wouldn't wake up to eat when I wanted him to and then was starving the moment we arrived in the airport. Sure, he needed a change of clothes before we even checked in for our flight. I guess I can't be too surprised.

I was able to feed him and put him back to sleep in the Baby Bjorn before we boarded, so getting on and takeoff went smoothly. I was seated next to two young unaccompanied minors who were so engrossed in their phones, they barely noticed us. I was able to nurse him as soon as he started stirring, then we'd go to the bathroom and change his diaper where he enjoyed being able to lay down and stretch for a few minutes. Then he was back in the Bjorn and back to sleep before too long. We did this three times--including right before the end of the flight, so he could make it through our short layover.

(Please tell me why the Bjorn has been so popular for so long! I have one of the smallest children alive and it still kills my back because of the lack of support! But, it is much easier to get him in and out of than my wrap, so I just suffered through.)

Our layover consisted of standing in line at Immigration, grabbing bags to go through Customs, re-checking them, and then going through security again before finally reaching the gate at the moment they were calling our boarding group. The most stressful part of the day was trying to get my large carry on suitcase (with my pump and camera) into the overhead bins, but everyone except for the flight attendants were very helpful and a couple of men were able to move things around to get it in. (One advantage of flying United Airlines is the many military that are on our flights, and they were especially helpful while I was traveling without Eric.)

The flight from San Francisco to Seattle was short and aside from eating, Reece slept the whole time. The old man sitting next to me on that flight told me that I was a miracle worker, but I don't think I was the one performing the miracles!

Our trip back to Korea, however, was a very different story. The biggest difference being the fact that at this point, Reece was (and still is) refusing to nurse. I was able to pump in the bathroom right before we boarded in Seattle while Eric fed him. The flight from Seattle to San Francisco was uneventful, as everyone but me slept the whole time. We made the dash from one gate to the other without any problem in San Francisco, but there was not time for me to pump before boarding. And here the trouble began.

After boarding, the captain announced that there was a problem with part of the plane. He said they were testing something and would let us know shortly the results of the test. When he came back on, he announced that there was more work to do and, if we wanted, we could de-plane for about 45 minutes. Reece was asleep and Cade and I were exhausted, so we stayed and took a nap while Eric and Kennedy got off and went for a walk. After an hour, the captain announced that the plane needed more work and everyone needed to de-plane. A decision would be made within the next 45 minutes about if and when our flight would be re-scheduled. Just as we had disembarked, they announced they had a plane for us and that we needed to move to a new gate. I still hadn't had a chance to pump, and I was starting to leak.

Eventually, after almost a four hour delay, we were on another plane and on our way. I was able to get Reece to nurse a couple of times, but there was still plenty of crying, as it's not his preferred method. There was also some running around trying to track down water for bottles from uncooperative flight attendants when he wouldn't nurse. Unfortunately, he didn't go back to sleep after his last feeding right before landing, so he was too full to feed and was not enjoying the changes in pressure as we descended. The flight attendants let me know that his ears were bothering him and suggested I give him a pacifier, as if I hadn't thought of that and hadn't been trying to hold it in his mouth for the past 5 minutes with no luck.

I was soaked, as I had been unable to get my pump to work the two times I tried (must have been a pressure issue?). And, I had somehow wedged my foot under something while sleeping at one point, so it was bruised and swollen by the time we arrived, and I was limping miserably. By the time we finally arrived home, after nearly 30 hours of travel, I desperately needed a shower, ice packs, and sleep! Everyone but Eric had done plenty of crying by the time we all drifted off to sleep in our beds that night, and we are relieved to not be traveling again for a few months!

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