Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Back to earth with a bumpy flight!

It's nice to be home but lets face it, blogging tucked up in bed with a bowl of frosties on a morning just does not compare to being sat next to the pool listening to the sound of birds and the gentle bubble of water.

O.k so maybe I am conveniently forgetting some of the other sounds, like the boys debating who has broken the water gun (little boys that is, Al and G Kisby were more likely to be debating whether it is too early to start on a cold beer), Mabel grizzling for her next feed and the fact that yet again I have eaten one piece of bread too many (when will I learn to stop, I just have no will power when it comes to crusty bread and real butter). But all the same you see my point.

The flight home however, was not nearly so relaxing.

We knew the timing was going to be difficult since the plane didn't take off until 8.40pm which was way past bed time. We got to the airport about 4 hours early (once bitten - and unsurprisingly Mabel was not in the mood for sleeping. I was nervous before we even got on the plane.

Once we had boarded she did fall asleep twice but really annoyingly the speaker above our seats was so loud that announcements kept waking her up. Eventually she became past tired and started screaming with real tears. 

It was incredibly hot, there was very little room and we kept getting trapped in by trolleys serving drinks so couldn't get up to rock her. Aside from the obvious embarrassment at the noise I also started to panic that something was wrong. And once I'd thought about that, and the fact that I couldn't get her to calm down or get off the plane, I started to struggle holding back tears myself. I was hot, my hands were clammy and at one point I thought I might be sick. I knew it was just a panic attack and I had to keep focusing on staring straight out the window for fear that I was actually going to lose it completely. G Kisby was brilliant and I was so grateful for Al who took her for a walk down the aisle to let G Kisby comfort the now ridiculously frantic parent practically rocking by the window.

I wasn't scared of the actual flying, I just felt very claustrophobic and completely helpless as a mother who couldn't calm her own baby. I was also panicking about the panic, if that makes sense. I actually wanted someone to take her off me and make it stop and all go away, which made me feel so guilty and worried about how I'd cope if G Kisby wasn't around. Fee assures me that I would be fine since adrenalin would kick in - that I allowed myself to lose it because I knew I could. I hope she's right. I also saw a lady in front keep looking back through the seats at us and shaking her head. Now I'm not sure if she actually was or I was being paranoid but I felt a massive urge to justify our parenting decisions and a tired, red eyed, clearly distressed baby was making me doubt myself even. Is it selfish to take a 4 month old on a flight which is largely for our benefit? If there is now something wrong with our 4 month old and I can't do anything because we are 12,000 feet up in the air, how will I forgive myself. All the kind of irrational thoughts that were running through my head...

Eventually she did calm down but the rest of the flight was still spent with her on the edge and me likewise. I've never been so grateful for a plane landing.
I know there are far worse scenarios to find yourself in as a parent and if that is the worst it gets then we are doing well. But at the time it feels pretty scary. I swore I would never fly with young children again.

I have changed my opinion on that slightly, once we were home safe and I had regained my composure. The issue was largely with the flight times, since on the way over there things were fine. And I do know that Mabel has benefited from the holiday...

She had some great entertainment from her cousins, Kenzie got the first real chuckle (no real belly laugh yet...)

There were loads of new sights and sounds from a Spanish market to the most gorgeous flowers

Her first dip in the pool, all be it just her legs (it was a little cold for a baby!)

She had long sleeps and lazy lunches, probably in part from being looked after by properly relaxed parents.

We had such a fantastic holiday. It was loads more relaxing than I thought and I would now fully recommend, if at all possible (we were very lucky with our Spanish jaunt) getting away from home when you've had a baby. It really forced us to stop, enjoy Mabel being a baby, enjoy each others company, reflect and refocus on what is truly important - being together, being with our family and being happy!

Just where possible avoid sitting near a new baby on a flight, or more to the point, a new mother!

1 comment:

  1. Oh bless your heart! That flight sounds just dreadful in every way! I can completely relate to the panic and anxiety and every word you said and I haven't traveled with a baby ever. You're a real trooper! Glad you made it back on the ground safe and sound.


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