Monday, August 8, 2011

Flying the open skies with an infant

Not quite one year ago, Ben was asked to the best man in his best friend, Josh's, wedding. At the time, Josh told Ben that they were trying to book the wedding for September 10, 2011 (9.10.11). Not long before this time, we found out that we were expecting our first baby, who would be due in late May or early June. Perfect, we thought! Our baby would be about three months old by the time of the wedding, which we thought would have been just the perfect time to attempt to fly with an infant. Ben, of course, happily accepted the job of best man.

A month or two later, Josh called Ben to tell him that they had booked a beautiful venue for the wedding and they were going to marry on July 1. JULY 1!!!!!! Immediately, we began surfing the Internet trying to do our research on when it might be safe to fly with an infant. Our baby might be one month old...if it came on time. First time moms are not known to deliver early. What if the baby was 2 weeks late? I could not fly with a 2-week-old. Should we buy tickets or wait til the last minute? Oh the flood of questions. Fortunately, everything I read said the same thing: as long as we had a healthy baby, it was safe to fly with a newborn. The major concern was the germs floating around the tight cabin of the airplane. And the baby might have discomfort in his or her ears due to the changing pressure, but it wouldn't cause any damage. Whew! Just to be sure, though, I asked my doctor at my next prenatal visit whether it was safe to fly with an infant. She confirmed everything that I had read, but then explained that while it may be safe, it may not be comfortable for me. Me? I had never considered myself a reason why we might not be able to fly. She said that if I had a c-section, I might be too uncomfortable. Or I might not be comfortable nursing on the airplane. Well I'm not having a c-section, so I don't need to worry about this...I thought. So we bought our tickets and were set on going. 

Well, I had to have a c-section and as progressed as I was at 36 weeks, our sweet boy came only one day early. On June 3, 2011, I delivered a healthy baby boy who would only be 3 weeks old when we took to the open skies. Fortunately, I recovered well. The nurses were amazed at my recovery just in the 4 days we were at the hospital. And friends of mine who had c-sections were similarly impressed at my mobility. God was good, as He always is. So, on June 29, we set out for Baltimore Washington Internation Airport in order to make the nearly 5-hour flight to Salt Lake City.

Despite my expedient recovery, I was still in a lot of discomfort. And if I did too much walking or moving, my abdomen was especially sensitive. Fortunately, it did not hurt me to wear the Moby wrap, as it sat well above my incision site. Burke loved the Moby wrap and he ended up spending pretty much the entire time in the airport and on the plane in it. I loved it too, because I could shield his little face from the germs as much as possible.

Needless to say, my little sweet pea was snug as a bug in a rug. He slept nearly the entire flights there and back, much to our relief. (No one likes a screaming baby...especially his parents). On the flight to Salt Lake City, the flight timed up perfectly with Burke's feeding schedule. I was able to nurse him on takeoff and landing so that his ears would hopefully not bother him as much. He wasn't even phased. On the way home, since he had already eaten and was sleeping, I simply slipped his pacifier into his mouth. Other than noticing him suck on it every now and again, there was no evidence that our little traveler even knew he was changing altitudes with such speed.

Other than feeding, the only other questionable task when flying with a newborn is changing those dirty diapers. I did not know that there was a changing table in the bathroom until we were nearly to Salt Lake City and I was told by our flight attendant. Regardless, I would not have used it during that flight, since I had a window seat. Too many people to disrupt and much too cumbersome for me to go climbing over people with a child and his accessories. Since he was such a peanut, Ben and I just did the ol' change-the-stinker-on-our-lap deal. One of us held the babe on our lap while the other did the very quick change (we just prayed he didn't hose down the airplane or any of its passengers between diapers). This method worked out well for us, but on the way home--since we had front row seats--I did use the changing table in the bathroom. It was surprisingly comfortable to use considering the tight confines of the airplane bathroom.

Burke didn't get sick. He didn't scream. No one got peed on. Ben and I were exceedingly calm. My incision site was fine. And we got hooked up with free drinks on the way home! The flight attendants fell in love with Burke and even had the entire flight crew sign a certificate for his first flight. So take to the skies with your infants, for I cannot guarantee that other aged babies will fare nearly as well. (That will be a post further down the road, I'm sure).  

No comments:

Post a Comment