Albuquerque Newborn Photographer, Albuquerque Newborn Photography, Family Photographer in Albuquerque
I will never fly alone with Ella again and I am finally ready to write out why (it was that bad).
Too many people = Too many factors for things to go bad
We flew Southwest, so I was excited that we didn't have to pay for checked bags. My husband parked in the garage and helped me carry everything in. This was my luggage haul: Checked: 2 bags, go-pod (portable exersaucer), Not Checked: Carseat and base, stroller, diaper bag, carry-on bag that had two laptops, camera equipment and breast pump- it was HEAVY. Ella was in the ergo and I stacked everything on the stroller. It was craziness and I attracted a lot of stares.
Hubs helped me check my bags and walked me to security. Ella is not a huge fan of the ergo so mid security she starts crying...great. A TSA lady helped me get my laptops out and I think I had 5 bins of stuff and a long line behind me. Got through security, stacked everything up again and went on my way to my gate.
I had planned on taking the car seat on the flight the entire time, knowing that Ella would fall asleep in the car seat since she loves the car. The help counter at the gate said there was only one extra seat on the flight. I was determined to get it. Now we are boarding and Ella is starting to cry and just wants out of the ergo, which wasn't going to happen. I tagged the stroller to gate check it so I am in line to get on the plane and it is time to collapse my stroller....well, everything was on or in it. The car seat and base fall off the stroller and comes really close to hitting the lady in front of me. She just turns around, looks at the car seat, looks at me, and turns back around. Thanks lady
. They woman behind me grabbed it and picked it up. Thank you. So now, I have Ella still in the ergo, one bag on each shoulder and carrying the carseat. I get on the plane and the flight attendant at the front of the plane allowed me to leave the really heavy bag up front. I make my way back and see the middle flight attendant. She says the game changer, "The carseat needs to be in a window seat" ummm what? What I didn't tell you was that my flight was a connecting flight so everyone took the window or aisle seat. There was nothing available. She told me to talk to the flight attendant in the back and she will ask someone to move.
I make my way back to find the flight attendant who will be my saving grace. She is in the bathroom! By this time, I was 3 or 4 rows from the very back of the plane just hanging out in the aisle, with the carseat, diaper bag and ella in the ergo. This older woman comes up behind me and says, "excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom" I turned and looked at her and said, "well, I am trying to find a seat. The carseat can only go in a window seat and there arent any available so I am waiting for the flight attendant." Right after that, a young man in the back corner said, "You can have my seat" I said thank you and the older woman behind me again said, "Okay excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom" I tried to squeeze all of my stuff aside and she pushed her way around me. At this time the flight attendant came out and said with a smile, "What can I help you with?" I said, "I need to find a seat for the carseat by the window and there were none available but this man chose to give up his for us." She smiled a sarcastic smile and said, "Great, then you have it all worked out." I rolled my eyes like it was my job.
We try and squeeze into the row and set the car seat up. Everything is settled and I take a deep breath. Ella starts crying so I take her out of the ergo immediately. I know it was time to eat and sleep so I just started feeding her, I knew she would fall asleep while feeding her, then I could just put her in her car seat and everything would be good. Not how it happened. I fed her during take off and then still put her in her car seat. We had turbulence from the get go and I didn't even think about being in the back and how that affects turbulence!
Ella fought her sleep for an hour, go figure. She has a high pitched scream that she does and she did that straight for an hour and cried just a little. Every trick in the bag was not working. I was crying. I was frustrated. I was exhausted. When she fell asleep, she was asleep the whole time, which was the remaining two hours! I took her out and fed her again during landing and put her in the ergo. Since I was in the last row, I had some time. A woman across the aisle saw I was struggling the entire flight so she came right behind me on the way out and asked if I need some help. My heavy bag was in the overhead compartment. The flight attendant even struggled getting it down. The woman grabbed it and carried it out like it was a sack of flour. A woman in front of me turned around and took the car seat out for me. All I had was Ella and the diaper bag at this point. The woman from behind helped me put my stroller up and everything on it. I was so thankful for these women! You could tell they were moms too. So I took my luggage and headed to baggage claim. Taking both bags and go-pod from the conveyor was interesting and was a sight to see.
I realize that when you are struggling, you can tell women who are moms are who are not by the grace they give. When I have asked, I have been right every time. It is also baffling that no man has ever helped. I feel like maybe they don't know how to help, but standing there staring ISN'T helping. I feel like I am the star of "How much can this mom handle." I know many parents get flustered when their child acts out in public. No parent would ever care if people didn't stop and stare and they actually helped out instead of making comments like, "wow, you sure got your hands full" ugh.
To conclude, I will NEVER fly with Ella alone by myself. Thankful hubs and my mom will be with us on our flight to Maui, but praying it goes smoother!