After traveling without my 19 month old, I was reminded about this post from my old blog, “JacHeart”, in August of 2012. Traveling alone last month felt very uneventful. For the past 2+ years, I’ve had my hands full any time I’ve traveled! I was either pregnant or traveling with a young child. …talk about eventful. I figured I would share one of those eventful stories with you!
It all started with a kolache, which just so happens to be one of the nicknames for my baby. My husband, Davis, decided I needed a kolache to feed “baby kolache” on the way to drop me off at the airport. My flight was scheduled to leave just before 7 a.m., which was quite the stretch for my hibernating bear-type hubs. As promised, bear hubs crawled out of bed with me at 4:30 a.m. in order to get me to the airport on time. Of course, “early” is never early enough when you’re catching an early flight out. Walking into the airport, orange juice in hand, I got a light flutter of nerves as I saw the line for the security check. Being honest, the light flutter could partially be due to being pregnant at the time. As I attempt to check myself in at the self-service kiosk, I manage to swipe my driver’s license the wrong way. Thinking the kiosk was not going to be able to pull up my ticket by driver’s license, I attempt to look up my flight information on my cell phone and allow other travelers who are better prepared than me to cut ahead. (I have to add here that none of them seemed thankful; they must not be traveling somewhere pleasant, because they sure did not want to hurry.) I, on the other hand, nearly knocked the whole line out of my way (think dominoes), once I realized the proper way to swipe my driver’s license. Of course, I’ve done this a hundred times (printed my boarding pass from the kiosk). At that point in life, I traveled to California about every 6 months to visit my family. My incapability to swipe my stinkin’ license properly is a true testament to the effects of “pregnancy brain”.
Boarding pass in hand, security line backed up, I start to get anxious that I’m going to miss my plane. Again, the anxiety was due to pregnancy, in part. Once to the front of the security line, I kept my boarding pass in my hand like they ask you to do and I also had a “proof of pregnancy” from my doctor. No, I wasn’t trying to shmooze them into letting me by more quickly or anything. I did, however, read that you should try to skip the body scan by requesting a pat down instead. To avoid drawing suspicion to myself, I kept the proof of pregnancy in hand to show the airport employee. As I patiently stood by, I realized that I probably would not make it to my gate if I stood by waiting to be pat down. With a deep sigh of acceptance, I mentioned that I did not have time to wait and that I would willingly go through the body scanner. As I stood there with my arms raised and my feet an awkward distance apart for a person as short as I am, I thought about how cool it would be if the person viewing my body scan was able to see the kolache inside of me. (The baby kolache, that is, not the actual food.) As I exited the body scanner, I had the urge to ask if it had my chubby cheeks or if it had Davis’ long and lean torso. I put my flip-flops back on and grabbed my carry on, glancing at my phone to see if the conveyor belt had summoned a text with its magical powers. No text. Just the clock screaming at me, once again. I checked my gate number on my boarding pass again and realized it was on the other side of the airport. Of course. I sure did book it to the other end of that airport, considering my pregnant state and flip-flopped feet. At the gate, out of breath, carrying my flip-flops, my luggage overturned on its wheels, I see the red flashing words that read “Flight Delayed”. You would think I would have been a tad upset. I had just booked it, as you recall. I was relieved! I thought, for sure, that I was going to miss my flight. I got nice and cozy in the far corner by the window with my book and patiently waited for my flight. And waited. And waited some more. Until 2 hours later. Again, I was not upset. No, the pregnancy hormones didn’t even kick in to help me become upset. Nope. Not at all. I was fine.
Until I got to my connecting airport, LAX, and they decided that a Houston delayed flight meant I had to wait for an ELEVEN P.M. L.A. flight!!!! That would have been a twelve-hour stay at LAX for the day. Luckily, the impolite lady assisting me called another airline to see if they had an extra seat for me. Again, luckily, the other airline did have a seat for me. On the other side of the airport. The impolite lady vaguely described how I would manage to get to the other side by going through this door, then entering at this entrance, and walking by this and walking by that and walking by the other. As in, exit the airport, walk around, print boarding pass, go through security all over again, then find my gate. Cue pregnancy hormones. Empty-handed, I end up in front of the security line. By empty-handed, I mean I don’t have my boarding pass. Lip quivering, feet swelling, eyes bulging, I wandered around until a polite security man walked me down to print my boarding pass. Whew. Feet still swelling, eyes still bulging, but lip no longer quivering. Boarding pass in hand, I ventured through security once more. I managed to find my gate and settle into a big chair, propping my swollen pregnant-looking feet up on my luggage. Still a little shaken, I decided not to read my deep, dark, emotional book. I wrote instead. Eventually, I was on my flight, leaving LAX, headed to FAT (Fresno Airport), and soon into the comforting arms of my grandma. She cooed, “You poor thing! Let’s get you something to eat.” I smiled into her and sighed with relief. For the next week, I would be hugged, kissed, stuffed with food, belly rubbed, tucked in, and probably even spanked. I wouldn’t even miss being an adult for a second. Don’t lie, you know you love going home and being treated like a kid again.
Have you had any crazy, hormonal travel experiences while traveling with fetus in tow (or, in belly, rather)?