In case you haven’t noticed, my online nickname is Jetsetting Joyce. When I fell pregnant, one of my witty friends said that I should really be changing that to Grounded Joyce.
Well, one thing that will stay constant since NKOTB’s arrival is that the jetsetting will continue, as all of her relatives bar one live interstate. So while there won’t be any backpacking jaunts to Europe any time soon, NKOTB will still get lots of practice being on planes.
During Easter we went on our first Tour de Baby. Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane-Toowoomba-Gold Coast-Brisbane-Melbourne. When I tell people that we were in three cities in one day they look at me as if I’m crazy. But I didn’t want to deal with portacots and transport and luggage by having an overnight stay in Sydney, so on the first day of the Tour we flew Melbourne-Sydney then Sydney-Brisbane.
I was thinking I would just fly to Sydney with NKOTB and meet my parents there (who would fly down from Brisbane) but luckily my parents insisted on coming down to Melbourne and accompanying me to Sydney.
Flying with a baby is a whole different ball-game to my previous hand-luggage-only-forward-aisle-seat-please existence. I still managed to fit my gear and her gear in a single roller bag, but I had to check it in because on board I had to juggle NKOTB carried on my front and a fat nappy bag. Once I sat down, I had to wrestle her out of her carrier and onto my lap so that I could put on her infant seatbelt and get her ready to start feeding as soon as we took off to help ease the pressure in her ears.
Fortunately, full marks to NKOTB for remaining calm and quiet for the majority of the flight. She squawked a few times but basically hung out on my nipple for the hour. Flight 1 success! In fact, on every flight we took NKOTB was pretty easygoing and barely made a noise. It was a bit harder going for me as I basically had to wear her for a couple of hours at a time.
So the flying wasn’t the hard part – the hard part was the rest of the constant travelling and adjusting to new places. For a week and a half she was thrown into environments with unfamiliar sights and smells, ferried from here to there and passed around to dozens of new people. It was exhausting and over-stimulating for me, so I can imagine what it must have been like for a little 10 week old baby.
All the travelling and newness meant that NKOTB’s routine was completely shot – which meant that our patience unravelled as well. She was really interested in all the new people and the things around her, but it also meant that she cat-napped and became over-tired instead of having her usual long sleeps. She slept in our room for the first time since her birth and reverted back to an exhausting 2 hourly feed cycle overnight. She cried much more than usual and was often inconsolable so I decided to let her comfort feed in between her usual feeds. I became really defensive about her, telling everyone that she wasn’t ‘normally like this’.