Many of you know that Eden and I had our own little flying adventure last week. However, it did not go exactly as planned. In some ways it was much worse, and in others it couldn't have been any better. Flying sure can have it's challenges and set backs. Delays, missed flights, and disgruntled passengers can be enough to put you in a funk. Traveling with an infant can make all of the things listed above 10x worse!
It all started in Philadelphia International Airport on Monday January 30th. Eden and I were due to take off around 4:15pm. Like any wise person would assume, it would be fitting to arrive about 2 hours before take off. That of course was the plan. A few minor set backs changed that plan: The desire for pacifiers, difficulty finding a parking spot, and a broken elevator...just to name a few :).
I finally was handed my tickets (they were ordered in advance, online) at the time my flight was boarding! YIKES! We still had to make it through security and to my gate. Going through security with an infant ALONE is quite the task! 2 bags, a stroller, and a baby. It was terrible! Obviously if I had more time, I wouldn't have rushed so much. I felt as if people were not very helpful unfortunately. I put Eden in her stroller quickly after going through the meddle detector. Sadly, in my haste, I pinched her finger on the stroller buckle/strap. Oh my word! What came next was a break your heart kind of scream! Boy did I feel like the worst Mom on the planet! I know, I know...everyone pinches their child's finger at least once when their young, but the knowledge of that did not make the feeling of sadness in my heart go away.
So there I am trying to gather my things with a screaming infant, and make it my gate. I practically ran through the airport! Eden's blanket was falling off and getting stuck in the stroller wheels, while I was trying to hold onto my bag, and grab my sweatshirt that was falling off my shoulder. Can you picture it? Funny to explain, but in the moment it was one of the most stressful moments in my life haha.
But, by God's grace we made it to the gate! I carried a crying baby and 2 bags onto the plane. Eden and I were the last 2 on board! As we walked down the very narrow isle, I must have hit everyone with my bag. Goodness! Getting on board late really stinks when you have a window seat. Finally, I made it to my row, sat down, and immediately began feeding a very upset Eden Grace. My whole body was burning up. I was finally able to catch my breath! Now to survive the flight. I was already beat!
The first 40 minutes or so were relatively uneventful. Then it happened. Why here? Why now? Eden pooped up the back and out her diaper, all over her clothes. Where in the world was I going to change her!? I got out of my seat, feeling awful that the two ladies next to me had to move. The flight attendants told me there were changing stations located in the restrooms. They pointed me in the direction of the bigger one. Changing a baby on a plane, standing up in a very tiny bathroom, is challenging! Eden did ok, and only fussed a little. Where was I to go after? There was no way Eden would let me just sit down. Thankfully the flight attendants let me hang in the back with them. How cool. They even gave Eden her first set of wings since it was her first flight. God was sure watching over us. We didn't need to return to our seats until about 20 min. before landing. I began feeding Eden after I returned to my seat, and she fell fast asleep soon after. We then landed safely in Chicago :).
As the flight ended,God blessed me with a very helpful middle aged woman. She happened to be the person at the end of my row. This lady helped me with my bags and with little Eden. She went to get my stroller, stayed with me to help me find my terminal, and even allowed me to go to the bathroom and grab some food. Where would I have been without her!? She said she remembered traveling with her young kids and wished that someone would have helped her. Yes, I must say I was a little skeptical leaving Eden with the woman for a few minutes but she assured me she wouldn't know what to do with her anyway :). What a God send!
It was nice to be at my gate early for a change :). I was able to board my second flight in plenty of time, and it made me feel better knowing I had the same flight attendants as my previous flight. They new my story, and would understand if I had to stand in the back again.There was also a nice gentlemen across from my row who offered to help me with my carry on luggage. So far, so good. I had a window seat, but who would be the ones to join me? My heart was overjoyed when a middle aged couple who were "Want to be Grandparents" showed up in my row. They were excited to sit next to a baby. Are you kidding? How did I get so lucky! They were also Christians, and extremely helpful. The couple was so sweet, and I chatted with them most of the flight. The woman, (I'll call her Wendy) was so nice! She carried both my bags off the plane, so all I had to do was push the stroller.Then she stayed with me till Mark and my Sister-in-Law, Casey arrived.
So although the journey started off terribly, it ended with Eden and I safely arriving in Michigan. We are thankful for God's protection over us. I am especially thankful for the "Angels" God sent my way to help carry the burden of traveling alone. The trip would have ended up very differently if it weren't for those who stepped out and lent a helping hand.
I am glad that my next flight experience with Eden will not be for a couple more months. Eden will be older, I WILL arrive at the airport earlier, and I'll think through everything I have to do a bit more! Here's to happy and uneventful flights in the future!