Our family recently traveled back to South Africa for a three week visit, which was fantastic! It really brought such clarity to me particularly, that our new home for this season is Canada 🙂 When you move overseas, life really is not 100% greener on the other side. Well except for your lawn! 😉 Our neighbour looked after our lawn when we were in South Africa, and we got back to the greenest grass I have ever seen!
Even though not all aspects of life over here are in fact greener, we are still very happy that we have been given this opportunity, and we continue to enjoy the many positives of life in Canada 🙂 Watch this space for more about our life over here.
For now, I wanted to share how our most recent flight went. The route from South Africa was Johannesburg – Munich – Toronto – Saskatoon.
We went for our last lunch in Johannesburg at Melrose Arch and made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Check in took an hour! We didn’t even stand in a queue. We have learnt that our flight bookings are always complicated, and our family of four is traveling on three passport types (one Canadian, one British, two South African), so it tends to confuse everyone and makes things go very slowly. Finally, we got settled in the Slow Lounge to wait until boarding.
I was so happy to have our parenting seats with extra leg room and the beautiful bassinet seat 🙂 This was going to be a great flight! And it actually wasn’t terrible considering what was to come! The only weird thing was that I had extreme nausea most of this flight. We went through tons of turbulence during the night and it made me so sick. Every time I closed my eyes, I felt like I was going to vomit, so I opened them. So no sleep for me, and I would have actually been able to sleep as Hudson slept well in his bassinet, and Summer slept lots too! Typical 😉
We arrived in Munich in one piece and had a fairly short layover but we managed to shower and relax a bit before the next flight.
Then the worst flight of my life began…
Those who know me know how dramatic I can be, and how I can exaggerate. But guys! I kid you not… this happened, and we have photos to prove it!
Okay, so it didn’t start out all bad. We were spoilt brats and were able to fly premium economy class for this flight. I know, you totally don’t feel bad for me now, right?! It was rather amazing and Adrian has now set the bar very high. I joke and tell him I’ve now grown accustomed to this kind of lifestyle 😉
After we were settled on the plane, the air hostesses brought us a welcome drink, and a warm face cloth to freshen up. No joke. I mean have you ever. Luxury. We really enjoyed the beginning of the flight – actually a few hours of this flight were absolutely incredible. It made what was about to happen bearable! 🙂
Hudson had normal newborn screaming moments on this flight, but nothing too extreme to be honest. Maybe the people around me were annoyed with him at times, but I thought he did super well. We didn’t have a bassinet seat but there was plenty of leg room so I didn’t mind holding Hudson the whole flight (nine hours). The problem was, I experienced the same nausea every time I closed my eyes! So again, absolutely zero sleep or even shut eye for me. Boo! 😦
Summer slept on and off, and ended up having about three really bad meltdowns. Like full-on ear piercing I’m dying type screaming sessions. There were a few reasons for this – but mainly being over tired, out of routine, annoyed with being on the airplane (I totally get you little one), and ear pain. The meltdowns were on and off. She would calm down and be fine for a while, then it would start again.
When there was about two hours to go until landing, Summer really became impossible and cried a LOT. Adrian took her to the bathroom to change her diaper and her clothes (she is fully toilet trained during the day but we decided she would be in pull ups for the flights which was an absolute game changer and the best decision we made). She screamed and fought Adrian the whole time in the cramped little bathroom and I sat outside in my seat listening to the screaming without being able to do much with a newborn on my lap… Traveling with one baby or child is tough, but with two, ooh eh eh, not for sissies. If it’s not one, it’s the other that needs you.
People were starting to wonder what was going on, and I had received many Ah shame, you poor thing type looks. Summer then started to say that her tummy was sore and really started to scream that her ears were hurting. With just under two hours to go on this flight, I was now worried… She wasn’t just whining. She was screaming guys. Do you know Summer? Miss Sassy? She is LOUD like her mama… You can’t ignore it and move on. It’s the kind of scream that makes your whole body tense up and you want to do anything and everything you can to make it stop. She only wanted me to comfort her which is difficult when you also need to breastfeed your baby… But I handed Hudson to Adrian as much as I could to be there for Sum.
All she wanted was to be on my lap. The screaming continued. Eventually we were about to descend and we made her keep drinking and helped her try pop her ears by pretending to yawn. Nothing helped. We now had to put her in her own seat and buckle her up for landing, which was what I had been dreading. She was exhausted and in excruciating pain at that point. And she was loud. We put her in her seat and the screaming and panicking intensified. I have truly never seen her like that, and I have witnessed more tantrums and meltdown moments than I’d like to count… She was struggling. She got more and more panicked and had such anxiety, poor little girl. Eventually it happened…
She couldn’t keep in the stress any longer. Vomit. It was the kind of vomit that flows out of your body like a thick waterfall. It went everywhere. It smelt so bad that I’m pretty sure everyone around us were about to join her in the vomit session. It was all over Summer, all over the seat, all over the floor, all over me. Motherhood right there. My poor baby girl. And at that moment, we landed. It was over, nearly… She felt a lot better and the colour started returning to her face. She was dripping with vomit and was sorry that she had made a mess. Precious girl. We told her that she was so brave and that we would get off the plane and get cleaned up, and she mustn’t worry as she was just feeling ill.
Everyone around us was in shock I think, and also looked like they felt sorry for us, trying to breathe through their mouths and not their noses for a while. We quickly figured out a game plan and decided that I would take Sum off the plane and straight to a bathroom, rather than trying to sort her out in the tiny airplane bathroom. Remember, we still had one more flight to catch, a three hour flight to Toronto. Adrian sorted Hudson and our hand luggage, and I ran to the bathroom with Summer. Wet wipes were used, many wet wipes, and we changed our clothes. This is why I pack ALL the hand luggage. We walked out the bathroom after cleaning up, still stinking of vomit unfortunately. But hey, Summer was okay, and we only had one short flight to go 🙂
You may think we are strange for taking these pictures… but Adrian and I have decided that our family is complete at this stage, and to remind ourselves how tough it gets, he took these pics as memories 😉 This is real parenting guys. The only thing that mattered in those moments was that Summer would be okay and stop feeling sore and anxious. I didn’t care that people would be annoyed and I didn’t feel embarrassed, I just went into survival mode for my little. And I would do it all over again, again and again for her.
Saying that, I would rather NOT have another flight experience like this ever again, if I could choose. I tend to go slightly crazy on flights and take strange selfies… I guess to remind myself that motherhood is real and raw and messy… but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Summer had one more vomit moment in the hired car at the Saskatoon airport, but besides that, she felt much better. Little trooper. Let’s not fly again for a while okay?