Sunday, February 11, 2007

Breastfeeding at 32,000 feet

Sooo... went to Portland last week on a business trip, and I had to take Sadie with me, since she's not weaned and refuses a bottle (still). I convinced mom to go along with me to serve as a nanny (didn't take much arm twisting there), and on Sunday we loaded up 4 large suitcases, 3 carry ons and a travel system and headed to the airport for a day of fun. Upon arrival, we were informed that our flight was cancelled, and that we'd have an extra hour at the airport to get on the next flight on another carrier. We grabbed a bite to eat and headed to security (extra fun, seeing as I had 2 laptops, an LCD projector, two 3-1-1 baggies, a baby, a stroller system, etc.) only to be informed that we had been flagged for a super secret search since our flight carrier had been changed. Sweet.

After disrobing the majority of our clothes, waking the sleeping baby, having the stroller torn apart and having my diaper bag completely rearranged, we took off at a steady trot to barely catch the plane in time. We took a short flight to Atlanta, then switched to another plane to Portland. Talk about a long trip. Sadie totally surprised me on the way out, though, and was a trooper. She slept most of the time, nursed well and didn't fuss the entire way. We had an extra seat to put her carseat in so that I didn't have to hold her, which made all the difference. The plane we were on was decked out - had touch-sensitive LCD screens on the back of the seats and you could even play trivia against other passengers, which was a first for me. We arrived in Portland at 1:00 a.m. (yes, that's PST) and I was thrilled by my 4 am wake up call from Sadie the next day. I wanted to try to stick to her East Coast schedule we'd been working on developing in the last few weeks, though, so 4 am could not be negotiated.

By the end of the week, I was completely exhausted. I'm used to travelling alone (meaning sans children) on business trips, and it was tough to have a long day of meetings while trying to slip out unnoticed to nurse, conclude the day by going into full mommy mode and get up in the morning hours before my first meeting would start. Not recommended. I've got to get Sadie to take a bottle or sippy cup before August (my next scheduled trip), no doubt.

All this said, the trip itself was great. My client, the Consumer Trends Forum International (Website under construction. Don't let the site dissuade you that it is actually a legitimate organization.) had a really good meeting. I had left feeling unsure about my future with them - I currently provide their management services and serve as Executive Director, and have had a tough 6 months as they were very disorganized and lacked direction. Before the meeting I'd spent hours of unpaid time working on a strategic direction document for the meeting, and I was unsure as to how it would be received. Turns out that they were on the same page as me, and willing to make the changes I felt were necessary if the organization was to survive. The Forum they put on was excellent - I enjoyed the speakers (at least the ones I heard) and found a lot of the information provided to be relevent even to my small business. I also found out about and have already become addicted to it. Anyway, I left the meeting feeling that the membership had been empowered, the board was on the right track, and we even managed to diversify the board a bit by adding three new members, which had been a goal. I'm excited to see where we can go with this client.

Enough of work... back to the business at hand - travel with an infant. So, the flight back was not at all like the flights there. We were on United, and compared to Delta, I have to say, they really suck. I've been flying United a lot lately, due to the miles I can save up, but I'm switching as of Friday. It's not worth a free trip with them, and I'd rather pay $20 more and have a comfortable and friendly flight. The flight home was crowded, but not full - but they didn't offer to move me to another seat so that I could put Sadie's car seat in. So Mom and I took turns holding her. For 5 hours. In a row with three people. I was in the middle, sandwiched between mom and a very large man. The guy in front of me reclined his seat the minute we took off, which happened to coincide with the beginning of Sadie's wails, so I had about 9 inches of operating space in which to manuever Sadie on my lap. And she wanted to eat. Several times. Breast. Not sweet potatoes (her favorite) or cereal. As the guy beside me tried to keep to himself, I tried to modestly arrange myself without drawing too much attention (quite a feat considering the size of my mongo-breasts at the moment). Of course we were near the back, and there was only one restroom in coach, so everyone was lined up next to our seats to catch a glimps of my show most of the trip. Sweeeet!! Sadie cried for a couple hours of the trip, which was also fun.

So, that's the fun that was here. I came back home to a very sad Katie who informed me she'd been "worried sick about mommy and Sadie." She's gotten even worse in the bathroom department, and had lots of accidents at school, which have lead to a new UTI. So, to the doctor we a-go tomorrow. Katie's terrified of having the doctors look at her "bottom" (rightly so after all the prodding and testing she's had in the past few months) so I've got to figure out some way of consoling her and keeping her calm. She's also acting like a holy terror, which, combined with Sadie's new breakthrough of teeth (two are coming in) and my exhaustion, has made for a VERY happy weekend in our home. The animals have both gone into hiding, and I think that, if Jason could figure out where they were, he'd join them. I'm sure it's all preparation for him - for the day that both girls are teens and we all PMS at the same time. It'll be grand.

1 comment:

  1. Well, travel catastrophes aside, you all survived in one piece! When Adrian and I went to Europe a few years back, there were several people with infants on the plane. I can't imagine a trans-Atlantic flight, crossing multiple time-zones with an infant. Jet lag was rough as an adult, but with a baby. Whew.

    Can you teach a pre-schooler guided meditation for icky doctor visits?