Baby G waiting to head out of SLC to find daddy!
Let me tell ya, this past week was so stressful my anxiety reached levels it hasn't in months. I was extremely moved and humbled by the few humans who were kind enough to make my trip a little easier. Let me explain . . .
This past week The Babe graduated from Air Force Officer Training School. I had the opportunity to head out last Tuesday to attend the festivities following the next three days.
I was not nervous to travel despite the fact that this was my first flight alone and also Baby G's first flight. But as I neared security my heart raced and my temperature rose as I scrambled to get all my things ready to go through the X-ray machine. Preparing myself I knew this wouldn't be easy but it was even worse than I thought. Kindly and to my relief, a young man behind me offered to help hold my things and got them in bins for me and a police woman helped fold my stroller.
When it came time to board the plane, the flight attendant helped get my stroller in its bag and carried it down the ramp for me. The man who sat next to me on the plane helped put my carry-on overhead and my diaper bag beneith my feet. He also rolled his jacket and placed it under my elbow without me asking. It was a huge relief because 3.5 hours of holding a child that weighs 17 lbs with no relief is a pretty good workout for your arms.
I went to change Baby G and ended up missing the food. And I was starving because I had gotten up at four and only had a protein bar and it had been four hours since I ate. He kindly waived the attendant and the food back to our aisle and I told him what I wanted. I reached for my wallet and the man handed his credit card to attendant and said "I got it, tell your husband thank you for his service." Surprised and thankful I expressed my gratitude and snarffed down my sand which as the woman next to me offered to hold my child so I could eat without a lap full of baby.
Baby G also slept almost the whole way. When the flight was over the man carried my things to the draw bridge for me and made sure I was okay before he left me to do my thing. My gratitude followed him all the way home.
I was not excited about trying to find a place to feed Baby G and change him in a gross airport. I also needed to Pump and was not excited about attempting this in a nasty bathroom stall. I found my gate first and said a prayer of gratitude and turned around only to see a Momva right across from me. They are these amazing contraptions for nursing and pumping mothers with babies to have a clean place to sit and take a breath while enclosed from wandering eyes. I was able to take care of myself and my child without freaking out about nasty bathrooms and where to put my things. On my next flight a woman held my child while I got situated and put my bag above. The man behind me also switched me spots so I could have an aisle all to myself. Baby G once again slept and let me catch a breath.
Thursday night was the Awards Banquet and a fellow Air Force wife (I met on our spouse FB group) had family with her who generously offered to watch Baby G for me so I could attend with The Babe since no children were allowed.
Baby G and his cutie playmate for the evening.
My flight home was extremely delayed by hours, and I almost had to switch my flight and seriously considered staying in Alabama one more night. A woman from The Babes Flight was at my gate and held Baby G for me while I figured things out.
The attendants helped me put my things away as we boarded the plane. I was almost in tears as I realized I only had 20 minutes to land, get off the plane, get my stroller, and go from gate D18 to A20 in the busy and very large Atlanta airport. I panicked on the phone with my parents as they tried to get information to help and the flight attendant was no help as there was nothing she could do - only the gate attendants. But she wasn't very nice to me either which made me feel worse.
Holding back my tears and taking deep breaths to try and ease my anxiety, I prayed again that everything would work out. The man next to me assured me that everything would be fine and he asked what gate I was headed to when we land. I told him and we figured out he was just down from me so he offered to carry my stroller and carry-on as I carried Baby G and my diaper bag. We ran our hearts out and made it by the hairs of our chins. I breathlessly thanked him and wished him luck and turned to board the plane. Another man carried my bag and kindly placed it over my head and the woman next to me held Baby G as I situated myself.
The turbulence on the flight was terrible and at one point I was sure the oxygen masks were about to drop down. The woman next to me started to panic and I helped her calm down, thankful I could finally do something for someone else as I had had so much done for me.
With lots of prayers from me and a movie to distract, we finally made it onto the SLC ground and I almost jumped out to kiss it. Lots of people let me up first and helped me get my things as I made my way off the plane.
If this were Harry Potter and one of the houses was Humanity, I would have given us five points. Seriously.
My car seat didn't make it to SLC thanks to all the delays but they gave me a free loaner which worked just fine and I thanked them with a smile. No sense in getting worked up over something I couldn't change.
My gracious in-laws took me home and I finally hit the hay around 2 am.
My heart was so full with gratitude and love for my fellow man and for God for answering my prayers so quickly. I am so thankful for prayer and to have met such amazing people who were willing to help me all along my journey. They made it so much easier for me to see The Babe. And what a reunion that was. I guess you could call our first trip a success!!