Our flight left at 9 am which required checking in at the airport at 7 am. It also required spending Thursday evening (the night before our flight) in Seattle so as to get to the airport on time. This worked out well because it allowed us the chance to see Auntie M's new condo (which is amazing by the way!). After celebrating Molly's leap into home-ownership over dinner, Court and I retired for the evening...or so we thought. Grace had other plans. She decided that the night before her first transcontinental flight would be best spent awake. And when I say awake, I mean AWAKE. She was up allllll night. In fact, her crankiness spurred a call to the 24 hour pediatrician hotline just to make sure we weren't missing the early symptoms of polio or whooping cough. (Who says new parents are paranoid?)
After speaking with the on-call nurse, we think Grace's sleeplessness might actually have been our own fault. Fearing a meltdown in the airport, aboard our flight or any other situation where breastfeeding was not an option, we bought pre-made bottles of formula. And like clockwork at lunch on Thursday, Court and I were enjoying some mussels and a nice bottle of wine at our favorite spot in Pike Place market, when Grace decided enough was enough. Normally, we would accommodate Grace's request, but Mommy and Daddy don't get out much anymore - especially to our Seattle fav's -so "in" went the formula and "out" went Grace - allowing Court and I to finish our leisurely lunch in peace. Again, at dinner with Molly, Grace was determined to be the center of attention but after a few gulps of formula, she quickly fell asleep. Because Grace's system had only had breast milk up to that point, we think that the formula wreaked havoc on her little system causing a tummy ache or an enormous, impassable gas bubble. Whatever the ailment, it prevented even a blink of sleep.
In a blurry haze the next morning, we managed to shower, pack and check-in at the airport - on time! The ticketing agent was quite nice - or really perceptive to the fact that we were a bit frazzled. (Although I don't think anyone could have missed the bags under my eyes or the makeup that apparently wasn't properly blended in along my hairline - Court decided to clue me in on the latter about 15 minutes before we landed in Boston - lovely).
(Note: This is a bottle of expressed breast milk. We weren't taking any more chances with formula!)
Either way, the ticketing agent blocked out an entire row for the three of us even though Grace was flying as a lap-baby (meaning we hadn't bought Grace her own seat). Granted, it was the very last row back by the bathrooms, but it was our row and and ours alone. Since Grace had her own seat, we were able to bring her carrier on board which made all the difference. While Grace slept, I was able to catch up on my own sleep and when she was awake, it gave us some privacy and space. It was nice not having to deal with breastfeeding near a stranger - probably more beneficial to whomever that stranger might have been!
The takeoff and landing were soooo exciting that Grace slept through them both. In fact, she slept most of the flight. We arrived in Boston at 5 pm - on a Friday. Needless to say, the traffic was a nightmare. The normally 15 minute ride to the hotel became over an hour in standstill traffic. Grace only started losing it when the hotel was in sight. As the Bostonians would say, "What a "twoopa!" - sorry, the Boston accent is rubbing off on me.
Once we got checked in, we lavished our attention on Grace. She had been a little baby angel on the flight and we wanted to show our appreciation! The picture below was taken about 5 minutes after we got into our hotel room. Apparently, she is quite happy to be in Boston!
But soon after arriving, our own hunger took over. We asked Grace to climb back into her carrier and to be good for another few hours to which, amazingly enough, she obliged. Figuring we had pushed our luck, Court and I prepared for another long, wakeful night. To our surprise, Grace fell asleep right after her bath and only woke a few times during the night.
Flying with Grace was a success - at least the first leg! We still have a train ride up to NYC next weekend to get through and the return flight. Keep your fingers crossed!