We made it to Brisbane, Australia all in one piece. Well, mostly in one piece anyway. I think we all lost a bit of our sanity over the last couple of days. 28 hours of traveling, lack of sleep, losing a whole day somewhere over the Pacific Ocean and suffering from jetlag will do that to a person. But, we are here and though I can’t say our trip here was “fun”, it was pretty much hiccup free.
On Monday at 11am we left our house in a Lincoln Towncar headed for the St. Louis airport. We were all in good spirits. Anxious, excited, waiting to see what the next day and a bit had in store for us. We chatted about our upcoming adventure and watched out the window as we got our last glimpse of home, of St. Louis.
Flying out of St. Louis is always a fairly easy task. It isn’t a super busy airport and it is easy to get around. We checked in a little over 2 hours before our flight and headed for security. I had been a bit worried about security as I had been advised by my OB and by Maya’s pediatrician to opt-out of the new scanners and just get the pat-down instead as there has been little or no testing on the use of the new scanners on children and pregnant women. Luckily, the security check point for the section of the airport that we needed was still only using the old walk through metal detectors, hassle avoided. After only a bit of crying when Maya had to put her blankie on the conveyor belt at the security check point we were on our way to our gate. We ate a bit of lunch, wandered through a store or two and then it was time to board. We got on the plane easily and were still happy and smiling in anticipation of what the day had in store for us.
The flight from St. Louis to Los Angeles was uneventful. Maya spent the 4 hour flight alternating between playing with her toys and watching movies on her iPod Touch. I even managed to get a little reading in while she was otherwise occupied with a movie.
We arrived at LAX a little before 4pm and everyone was still in good spirits. Trying not to focus on the fact that we had 8 hours to kill before our flight to Brisbane, we made our way through the terminal to our gate. Once we located our gate we spent some time just hanging around, checking emails, watching Maya run around and burn off some of the pent up energy she had accumulated on the flight. We ate some dinner, wandered around a few stores, walked the hallway of the terminal a bit and then found a comfy (out of the way) spot to settle in for the remainder of our layover in LA. Maya scattered the contents of her carry on bag and got down to the business of entertaining herself.
At first time went by relatively fast. However, after a few hours, boredom really started to set in. There are only so many times you can walk the hallway of a rather small terminal and look through the few stores available. We were all growing bored, tired and anxious to get the show back on the road. A couple of hours before our flight was scheduled to depart exhaustion got the better of Maya and the meltdowns began. I had to rock her to sleep (I haven’t had to do that in years) and finally after much coercing, much rocking and much begging she finally settled down and went to sleep. Lorne laid her stroller back against one of the seats and I laid her down in her stroller. With her face covered up to block out the noise and the light she slept until we boarded our flight.
At midnight we boarded the plane for the final (and longest) leg of our journey to Australia. This time we weren’t full of smiles and excitement. Unfortunately, I had to wake Maya up to get her on the plane. She was so tired and so cranky she just literally screamed for a good 20 minutes. It didn’t matter what I did she cried and wanted something different. If I sat her in her seat she cried that she wanted to sit on my lap. If I held her she cried that she didn’t want me to hold her. It was a no win situation. I felt horrible for the other passengers around us. They must have worried that their entire 14 hour journey to Brisbane was going to be to the soundtrack of the little girl in Seat 60A screaming her head off. Luckily, after about 20 minutes or so I got her situated in her seat with a pillow and a blanket and she fell back asleep.
The night on the flight to Brisbane was full of restless sleep and periodic crying fits by Maya because she was uncomfortable. Maya and I did manage to get a good 6 hours or so of interrupted sleep. It was better than I had expected. Lorne, with his eyes covered and his headphones on managed to get a bit more sleep (lucky!). 6 hours of a 14 hour flight leaves a lot of time left over to just sit and count down the time until you can finally get off the plane and be comfortable again! We managed though. It was hard, we were all extremely uncomfortable and incredibly bored, but we made it.
And, we get to do it all again in a few months. Only, next time, I get to do it 7 months pregnant and by myself. I can’t wait