We’re back in Amsterdam now after our few weeks in California. We left last Thursday and got in early on Friday morning after two flights with a layover in Newark, New Jersey.
Since I’m sure your curious how these flights went, the short version is I felt less nervous and more prepared, but they also weren’t as smooth as the two coming to California. This was mainly due to the fact that Prim didn’t sleep the night before our flights back to Amsterdam. Prim, my sweet little champion sleeper who has been sleeping through the night for the past 7 months straight, was up flipping out until 3am the night before our flights. I could not for the life of me figure out what the deal was and tried everything imaginable to get her to calm down and go to sleep. She, of course, fell asleep hard at 3am when I had to be up at 4:30am (and wake her up at 5am) for our 8am flight out of SFO. (Nothing makes you feel like a kick-ass mom like waking up your EXHAUSTED child after 2 hours of sleep!)
Our flight to Newark went surprisingly well. Prim slept a little and chilled out for most of the flight. When we got to Newark though, she was pretty amped, which I knew was a bad sign (hellooo overtired!) I was hoping that she would knock out early on our second flight, since I knew she was super tired and the flight was long. She was so overtired that as soon as we boarded the plane she was starting to lose it. I quickly gave her some Benadryl and did manage to get her to fall asleep, but she woke up after 20 minutes fully pissed and inconsolable. The seat belt sign was on forever so I literally just had to sit there with a writhing, screaming, overtired child, telling myself over and over, “You’re never going to see any of these people sitting near you again.” (And if you’ve ever been one of those people cursing the parents of a screaming child on a plane — trust me, they have it wayyy worse than you do. And karma is a total B, which means you will probably be the horrified parent of a screaming child on a plane one day!)
The seat belt sign finally went off and I took Prim into the bathroom to calm her down/muffle her screams. The first few of hours were like this — me doing everything in my power to keep her meltdowns as minimal as possible. The rest of the flight went ok, but I was exhausted and everyone sitting around me seemed terrible and mean.
The woman across the aisle from me was a total weirdo who boarded the plane with one of those surgical masks on. I was dying to ask her if it was because she was sick or because she was trying not to get sick, especially after she removed it shortly into the flight and spent the rest of the time coughing and sneezing. (File that under, Exhibit A: I’m pregnant and hate everyone.)
Also, my flight from Amsterdam to Chicago on my way out to California was so great, passenger-wise. People were SO friendly with Prim. For whatever reason, all the flights I’ve had that have originated in the US it’s been the complete opposite — people literally don’t even say “hi” back when Prim says hi to them.
We finally arrived back in Amsterdam and de-boarded the plane only to find that our stroller was not there waiting. I saw that another family had gotten their stroller and so asked a worker about ours. After some radioing back and forth, she shrugged and informed me that she “guessed” it would come out with our luggage. (That European customer service, guys — it’s amazing.)
This meant that I had to journey across the entire airport, through customs (European customs, no less — read: slow, disorganized), all the way to baggage claim carrying an exhausted, wiggly toddler and our two carry-on bags, while almost 20 weeks pregnant.
THANKS UNITED. YOU’RE THE BEST.
Also, have you ever tried to grab two huge suitcases and a stroller off of the baggage carousel while simultaneously trying to corral a toddler after traveling for 18 hours on 1 1/2 hours of sleep? It’s awesome. I totally recommend it.
I will admit that there was a point where I was like, “I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN.” But, in true mom-fashion, it’s looking like there’s a very solid chance that I’ll be flying back to California with Prim solo in December again (which, I have told myself is going to be great and so easy!) We will be flying direct this time, and 11 hours direct sounds like a freaking godsend after these multi-flight trips (even if I will be in my third trimester at that point…)
Oh yeah, and why was Prim such a monster the night before our flights? Well, I figured out the other day that THREE of her molars just came in. Hooray!