Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Flying from China... at 35 weeks pregnant!

Well, considering we've been in America for 14 days now (it's really been that long??) it's about time we started blogging about it. But, the lack of blogging shows the joy of being with family and friends... I just haven't taken time to be online much at all. And then there was the fog of jet lag and the busyness of all we did between flying to Indiana, Idaho, and Alabama... 

But we made it! We're in the place we're supposed to be to have this baby and everything has gone well. God has been so good and gracious to us!

Now to look back at that first long flight across the ocean on October 1st...

 The last sticker was put on the chart and the little miss was ready to go see Grammy and Grandpa! SHE was the one to remember as soon as she woke up that morning that today was the day we were going to go!

 We got to the airport super early, as it was the first day of a national holiday week in China and we weren't sure if the roads or airport would be crowded. We needn't have worried... there was hardly anyone on the road and there was no one in line as we checked in at the Delta desk. But, it was nice to have time and not have to feel rushed at all!

And, either my "disguise" worked, trying to look less pregnant with draping clothes and a scarf, or staying behind the stroller and/or check-in counters as much as possible, or (most likely!) the fact that people were praying and God was in control meant we had NO issue whatsoever with me being pregnant. No one even said anything about me being pregnant. It was almost as if I was invisible. Being behind a cute toddler probably also helped turn attention away from myself. :)

 Getting all of our luggage loaded on a cart helped a lot as we entered in the wrong terminal and had to walk to the other to get checked in. But we had no rush on time and knew we'd be sitting for a while, so a long walk felt good!

We ate lunch and let Hadassah run around for a few hours - another great thing about getting to the airport early! Although she never did fall asleep in her stroller for her nap, she got a lot of energy out running around before the long flight! She also loved watching airplanes take off and hanging on the railings in front of the windows. She's definitely a little monkey!

We made it on the plane! Another huge relief, as we passed the final "checkpoint" without anyone saying a thing about me being pregnant. The relief Ryan had was incredible. Somehow I wasn't as worried but he'd been sure we were going to have an issue somewhere, so it was wonderful to see how relieved and excited he was!

 He told me to keep the scarf on until take-off though, just in case a flight attendant questioned us. I don't look pregnant right? ;)

 Okay, so maybe I do have a secret! I was definitely WARM wearing all the layers!

 Hadassah was sleepy, but enjoyed reading books...

 Some foam stickers I found the day before we left were a hit with her, as she could peel the backing off herself! And yes, the baby bump is much more pronounced with a cooler undershirt and no scarf!

Little Ellie moved a LOT during the flight... whether because I was awake during our night or maybe she felt the change of pressure. My legs cramped some and there were many  many times I just wanted the flight to be over. But I was able to get up and walk and stretch at least every hour, which helped a ton. It was far more comfortable flying at 35 weeks pregnant - even 13 hours - than I thought it would be. Aided largely by the fact that Hadassah...

 SLEPT! Like, for 8 hours straight! Missing her nap that day probably helped increase tiredness, and having her own seat gave her space to stretch out and not wake when I had to shift positions, but I know it was also due to everyone who prayed. She kept moving around, and did wake after the first hour of sleep, but she was immediately excited to discover she was sleeping on an airplane, and soon fell back asleep as I sang to her. Then she'd almost roll off of the seat as she changed positions about every hour (so we had to stay pretty alert and catch her in the nick of time many times) but she didn't wake up until she'd slept for 7-8 hours. When she did wake we only had around 3 hours of the flight left, which seemed do-able with all the activities we'd brought.

 Ryan was incredible. He kept drinking coffee every time the flight attendant offered drinks so that he'd be awake and able to help me with whatever, and he STOOD for a large amount of the time Hadassah slept. He'd sit while I got up to walk/stretch when my legs got too restless, but then stand half-way in the aisle so I could stretch out a little. Putting my feet up helped a ton. And I even slightly nodded off a time or two - always alert enough that if Hadassah moved I was there to prevent her from rolling, but restful enough that it didn't feel I'd been awake ALL night! My husband is amazing. :)

 Flying over frozen tundra as the sun rose... amazing.

She was still tired when she awoke - only 8 hours of "night" sleep especially after missing a nap isn't enough for a toddler - but she was in a good mood. Special snacks and activities helped. We were just very impressed too... at not even 2 years of age, she is a great traveler! The excitement of going to see grandparents she loves SO much helped too. It's fun that at this age she's understanding things so much more...
 After a pretty easy layover in Detroit (though all the lines you have to go through coming from overseas seem to stretch on forever!), we were on our way to Louisville... A one hour flight seemed like nothing after the 13 hour one we'd been on, and we still had plenty of new things to play with!

 And when we arrived, there was no hesitation. As soon as Hadassah saw her grandparents, she RAN to see them and gave them big hugs and kisses. I had talked to her ahead of time a lot, saying "are you going to run to them and give them a hug?" and evidently she decided YES!

Seeing the joy on our daughter's face made us so overjoyed too. Being away from grandparents for so long (it had been 10 months since we'd seen them in person) is definitely the biggest and hardest sacrifice for us in living in China.

 Expressions like these made the long flight and the craziness of jet lag to come so so worth it...

While we tried to get the car seat correctly installed, Hadassah went for a walk in the parking garage... No hesitation about leaving mom and dad when she was with the grandparents she had waited SO long to see! She had wanted to wear my scarf as we got off the last plane, and the fact that Grammy was wearing one too made her primp and feel so grown-up, wanting them to see and admire hers. I loved watching her with them.

Ryan was running on zero sleep in about 30 hours, I had just a bit of rest, and Hadassah had less than normal for sure, but we were all so thankful and relieved to be in the great USA!

1 comment:

  1. Aw - I'm so glad that your travel went so well! Looks like all your preparation paid off! And it's so great that Ryan did everything he could to make the flight a little more comfortable for you. =) Also, your "disguise" totally cracked me up (and I'm glad it worked and no one gave you any trouble at the airport). You two look like you have such a fun marriage! I hope the rest of your time in the states goes well! ~Jessi