We took Hugo to Georgia the week after Christmas to visit with family. I was a bit concerned for the month leading up to our trip. It was hard to go anywhere with Hugo his first year of life, but I think a lot of that was me. Infants are a lot more portable than toddlers. Now that he is so mobile, I worried about how he would react to being confined on my lap for a couple of hours during the flight.
I was so fortunate that my brother and sister in law had most of the necessary toddler equipment available so that we didn’t have to bring it! A car seat, high chair, pack and play and many toys were waiting for Hugo at his aunt and uncle’s house. I shipped a bed rail down so we could co-sleep with Hugo on the outside of the bed like we do at home. Hugo got his very own suitcase just before we left, thanks to a Marshall’s gift card, and we were ready. Hugo usually travels with me via sling, so I opted not to bring a stroller. That was a good decision for us.
Last minute difficulties, and, uh, Mastitis
I got my husband a ticket to see Phish at Madison Square Garden the night before the trip. We had to leave the house at 7:00 a.m. to make the two hour drive to Philadelphia (by the way- what an excellent airport! So worth the drive. It was far superior to Newark airport and I am usually heavily biased against Philly). The plan was for me to take care of all the packing, driving and Go wrangling as part of my Christmas gift to Rick, since he would be a mess from the concert and not sleeping. My husband is also a terrible flier, so add that to the mix.
We were mostly packed by 8:30 or so. I was waiting for Hugo to go to bed so I could shower and finish up, when I started feeling strange. I had the chills and was chattering and feeling light headed. I checked my temperature with our forehead thermometer and it was a little under 100° F. I felt achy and had a hard time carrying Hugo up the stairs. I thought it was the flu and was terrified that I would give it to Hugo. I carried on as best I could and bundled up in bed by 10:30 after everything was done.
My temperature got up to 101° before I took ibuprofen to bring it down. I was freezing and burning up in bed, praying that I would be OK in the morning. My fever broke around 1:00 a.m. before Rick got home but I was up most of the night.
The Flight to Atlanta
And I did feel OK in the morning. We got up around 6:00 and I finally told Rick that I was sick but seemed to be all right. The drive to Philly, parking, security and getting on the plane all went smoothly – except that I began to feel the pain of a clogged duct in my right breast when we were in the airport. Things were starting to come together in my mind.
On the plane, my fever came back and I was chattering uncontrollably. Hugo only wanted me to hold him, but I managed to wrestle him down and nurse him to sleep shortly after takeoff. I passed out shortly after that. I was mostly unaware of how Rick was doing with his flight anxiety and sleep deprivation. The fever broke again after taking ibuprofen.
Hugo didn’t wake up until I carried him off the plane. He was such a trooper. I started to feel disconnected, like I was going to pass out. Hugo had fun meeting people in the airport and pushing his suitcase all over the baggage claim area. He ran up to a 3 year old boy and hugged him – choosing well enough to make a new friend for the next half hour or so.
I was fine after getting antibiotics
So thanks to my family for encouraging me to call my doctor, I got on antibiotics that evening and immediately improved. I was weak and tired off and on for a few days but I’m grateful I didn’t end up in the hospital like I’ve heard some women with mastitis do. We all got a cold from being on the plane but were mostly well by the time we had to go home. It was great to be with my family and wonderful to have time to relax and get better with loving relatives playing with Hugo all day.
I was much more alert for the trip home. Hugo napped on the train on the way to the airport so I was afraid he wouldn’t sleep during the flight. We had a humorous nursing in public moment when Hugo decided it was nap time when the train was crowded with standing commuters. He said “boob, boob, boob” and tolerated my attempts at modesty holding my coat over us before falling asleep. He slept while we carried him all the way to the security checkpoint. My mom was with us until we boarded, so it was a breeze to handle bags and Go. He misses her so much!
As soon as we took off and the air pressure changed, Hugo asked to nurse and passed out across our laps until after we landed. So the two hour flight was a cinch for him. I’m not sure what would happen if he woke up and still couldn’t move around.
Philadelphia International Airport Rocks!
Even with changing a diaper, getting snacks and getting to the luggage carousel last, we were on the road 40 minutes after we landed! What a nice, clean airport. The economy parking lot was close, cheap and convenient. There were actual humans working at the gate to pay instead of a machine. Hugo was so happy to see his car seat, he didn’t even mind the two hour ride home.
Of course, we all got a new cold from the plane ride home. Does anyone not get sick from flying in December? I’m making a mental note for future travel.