A Very Scary Moment

I kissed Chris goodbye as his eyes welled up with tears and I tried to hold back mine. Aviana completely unaware she wouldn’t see daddy for two weeks, she giggled. With a stroller loaded with bags and Aviana in the meh Dai wrap in my front…I rocked it through airport security like a pro. (It is much easier to hold a baby in a carrier when going through security, getting a baby in and out of a stroller, sorting out personal items through the X-ray scanner with baby in one hand).

Once through security we still had 1.5 hours to kill until boarding despite getting held up in traffic en route to the airport and taking a while to get all checked in (one of my bags was over weight 😳 ooops!). That doesn’t sounds so bad, but if you have ever flown from Norfolk International you would know that time would drag because there is absolutely nothing interesting in departures. So with baby on my front, I pushed the stroller around hoping Aviana would fall asleep before we got on the plane. I walked all around the quiet areas, rocking and swaying trying to get her to nap on me. Just as Aviana fell asleep, suddenly, the airport fire alarm went off making high pitched beeps every 2 seconds, there was all sorts of excitement and confusion as a fire engine headed towards the building – uhoh. So that killed some time and kept Aviana awake for a bit longer. Typical. False alarm. Finally, exhausted she passed out, so I headed to the gate and waited patiently to board.

And then it happened…I kissed Aviana’s head whilst she slept with her head tilted back up at me. It was cold. So cold I panicked. I almost screamed out loud there and then WAKE UP AVIANA, PLEASE NO, DONT DIE! I put my arms around her and I couldn’t feel the rise and fall of her chest. She didn’t squirm or move like. I freaked and shoved my hand down to her neck to feel for a pulse. She was alive, but I could barely feel her breath on me, had she stopped breathing by sleeping in that position? Her skin was so cold I quickly scrambled to untie the carrier and threw it off like it was made of fire. And then….she moved. Her eyes opened for a second, as if to say ‘What the hell are you doing waking me up!!’ And they closed again back to sleep. Thank god, I cried a bit in relief!

Aviana – you freaked the HELL out of me. For a slight moment I felt like I had lost you, my heart suddenly felt like it would fall out on to the floor and my gut wrenched. It was awful. Please don’t do that again!!!

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Postpartum Joint Pain, breastfeeding & more travels

My blood test results all came back within the normal range – however, I am still missing some results, so not all questions have been answered. The doctor wasn’t sure why the results hadn’t come back yet or if those particular tests were ever done. But so far my rheumatoid arthritis factor, insulin and inflammation levels, they are all within the normal range.  That’s a relief to hear that it is unlikely to be rheumatoid arthritis.  So the doctor who called me with the results (not my doctor because she was on leave) prescribed me naproxen to see if that would help alleviate. The drugs made no difference, I took them for a week but no change.  I still wake up in the morning very stiff, sore and in pain in my hands, wrists, toes, ankles and knees.  And then throughout the day my fingers will be noticeably sore at various points unless I keep them moving.  So the current theory remains – postpartum joint pain, crazy hormones, and apparently my body is unlikely to return to normal until after I stop breastfeeding.

Some things people in my breastfeeding support group who had experienced similar suggested – cutting out grains (apparently causes inflammation), vitamin D supplements, chiropractor and naturopathic doctor.  I’m inclined to find a naturopathic doctor.  Part of my brain has been tempted to stop breastfeeding as a result of the pain, but then I figure what if it has nothing to do with breastfeeding?  Then I’d be stopping for no reason, and I’d regret it.  And I’m not going to do that just yet.

I’ve been on work travels again, to Paris this time, and it was another reminder of how much of a pain in the ass pumping is.  Dragging the pump, parts, storage, sanitizing stuff, special bag, hands free bra and cover, through airport security, across the Atlantic and to my host office is tiresome.  Trying to remember to make sure I have everything in my bag, cleaning out the bottles and parts, proper storage and handling, dumping milk I can’t store, it gets tedious, especially doing all this in another country.  One of my colleagues said he was impressed I am still doing it, but I said I’m probably more stupid than impressive.

I’m only pumping three times a day now, I should definitely be doing four pumps because my supply has suffered, so I’m supplementing a couple of ounces a day.  Whilst I have been on my travels Chris has been feeding Aviana milk from my frozen stash.  I managed to build up 6.5 days supply from May to July back when I had a couple of ounces to freeze at the end of the week.  I am hoping I can replace the four days supply with milk I’ve been pumping whilst in Paris – I’m currently carrying with me about 70oz home in my checked luggage.  I’m hoping it all survives the journey, because my days of any over-supply are gone.  I’ve had a little bit of success at increasing my supply with lactation cookies, body armour drink mother’s milk tea, but only managed to get an extra 1-2oz per day, so I’ve been short a few ozs still.  I don’t want to stress over it, so I’m not going to go to extra ordinary lengths to get my supply back up.  The only other thing I might try is consider renting a hospital grade pump to see if that makes a difference; my pump is second hand, so there is a slight chance it’s losing its power and has not been removing the milk enough. Exclusively pumping is HARD!  My hats off to all of you who do it all the time.  I’m not sure I would have survived this long if it hadn’t been for the facebook group ‘exclusively pumping mamas’.

Speaking of travels, this time was harder to leave Aviana than it was when I last travelled in May.  Mostly, because I feel like she notices when I am there or not, but also because I generally miss her more!  I also miss Chris too and get jealous of them having fun together.  My next work trip is in October, but this time I am taking Aviana with me because I have two conferences in the UK, but I would be leaving Chris behind for two weeks!  I will be flying transatlantic on my own with a 9.5 month old, who is on the verge of being mobile.  I swore I wouldn’t fly again on my own with a baby!  Am I crazy?  Probably. No, definitely. BUT it’s a great opportunity to take Aviana back to see family and friends, so I will seize this as a positive opportunity and try not to worry about the possibility of a few (several) hours of hell.

Currently, Aviana and I are not sitting together on the transatlantic flight because we have two different classes of tickets (in economy!).  American airlines have not been very helpful when I called them to see if we could get seats together in the ones designed for infants, but the woman on the phone said “you need to do it online otherwise I have to charge you $50 to do it on the phone or wait to check in”.  Clearly this woman was not understanding the fact that I couldn’t do it online and waiting to check in would probably mean the chances of us sitting together would be zero – and oh, did I mention I am with my 9 MONTH OLD BABY?!?!  She couldn’t understand why I paid for a seat anyway, was her attitude.  Clearly she hasn’t flown transatlantic with a baby before.  I was at work so didn’t have time to complain, accepted it in typical British fashion.  So now I reckon I will be sat in the middle of a row pissing other passengers off with my squirming, crying baby on a red eye.  But I have a plan – I’ve put my seat in the ‘extra leg room’ seat (I get it for free because of my airline miles status)…and am hoping someone traveling on their own who is currently sat next to Aviana will jump at the chance to swap with me to get extra leg room.  IT’S SOOOOO STUPID.

Wish me luck!!!

The third night back in the UK 

Aviana slept for almost the whole trip. She went pretty much right through from her usual bedtime (7pm) right to the morning 6am US time, 10am UK time when we landed. On the plane from Philly to London she slept in the bassinet that fits into the bulk head. The plane was pretty much empty so it was a relatively quiet flight. My Father in Law travelled with me so it was very handy to have help carrying things! I’ve learned what I can and can’t do in my own for my return trip back. Aviana was an angel and everybody adored her. She even managed to bag not just one set of wings, but two! One from Norfolk Airport staff, the other from American Airlines!!!


The first night in the new time zone I thought she would still be on American time. So when I put her down to sleep at 6.15pm I expected her to wake up again in her usual 40 minute nap. 3hrs later I was peeking in on her to make sure she was still alive! She was sleeping through for the night! It had been a strange and long day for her so it wasn’t too surprising. I gave her a dream feed when I went to bed at 10pm and she slept through to 4am, and again til 7am. It was as if she hadn’t left the US. How did she know? She had none of the normal bedtime cues like bath/change/feed etc.

Second night I bathed her and did the usual routine but it took a little longer to get her down, so by 8.15pm she was down and out for the night. She woke up at 2am, 3.45am and 7.45am. Not so bad, although the 3.45am feed wasn’t much welcome I almost fell asleep feeding her!

Tonight, the third night, I put her down at 6.30pm, thinking she would just nap and wake up, have her bath etc after 40 mins. but nope. She’s down and out for the night again!! What will the night bring me? 

How do babies adjust like that? How does their circadian rhythm work at this age? I really hope it works going back the other way! Because if she did this in the US at the same time we’d be screwed!!!!

I’m super impressed with how Aviana has coped with all this traveling and sleeping in different places. A month or so ago this holiday would not have been fun with Aviana. But it actually hasn’t been bad at all, she has been a star-I’m not bragging just merely commenting on my low expectations for sleep this week!!!


I’ll write another post later about my transatlantic flying lessons learned!!! Because I have a few 😝