Flying Out

 

    Today was the longest day I’ve had since I gave birth to Walter. I woke up at five, wired, as I’ve been doing for the last two weeks. The day should have been long, but between chasing the boy and trying to get all our belongings packed and not over weight, five o’clock came before I knew it. Well, I guess technically it was 4:45 as the driver showed up early. It took two hours to get from Rockaway, NJ to the JFK airport. That’s the same distance it took us to drive from Pembroke to a family wedding in Windsor Locks, CT! And for this trip there was no music playing to distract me from the annoying sound of the wind whistling through the car. Walt conked out as I suspected he would, but popped up at the airport due to blaring sirens an noises no rational person could sleep through. Getting our stuff to the ticket counter was an ordeal. We had three large suitcases, three carry-ons, three personal items, a stroller AND a car seat. I thought Mike was crazy to drag the car seat, even if it would be flown for free. The thing is so big and cumbersome and it’s not like we’re planning on having a car here in Denmark. Anyway, we had to shuffle our stuff to its destination in a weird sort of relay race while other passengers pushed past us. How I wished someone would take pity and help, but that morning I had purposely worn my best “I’m not pregnant, I’m just fat outfit” to avoid the airline being concerned about me being airborne in my extremely gravid state and so no sympathy points us. Thankfully one of the airline workers assessed how long it was going to take us to get through the transaction of checking in and ushered us to an empty line. This is when we discovered that not only were our bags a bit overweight, they weigh the carry-ons too and those were over. It was a dark few moments while we explained we were moving there and that it was impossible for us to just leave possessions behind or redistribute weight. In the end she let us check Wally’s carry-on and did some math magic so that the overage fees were sane. I can’t tell you how grateful we were.

    Security was equally tortuous as no one had patience for how slow we were moving and what an onerous task it was. On top of that, between the 28 pounds of baby making apparatus strapped to my middle and the 20+ pounds of luggage strapped to my back, my heart was hammering in my ears and oxygen was not an easy thing to obtain. Oh yeah, so fun fact, some women in late pregnancy have trouble exerting themselves, because the uterus ends up squashing all their organs into their lungs. This did not happen when I was pregnant with Walter, but as of this morning, has happened with Thwompy. This means I either have to keep my stomach full enough to push everything down or really concentrate on taking deep, forceful breaths. So hallelujah martial arts training that helped me get through this part of our travels without blacking out.

    Flight boarded on time, we were surrounded by people with long faces and light complexions. I remember last pregnancy I had a chance to walk in Michael’s shoes, experiencing what it was like to have gravity hate you. In that last month of pregnancy when I hit 180 pounds I finally got why he said sitting down was too much trouble, because the getting up again took too much effort or why steps cost so much energy. Now I have gotten to experience why he hates flying so much. I felt totally claustrophobic. I couldn’t even get in or out of my seat without my belly activating the touch screen on the back of the seat in front of me. I had planned to sleep, but instead of being able to fold up my lithe body like an accordion, I instead found that I couldn’t even shift or bend down to rummage through my carry-on. To make matters worse I had on these compression socks to help keep me from getting blood clots. If you’ve known me for any length of time you probably know I don’t like clothes and socks are second only to bras and tight jeans for vestments I loathe. They were hot, uncomfortable and by the end of the trip pretty smelly. I dutifully kept chugging water as per my doctor’s recommendation, which meant I was getting regular leg stretching and pretty much no sleep. Aside from having to wait till after midnight for the cabin lights to be dimmed, Walt slept well, and my little chaos monkey only caused his meal to be spilled in the aisle as opposed to other passengers.

    Anyway, we are here, in Denmark. The flora is altogether familiar: birch and maple trees, forsythia, tulips and daffodils, but so far the fauna has been quite exotic or at least unrecognizable to me. Our sublet is in a gritty, immigrant heavy part of town. We had Middle Eastern wraps for dinner and everyone I’ve talked to in the area hasn’t been a native speaking Dane either.

    I’ll try to get pictures for tomorrow and I’m sure I will have many a more exciting thing to share. Right now the most impressive thing that has happened was Walter was playing with a little Danish girl in the airport. Her mother introduced her and they went back to making crab claws at each other, never once did she say “But how can that be a boy, he’s wearing a dress!” which is pretty much the universal reaction of five year olds in the US. Promising, promising start!