A great deal of thought went into the notion of how I would get my little ones home to Cleveland after their birth in San Diego.
Really, we went through several gyrations. My father thought we should rent a private jet and a neonatal nurse and make the journey that way. I thought that was massive overkill. I’d prefer to use money for care during the coming years, instead of using so much for that one brief experience.
I considered driving briefly, until I got my head screwed on right that is. Can you imagine several days driving with screaming babies who want to be held. What if something went wrong with the car and we were in the middle of East Jesus? What then? Complete nightmare.
In the end we travelled first class. We dropped off the rental car, took two planes and a limo to get home. I tell you what, it was a long day.
Just preparing for the journey was something. My friend Frank, who I first met when I was 13, was fearful of going first class because he worried about disturbing people who paid so much money for their tickets. He just didn’t want babies to cry out in stereo and ruin everyone’s flight. Moreover, there was a little problem in that we couldn’t get 4 seats in a row, with the aisle in between. Something told me these problems were small potatoes. Thank goodness, I knew this implicitly upfront. Things always have a way of working themselves out.
After booking the flights, I went out to purchase a few additional pieces of luggage to carry all the babies possessions. They were just 18 days old, when we were released from the NICU.
We travelled out the next day. Both boys were less than 5 pounds and all of 17 inches long. We were going to be traveling with little ones, with a lot of gear!
Our day started at 3:30 AM Pacific Standard Time. I had to get up, feed, and change the boys. Then pack out of the Catamaran Resort and Spa in Mission Beach. I highly recommend it!
We had to return our car and make our way to our airlines front desk. We had strollers and bottles and laptops. We had car seats and formula, and changes of clothes. We had luggage for ourselves. We’d been there for about a month. First waiting for the boys to be born. My surrogate had false labor. The initial contractions came early and the docs wanted to do everything they could to keep the boys inside as long as they could. In the end, they came a few days later and 8 weeks early. So even with the two of us and the two of them, it was like a Filini movie getting through security. Literally everything had to be scanned. Can you imagine what a drag it would be showing up after us in the security line. Good grief!
Once at our gate, I made sure to make quick friends with a few stewardesses who were traveling on our flight, not to work, but to get from one place to the next. That bit of time surely paid dividends. I explained our surrogacy story and they gooed and gawed over the babies.
Once on the plane, these same ladies took care of business. They simply asked a few people in first class if they would be willing to move, so we could all sit in one row. Everyone was especially accommodating. How could you not be, especially with Frank cracking jokes and cheering everyone up?
As luck would have it, not a peep out of the babies from San Diego to Houstan. Everyone pretty much got up and gave us a standing ovation. These little pip squeaks had been wonderful.
Now for the coup de gras. We had a connecting flight in Houstan. I must admit I was terrified regarding how far we were going to have to travel to get to our connecting flight within the airport. For goodness sakes the Houstan airport is like a small city!
Guess where we had to go? Our connecting gate was just across the aisle! Amazing. If ever there was a time I did not want to hoof it from one wing to the next, this was it, and my wish was granted. We merely shasayed across the aisle.
And pretty much the same thing happened. Space was cleared for us, in first class to travel comfortably together. The babies performed the same miracle again. Not a peep out of them. Sure I fed them, and burped them, and changed them, but no fussing whatsoever. Phenomenal!
Then we had to collect our bags and off we went to the limo that was waiting for us! The first sound out of one of my sons was at 6:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. Jarvie had spit up and his clothes needed to be removed. He didn’t seem to care for the March cool air. Once he was re-bundled, we were in route for my home and no more distress was apparent.
We made the whole journey, 14 hours, without any major meltdown or malfunction. It was truly our lucky day. I’d say the Travel Gods were definitely with us that day!
I can only wish you as much of an uneventful trip when your turn comes around. Just remember, be kind to others. Share your story. It is fascinating. Then hopefully, you will be treated with kindness. It does take a village! Don’t be afraid to open up to your village, then you can feel it’s warmth. Bon voyage!
Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Surrogacy Coach from Surrogacy Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio