Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the trip part one.....

So, finally, the trip.

To give a little back story Bliss is not fond of flying. The last time he flew we were going to Vancouver for the day to get our Landing papers for immigration. It was a day trip and we would visit the aquarium and a few other tourist things we thought he would enjoy. The pilot, however, did a very rapid descent that caused my ears quite a bit of pain and Bliss began screaming at that time. It was almost 30 minutes until we were off the plane and the screaming had turned into the terror scream. We walked off the plane and had to immediately sit with him in the hall, long before customs or anything and it was over another 40 minutes before he could be calmed. It was just horrid. We also knew, as did he that we had to get back on a plane in 12 hours and that caused a lot of panic as well.

The day went well, we picked up some meds recommended for him and more "chewier" gum and the trip home was not bad beyond the panic. But Bliss, have I mentioned this, he has this memory. It is uncanny and a pain the ass and incredible all at the same time. So a year and a half later and he is really worried about the flying.

We got first class tickets, it was an expense so beyond our means, but I a) really needed the long flight to Newark (no nonstop to the Canadian Atlantic Region) to be ok for Bliss and b) found out I was only going to be able to get back row in economy. The plane was great as was the service (it better be for the absolute fortune we spent). The flight took off and it went well for Bliss, we got situated with drinks and then a flight attendant who I had told about Bliss' fears, and who had introduced him earlier to the pilot who Bliss proceeded to ask to do slow takeoff's and landings, came by and got the personal movie player out for him and showed him how to use it. They had Wall-E, which Bliss LOVED and has only seen once, and we put that on and I breathed for the first time. He also had new "plane toys" he loved and comfort snacks from home (apples and bacon if you must know).

About a half hour into the movie and an hour into the flight Bliss suddenly stops the movie, takes off the headphones, and says to be very seriously that he wants to get off the flight NOW. He wants the plane to land right now. My heart is absolutely panicked. I am not a panic type with Bliss usually but I knew we had 4 more hours ahead of us and I knew how serious he was.

I asked what was wrong, was he in pain, what was up. He was not liking the long flight and was scared and I told him very gently we had a lot more time until we got there but that I was there for him. Because of the huge armrest/table between seats in first class, and because we were in the first row with tons of leg space I crawled onto the floor in front of his seat and pulled him into my arms and held him while he cried. I also suggested he rest and reminded him how early we had gotten up (4 am) and said it would make the flight go faster.

He did well the rest the flight, slept a couple hours, and was not so panicked. The moment he was truly asleep I was crying my head off and doing breathing techniques. I know the pregnancy hormones were compounding how hard I was taking it, but I really felt like I was putting him through hell and I was just so sad for him.

The landing in Newark went pretty well but the descent is a very long one and Bliss got a little upset at one point and began to cry again. I asked if it was actual pain or just pressure building and scaring him (I had a feeling). He said the building pressure and I was able to explain to him they would get tight and release over and over but that they would not get sharp pain like before. he took this news well and we worked on a combination of swallowing sips of water, blowing his nose while I held it closed, and chewing 2.5 pieces of Hubba Bubba gum. It worked well and he was happy how well he did as soon as tires hit the tarmac.

When we got off the plane we got to get a ride on the airport gold cart thing to the other terminal shuttle bus. Bliss adored that. Then we had a little time to kill and had a meal at a little airport restaurant and went to the bathroom 50 times. Bliss, not me. He was able to poop though and that helped him.

This all may be way too much info for some but this is all part of how this trip went for us.

The second plane was a small plane from Newark to Moncton, New Brunswick. There is no first class but thankfully the armrests go up between us and I was saved from extreme squish. I was still in pain though. I was also boiling, the entire 2 hour flight, only one of the air things worked and I felt faint. Bliss did good with takeoff chewing this huge wad of gum and his mood was great. He was such an amazing lil being.

We landed at about 10:30 pm Atlantic time (4 hour difference from our time). We went through the first customs heck and I had written we had apples. It is a tiny airport and I got my luggage out those doors and went to the second check. they asked me to go to the private room area, which I assumed was to get rid of my apples. I was fine with that. They were very nice but they began asking me about Bliss and suddenly I understood.

At the first check point they had asked where his father was and I explained he was a sperm bank child. I thought nothing of it. We have passports and are even landed immigrants in Canada. It was a three year and very thorough process.

Well apparently they were taking me aside to see if I had proof he was in fact a sperm bank child. I laughed and explained that there was none that would suffice. If I had brought his birth certificate, which I did not, all it would say is my name and blank under father. That is not proof. If I brought the profile of his donor from the sperm bank, that again was just me saying and showing. They were very nice and were also stumped as to how, in the future, I would deal with this. They recommended bringing the birth certificate anyways but agreed it was problematic for them.

I should add here that they question it because they have to make sure people, men or women, are not taking kids out of the country into their country behind another parent's back. It IS to protect the child and I was aware of this the whole time. I appreciated their concern. It was just a pain in the toochis for us.

I think in Vancouver they deal with this more often so it is not so unusual probably. They then tried to ask Bliss questions, like what is his address (I do not believe in teaching my child, who I am with 24/7, his address actually) and they asked him who he lived with and he mentioned "the girls" which are our dogs and then got confused. They were very nice, took my apples and let us go but it was interesting to say the least.

I then enter the main terminal as I leave that area and a man asks if that's it. I was the last person out of the airport apparently. I said yes and then look across the terminal and am confused. Why do I recognize someone at this airport at 11 pm at night???

18 om's.:

MrsSpock said...

Poor Bliss! Flying freaks me out too, especially the landing and taking off parts. I generally take Dramamine to keep me from being sick and to knock me out.

Mrs. M said...

I hate to fly too...poor little guy. It's not easy.

calliope said...

wait- is it normal to be asked about the father of a child when you are traveling? That would SO SO piss me off. sheesh.
Now who was at the airport?!?!!

Mermaid said...

Poor guy, he sounds really scared! I'm glad it went reasonably well, considering the prior experience. I'm on the edge of my seat for Part 2.

Cece said...

Wow! What a nightmare! Maybe next time you can go to the doc and get some 'real' meds to help take the edge off.

And hey - you can ignore the tag (I usually do) but I do love your blog!

mulberry said...

cliffhanger... who was it??
so sorry about the flying difficulty. it can be hard when the person you are with is having a hard time and you can't make it go away. especially a little one.

Stacey said...

in terms of customs, it might help to have a long form birth certificate. we were required to get one here in canada to get our daughter's passport. basically it shows both parents' names on it. in your case, it would show just your name which would indicate no father. in ours, it indicates we're both the moms. just a thought. we never travel out of the country without it as we know others who had a hard time when they didn't have it on them.

annacyclopedia said...

Whew - what a journey! And it's only part 1! I really feel for Bliss with his fear of flying. But you sounds like such a wonderful mama, Bleu, just meeting him where he's at and caring for him to help him deal with it all.

I never thought of crossing the border when there's no father on the birth certificate, but I know friends who are single parents have to have a letter from the dad if they are crossing the border with their kids. You're right that it's for the kids' protection, but quite a hassle for you nonetheless. Hopefully in the future they can figure out a way to make it go easier for you.

And I'm on tenterhooks, too. Can't wait for part 2!

vee said...

Aww, poor Bliss, but he was so brave. Must have been tough on him having to confront his fear again, but he did so well. Maybe next time wioll be a little easier on him. Looking forward to the next installment!

treewater said...

Well, hey! You're on the east coast now! I'm in Hallowell, Maine and have lived here all my life, so if you ever decide to come this way for a road trip, I am sure I could provide some tips for cool places to check out here in Maine...

Can't wait to get the REST of the story (you sure know how to leave us hangin'...)

Catherine said...

Sorry, Bliss had a rough time with flying. I am surprised you went through the difficulty with customs. I have oftern traveled by car between here and Maine and even though we always take the long copy of the BC, I am never asked for it. They usually ask who the parents are and we say both, and they wave us through.

sandra said...

wow what a trip - can't wait to hear the rest!

Dora said...

I have heard of these issues when traveling internationally. This wouldn't help with Bliss, but for this next baby, you could get a notarized letter from your clinic stating that the child was conceived with donor sperm. Something I learned at the SMC conference I attended recently.

Laura Howard said...

Hey Bliss!
I just wandered over here randomly from Cali's blog and just noticed you mentioned Moncton in this entry. I have a friend who is from there! Is that where you are moving? I just thought it was cool because I've heard a lot about it from him. Good luck with your move!!

Topcat said...

Ooooh ... was it a bloggy friend? You left us in suspenders!

Bliss is a total and utter rockstar champion. I love him. He and Tiger would get on so well. Tiger is a freak with memory also.
XOXOXOX

Laura Howard said...

I just realized I mistakenly called you by Bliss's name!! Sorry! When I was typing, I was thinking about how cool I think his name is and then called you by it!! : 0 )

tobacco brunette said...

I so adore Bliss. What an amazing little guy.

Who the hell was at the airport? What a cliff hanger. I feel like I'm watching Lost.

I'm only 10 minutes from Newark. If you fly through again, schedule a long layover so I can come see you!

Jess said...

I'm floored that they tortured you about Bliss' paternity! It's none of their freaking business!

Bliss is a strong little boy. I hate flying too, but can't imagine I would have handled it as well as he did when I was his age!