By: Kerrie Olejarz
We were quite surprised that no one at security batted an eye at our thermos of water, but I guess when travelling with a newborn that is to be expected. As we stumbled through the annoying backpack-style baby bag to make Cailyn a bottle before we boarded, I said to Mark how much I dreaded dealing with this bag on both legs of the flight. I headed off in the airport on a quest, to find a larger, open top -bag. Fortunately I found one, and it was a typical airport rip off, but at this point I couldn’t care less. I ended up buying a beautiful cotton bag with two straps, a magnet closure on the top, and had a beautiful India style colourful pattern on the outside. We sat and transferred all the baby stuff into it in advance of heading to our gate. Cailyn had a nice feed of two ounces and was back, sleeping sound in her cocoon. The New Delhi airport is a large one, lots of walking to get to our gate. As we waited at the gate, we feared that Cailyn would freak out on the plane, and our fellow passengers would give us the eye, you know the one you give the parents with the annoying crying baby! Our travel agent did well, she managed to reserve us the bulk head, or bassinet rows. The team on the Jet Airways flight came and explained to us what we needed to do for take off and landing, and also offered us what ever we needed during the flight for the baby. Finally, take off! I held Cailyn close to me as instructed earlier. The incline up to 41,000 feet altitude was smooth, and quick. Once the seat belt sign went off, the staff came and installed a bassinet for Cailyn. Mark lined the bassinet with warm blankets, then we placed Cailyn inside of it, and wrapped her in more warm blankets. Considering the outside temperature was -52 Celsius, we figured we best keep our precious cargo warm. As you can see in the picture, she looks quite cozy in the bassinet. First major fly over was Islamabad, then Kabul, then Ashkhabad. Deep inside there was always a twinge of fear as we flew over these heavily armed nations. We were en route to Brussels Belgium, and once we flew over Turkmenistan, my nerves of potential terrorist activities started to ease. Cailyn was a dream on the flight. She slept, she ate, we changed her bumb, we cuddled her, and this sequence played out about three times in our eight-hour flight. What a joy it was to sit in the bassinet row! The leg room was awesome and the only thing in front of us was our baby girl. It was all very surreal, sitting on this plane with 300 strangers who probably thought we were nuts to travel with such a young baby; if only they knew our story. We took turns catching 15-20 minutes of sleep, and because I have a clotting issue, I would get up and walk around a lot to ensure good blood flow. I had my compression stockings on, but it is never worth risking it out of laziness, especially now that there was this little 6lb passenger who needed me. A short 8 hours later we descended into Belgium. Mark held Cailyn for the descent as she slept in his arms. We were half way there! Now we had a two-hour layover in Belgium, then 7.5 hour flight, then HOME!!! Oh ya, and the bag was awesome, well worth the fortune I paid at New Delhi aiport!