Often people say to me how courageous it is going abroad for fertility treatment but to me it seems like nothing- I find travelling to Greece just as easy now as travelling to London- in fact- I think I know Athens better!
It marks a year since this trip and I just have to share it as it really was one to remember.
After the first failed IUI cycle I needed to fly back out again. So we came home late after the first cycle because we tried to really enjoy the first trip (hoping it would be as easy as it was with Arlo...) so by the time I came home, had Arlo Christened that weekend (knowing it had really failed the day we had him Christened), by the Tuesday after the Sunday ceremony I was looking at flights and accommodation.
The next week and a half were a blur and we were set to go again.
I wanted to go with Arlo by myself as really it seemed far too mad for Ali to take time off work so soon. So I packed up one bag to go under the plane. Had Arlo in my trusty sling- a large on board bag with minimal items and off we went.
Annoyingly, flights from Gatwick to Athens are early doors so we had to wake Arlo up and travel at 5am. We went through the children's security section (never go through that...what a bloody nightmare). It took so long we only just made the plane.
The plane took off he had a bottle of milk. I stood up when the seatbelt lights went off and started getting Arlo off to sleep. Two seconds later he projectile vomited over me. Now, Arlo has never done this and in fact he had just never had a serious bug at this point in his life (8 months old-ish) and he was never a 'sicky' baby so I thought it was odd. He flew perfectly the time before. I cleaned him up, put him back in the sling and then as he was dozing off again- wham- more sick than you can imagine. Just missing a fellow passenger. I was soaked- no like full on soaked through. My seat needed a whole new one (apparently that's a thing), I had no clothes for me and had used my spare for Arlo. It was a disaster. Other passengers trying to offer napkins and giving me that look- the look of- shit me that's awful but I am glad I am not you.
The kindest, loveliest air stewardess was luckily on-board. She came to me and gave me spare clothes- she said she always carries for young children and adults. She insisted he wore her items and I wore her jeans. She held Arlo for me and I changed- have you ever changed in a plane loo knowing your child is having a full on meltdown about the whole situation. Dear lord.
Luckily he then slept and I asked to move to the front to get off quicker. Can you believe a bitch of a passenger was next to me at the front livid we moved for 10 whole minutes...anyway I wanted to at least give the air stewardess her trousers back. The manager wouldn't take Arlo- she said he would cry if I changed. Yes he bloody will but where shall I place the child when changing? Shall I drop my trousers here?? So I thrust Arlo at her and left her with him while I changed- oh how I laughed to myself.
We made it to the taxi driver I now knew personally and we drove to the air b and b to meet the owner I now know too. Well, poor Arlo was sick on the way. I thought there was no way he could produce more sick and the fact I was in a MASSIVE hurry to get to the clinic for an appointment- I ran in- changed us both and had to get the taxi driver to drop us straight to the clinic. In the turn around I forgot a change of clothes for Arlo.
At the clinic Arlo came into the room with me and sat in his car seat. Which stupidly I didn't think about and carried it all the way back to the air b and b to save money on a taxi- it was a 30 minute walk.
They scanned me and I'd booked to stay in Athens to be monitored for ovulation for four days. Turns out I was ovulating that day and I had to stay around the clinic for an hour while they defrosted the sperm.
So, we left for a wander- yep, yep he puked again. No clothes packed...the women kindly said they would hold him on the front desk while I had the IUI. He absolutely stank and I felt so useless.
(on the bed in the clinic)
We made it back to the flat eventually and poor Ali was going out of his mind knowing what we were going through. We were coping amazingly and that boy is amazing. He is my absolute angel coping so bloody well.
The next day we wandered Athens, went to the clinic to check the egg had left and it had. So when back in the flat I changed my flights for the next day. Costing us a change in flights and losing two days of paid flat time.
We went to a cafe and had homemade pasta again as I bought as many ingredients as I could. Turns out pasta is heavy and my bag was over weight there and back so had to add as much weight to my hand luggage as possible!! One heavy child, one heavy hand luggage bag on my tod. The taxi driver felt sorry for me and carried it to the border control on the way back.
As the plane took off- you couldn't write it- he full on exploded. I had to change his nappy three times after take off before he slept. I honestly couldn't wait the trip to end.
Once home Arlo wasn't quite right for a few days. The NCT group were chatting while I was away saying how all their babies had the same- saying how bad it was and how ill their babes were. I just wanted to say in the group- yeh try that and travelling to Greece- but obvs I didn't want to share with many at all I was going as last time too many people were aware and I wasn't ready for that just yet.
So travelling with a toddler or a baby is in general a piece of piss. I loved and still love going places with him on little adventures. But if they are ill- well- that adds a little challenge. So when people say to me how amazing it is I went to Greece, I always think back to this trip and think no I don't feel it is a big thing but this one trip I considered myself a fucking superstar!!
Lots of love
P.S on the way back too turns out maraca eggs roll...he loved his egg and I left it on the floor. So when we took off it rolled off didn't it. I had to wait until everyone had left the plane to find said egg with a stewardess...the things we do...