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Babies Are Small So It Shouldn’t Matter, Right?

We have been going back and forth with MIL, her sis, and her parents about when they were planning to visit after the baby is born. MIL wanted to come for her birthday which is just two weeks after the baby’s due date. We worked out a compromise where they could come the first week in October as long as they stayed in a hotel. I still wasn’t very happy about that, but it was definitely better than two weeks! So I thought everything was solved and all good. Wrong.

We have heard off and on recently that the grandfather wasn’t going to be able to make the trip out here because of recent health issues so eventually he wanted to fly us to see him instead. We said several times that there would be no way we would be able to go up there this year because DH and I will be out of vacation time and it’s just not feasible with that tiny of a baby so they said that they would be fine with sometime next year. I was still a bit irritated, but what happened this weekend is so much worse!

DH’s grandparents have decided that they want us to fly to see them with the baby when they were planning to come here. They also want to have MIL fly out there too so she can see the baby instead of her flying here. The sis already lives in the same city as the grandparents, so she wouldn’t have to fly anywhere. What DH and I think is really happening is that DH’s mom’s sis doesn’t want to drive the grandparents (because the grandfather won’t fly) down here to see us. So she put a bug in the grandfather’s ear to have us go up there because it would be easier for her.

I will pause here a moment to remind everyone that Baby will be barely a month old at this time and everyone I know wants to fly somewhere with basically a newborn. Another thing to give pause is that we are 99.9% sure that I’m having a c-section. I totally  want to fly a month after having surgery.

DH told his mom absolutely not. No way would we fly to see them with a brand new baby and me right after a c-section. Plus he said that he didn’t think the doctors would let me so soon after the c-section and they wouldn’t let Baby so soon after birth. He also said that he didn’t think the airlines would let us fly with Baby that little. She told us that’s what she thought, but to look into it and see what we could do. Why she couldn’t just say NO and move on is beyond me.

I looked up all the necessary information so we can prove it to them that it’s not possible. Everything I’ve found says no or strongly recommends against it. The airlines don’t like it and don’t recommend it, but they will let you after the baby is a week to two weeks old. I have read several places that air travel is really hard on baby’s ears. We would have to have identification for Baby in the form of the birth certificate which takes some time to arrive. We would have to take so much stuff with us because they aren’t equipped to handle a baby. Most importantly, we would have to take the car seat and probably the stroller. Both are “oversized” and require checking at $100-$150 a piece each way. There would be nowhere for Baby to sleep (MIL’s answer to this was that “they’re so tiny, they sleep anywhere”). It would also totally mess up Baby’s schedule just when we’re trying to get it setup. According to what I’ve read about c-sections, you can’t lift anything heavier than the baby for 4-6 weeks and you shouldn’t do anything too stressful or strenuous (like travel) for that long either. So DH would get stuck carrying most of our stuff because I would have to carry Baby and because of the c-section. We are also going to ask the Dr when we go on Thursday. I know that she will say no too, but this way we have covered all the bases.

It just irritates me to pieces that no one thought this through before pestering us about it. These are all people who have had children so they should know what it’s like. Think for two minutes people and you will realize that taking a one month old on an airplane to a place that’s not equipped for babies is the dumbest idea on the planet. I don’t care that DH’s mom says they’re so tiny at that stage that you can just do anything with them. It’s stupid. They should all realize this. I know that they are not going to accept or like no as an answer no matter how much proof we have. I don’t care. DH and I are standing firm on this and will not back down! What a mess this is going to be and right at a time when we least need this!
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9 responses »

  1. The Sane In-Law

    As someone who just had a baby 3 weeks ago, there’s no way in hell I would even entertain the idea of flying. But it’s not b/c of my c-section which has healed well; or the baby’s ears.

    But because it’s just downright rude of the in-laws to expect you to travel to THEM to see the baby! Tell them they can come to you, or you’ll be happy to send them pictures.

    You don’t need to provide them proof. It’s your inconvenience, not theirs, so it’s YOUR decision on whether you’ll travel or not. It’s really rude of them to even call you and your husband out on your decision.

    Reply
  2. It is true that they are small and you can do anything with them. I am a firm believer that you are only limited by what you are willing to do.

    I, for one, am not willing to put an infant at risk of the germs of hundreds of strangers in their first few months. Just because it is “possible” doesn’t make it a good idea.

    And I certainly would hope that the child’s grandmother and great-relatives would support having the child’s best interests at heart instead of their own selfishness.

    But what do I know, my family wants me to drive 20 hours by myself with a newborn after my daughter is born in October. They can’t seem to make the drive themselves to come visit us – but surely I should hop in the car to bring the baby to them.

    I’m sorry. Families suck.

    Reply
  3. We traveled to Philly when Max was 7 weeks old. We flew. It was SOOOO HARD! You are absolutely right about the gear required, then dealing with the rental car, and checking all the stuff, loading it to and from the airport, through the airport…then to have the in-laws (yes it was to visit in-laws) not even appreciate having us there.

    Plus you can only take like 3 ounces of formula/breastmilk on the plane! You have to take the formula in the original container if you take it, and mix it on the plane. And how do you breastfeed on a plane filled with strangers? gah! I have no idea where you would change a diaper in flight.

    DON’T DO IT! You and dh are so right in staying put.

    Reply
  4. You are kidding me. I am exhausted just thinking about it. Don’t even give it a second thought. Those people are nuts to even think of asking you to travel like that.

    Stick to you guns and tell them some dates that are convenient for you to have THEM come see you….say around Christmas 😉

    Reply
  5. i am glad that your DH is with you 100%. that is very important. i understand that it is difficult for elderlies to travel, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to travel with a newborn!!

    just keep saying no. and no. and no. IF you have to go to them, go on your own terms (but FIY, it’s easier to trave/flyl with an infant than with a toddler!!)

    Reply
  6. OMG, I just traveled by plane with a 5 month old and it was awful, it would have been so much worse when she was smaller. The c-section, if you’re breastfeeding… it would seriously be awful. Sure the baby will FIT anywhere (my MIL’s oldest had to sleep her first 2 nights in a suitcase because they didn’t have a crib yet), but it’s not exactly SAFE to put them just anywhere.

    You could always ask your doc to provide a note. Most would do it for you.

    Reply
  7. Good for you for sticking to your guns. It’s awful to impose on you and your DH/newborn in such a way. I say set up a schedule of time where if they would like to come visit, they will be welcome, but outside of that, you’d be happy to send pictures.

    You’ve GOT to establish your boundaries firmly (which it sounds like you’re doing just fine), otherwise these people will walk all over you for years to come. Best wishes on your forthcoming blessing!

    Reply
  8. It’s amazing what some grandparents will demand, on the premise that the young and vulnerable should be sacrificed to the convenience of the elderly and entitled.

    However, if you give in this time, don’t assume they’ll be satisfied. On the contrary, you’ll be establishing a precedent: that if they just put enough pressure on you, you can be persuaded to sacrifice your own and your baby’s welfare, to gratify their selfish whims.

    Tell them: sorry, it won’t be possible for you to visit, end of discussion. Don’t even try to prove that you’re right (quoting airline recommendations, explaining how much it will cost to transport your baby gear, etc.) because the more you try to justify your decision, the more they’ll assume they can argue you down. Just announce your decision and stand by it. If they want to argue, find a way to politely end the conversation (“Sorry, I gotta go to the bathroom, talk to you later!”) and hang up the phone.

    In the end, YOU will make the final decision. It’s up to you to put your baby first, cuz they sure as heck won’t do it.

    Reply
  9. It’s good that you are standing firm on your decision. In the future, I wouldn’t even bother going through the trouble of proving your answer. You don’t need to justify your decision.

    Reply

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