From January 30, 2014 to May 19, 2014 I left Denver once, for a quick trip north to Fort Collins. I was there for six hours. Since London was born I have spent three days outside of the state, not too far away, in Green River, WY. It took me two minutes to draw on a map where I have been in the last 14 months.
Having a baby will naturally limit your geographical existence. Having a 26-weeker will completely shut your travel down. From what I have heard about other parents who had a very early baby, we have been ambitious in our reach across this relatively small map. I have heard of parents who will not take their baby outside the house but for walks. These parents have decided that taking their preemie to the grocery store, the shopping mall, or to Target, puts their preemie at too great a risk of getting seriously sick and going right back to the hospital. My family did not make it out of the NICU without receiving such advice, from a nurse nonetheless. We were blown away by the severity of such restrictions and quickly conferred with other nurses that we did not have to stay under house arrest with our preemie until flu season was over.
We have followed certain recommendations such as, do not fly anywhere with your baby until flu season ends. Locking baby inside an incredibly small area for two hours with 140 other strangers sounded like a really bad idea to us as well. Not flying anywhere for such a long time (our last flight was in mid-December 2013) has been incredibly weird and challenging, but also much better than having a very sick daughter back in the hospital.
The feeling has been similar to putting travel and adventure on probation for over a year. Localized adventure has still been possible and we have taken advantage of that with trips to Wyoming, Breckenridge (twice), Steamboat Springs, and Estes Park. If it wasn’t for weddings, I am not sure we would have made all those trips, but thank God for weddings because these short getaways have quenched at least a little bit of our thirst for travel.
Flu season is almost over. Besides the obvious, this means as a family we are free to move about the country. And again, weddings will be the catalyst of much of that travel, but instead of weekends in the Colorado mountains we will get a weekend in southern California and Nashville, with some excursions in between. The destinations are exciting. The process of getting there, i.e. flying with London and bringing all the baby stuff along with us, does not excite. However, if London’s behavior as a baby can be a predictor for how she’ll be on a flight, I can say she probably won’t put up much of a fight. It’s her 40 lb. car seat that will.