Post-Conference Wear and Tear

by Lisa Douglas

lisa and baby at type-a conferenceOf all four flights I took to Charlotte, NC and back, the last, brief flight from Dallas was the oddball one. The flight attendant who checked me in could not give me a bulkhead seat (the larger row directly behind first class), so we were cramped in a regular coach seat, both V and me.

Given it was only a forty-four minute flight, and I was desperately exhausted from having not slept and being up at 5am EST, I couldn’t keep my eyes opened. The shades were drawn, so when my eyes peeked open every-so-often, I couldn’t see out the window, how close we were to landing, or anything, which was quite a change for me, I usually have to look.

I exhaled a sigh of relief when we touched down, unsure of how that seat change would fare with V. But I did it, I survived four flights and three days away with my almost-four-month-old by myself. She was the perfect baby, napped on all flights, playful and smiley at the conference, ate well, slept beautifully at night. It had been a dream-like experience to travel with her.

Except the momma exhaustion was overwhelming me.

I.could.not.stay.awake. when I returned home. My welcome home was spent napping on the couch, quite underwhelming and disappointing. When I awoke, I found a note from my husband saying he took our kids to the library so I could sleep in peace. I cried when I read it. They couldn’t wait for us to get home, and this was my triumphant return – my snoring on the sofa.

TypeACon 2012-0314

Picture by Sarah Hubbell

I don’t know if it’s my iron levels, or not realizing how exhausting it would be to skip a time zone and travel hundreds of miles with a fifteen-pound infant strapped to my person, worn all hours of the day and night. Maybe I underestimated my fitness level, or didn’t realize how much it would wear on me.

Nonetheless, I’ve been home over 48 hours and I still can’t seem to get out of my own way. This has been the longest jet-lag I’ve ever experienced, and I only traveled one time zone to the East. Was it just because I brought her, or is there something else wrong with me?

Please send coffee. And chocolate. And a maid, s’il vous plaît. The mop feels like an anvil, entirely too heavy to pick up.

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