If you’d have asked me 3 years ago to travel from one side of the planet to the other with a child that can’t see, that can’t talk, that can’t walk and needs feeding through a tube I would have laughed, told you that that is impossible, and thrown a few choice profanities your way too!
How naïve we were, when we travelled to Australia with Emma when she’s was 10 months old, thinking that was hard work, thinking going out to dinner with a baby was a hassle, and something best avoided.
How naïve we were to think that having a healthy child was difficult!!
Travelling with kids is not easy, but I believe that depends on how much travelling you’ve done with them from an early age.
I’ll be the first to admit that this long overdue trip made me nervous….
How will Jennifer go on the plane, the noise, having to sit for so long, will we have problems with the airlines or security because of her medicines, because of her seat we have to take on board??
Will she get sick, will we have to visit a hospital?
We prepared as best we could, half of her suitcase and bits and pieces of the rest of our suitcases were full of her equipment, food, medicines and syringes.
When we left Jennifer was still on antibiotics for the infection she suffered after the G-tube operation.
We left Bergen early on Tuesday morning, landed in Amsterdam and had a 6 hour wait until the flight to Dubai.
This was the first time we’d travelled through Dubai, we usually travel with Singapore airlines through Singapore and on to Perth, but chose Emirates through Dubai with a stopover on the way down and back.
Since the trouble in the middle east has calmed down, that route has become extremely popular, due to the aforementioned fact and the fact that it cuts about 4 hours off your trip.
4 hours out of 24 hours of travelling is lots, especially with kids.
We stopped in Dubai for 2 nights on the way down, and that proved to be the right decision.
Sure it cost us more money, but I don’t think Jennifer or Emma would have handled the whole trip in one go.
It does take a lot of time out of your holiday, you end up spending 4 days travelling through airports, but it’s a chance to see a new place too!
The flights went better than we could ever have expected, both the girls were angels!
Emirates airlines were fantastic, we were put at the front of every line, from check in to boarding.
For Jennifer, this was just the start of long period in which I think she just simply enjoyed a change of scene.
For us, escaping the plane trip unscathed was a bonus.
Now we had to get Jennifer into a routine, avoid jetlag ourselves and start our holiday.
We arrived in Perth at 1am, got the girls in bed fairly quickly and they slept til midday the next day.
For the first week, Jennifer was late in bed, Emma wasn’t a problem and they both slept through the night.
It might seem like nothing, but changing the girls body clocks so quick was another major contributor to a memorable trip, especially Jennifer, we just didn’t know how this trip would go for her…..
We fed Kangaroo’s, went to the beach (in winter), caught up with friends and family, went to a fantastic wedding, enjoyed the fact we could plan a day out in winter.
Probably not too many places in the world you can sit outside in winter and not really feel cold, Perth’s winter are like spring time in Norway, bit chilly in the morning but beautiful during the day!
We avoided everything we feared before we left, no hospital, no sickness, no terrible plane trip!
Just 2 happy kids, and 2 very proud parents!
A big thanks to my sister who looked after the kids for a few days while we attended a wedding in Darwin!
Not too many people jump out their skins to look after Jennifer, thanks sis!
There wasn’t too many days where we didn’t have something to do or someone to meet, and that’s how holidays are supposed to be aren’t they?
Full everyday and night, with a bit of r+r in between.
For Odrun and I it was great, haven’t seen the inside of a hospital for almost 2 months!
Definitely had a few days where we felt everyone was looking at us, but also had some of the more positive experiences we’ve had, including a random lady who saw Odrun feeding Jennifer at the shops and decided to tell Odrun how tough she was, saying she could never have done that herself.
For Emma, a chance to meet my family, and who would not have fun feeding Kangaroo’s and patting Koala bears and holding snakes!!
For Jennifer, it was probably a week too long.
Though for a girl so insecure, scared and just so badly damaged she was fantastic.
I’ve never seen her embrace people so quickly, I’ve never seen her so happy for so long.
Having said that, 35 days away from her equipment, her chair, her standing frame and her normal training routine isn’t good for her.
Her body needs regular maintenance otherwise it starts to get painful for her, her wind plays up and her constipation comes back and the crying starts.
I wonder at times if we put her through too much, are we pushing her too far by travelling so far, for so long……?
All the new impressions have to have a positive effect on her, what will she learn by staying cooped up inside a house, in her safe surroundings?
And maybe that’s why we do travel so often and try to live a normal life, even if we do have an overgrown and sick baby with us all the time.
Well at least we can now, while she’s still small enough…..
Call us egotistical, arrogant, whatever, we’ve just about answered every question anyone could ever think of, we won’t stop trying to live a normal life until it becomes physically impossible.
And you know what they say about impossible don’t you?