Travelling with a baby - Our first family holiday
Bob's Dad was getting married for the first time, five years ago he began dating a Dutch woman called Jolanda, then proceeded to move to Holland to be with her. On Friday 20th October they were married, which also happened to be her birthday. Of course this gave me the perfect excuse to make some birthday/wedding cupcakes. I decided to make red velvet cupcakes as I knew Jolanda's dress was a burgundy red colour, and some two tone peachy rose cupcakes, which by total coincidence perfectly matched the wedding flowers.
We had booked the EuroTunnel so we could drive to Holland instead of flying, as there was no way we could have packed everything, including cupcakes, into a suitcase acceptable for a plane. It is unbelievable just how much stuff you need for such a tiny person!! Our car was crammed with Isla's things, her pram, steriliser, cot, nappies, clothes etc. and only a few small bags of our own things! As I wanted the cupcakes to be as fresh as possible, I had stayed up till 3am finishing them off, only to be up again at 6 to leave for the train. As it happened Isla woke up at 5.30 meaning there was no point in trying to get back to sleep, so we got ready and left at about 6.30.
Isla was amazing and slept the whole journey to the English border, however as soon as we got on the train the crying started. Her poor little ears popped from the pressure and she didn't like it one bit. We had been okay for traffic till we reached Belgium where there had been a serious accident and it turned a 6 hour journey into an 8 hour journey! I had been told it's not advisable to keep your baby in a car seat for long periods of time, so we stopped every 45 minutes or so to get her out for a feed and a stretch. We were at a crawling pace for ages and everytime the car came to a stand still Isla would begin to protest, I'm guessing she was getting very bored. Eventually we arrived at Bob's family home at about 3pm Dutch time. They were so excited to see Isla as they hadn't seen her since she was first born. There were lots of wedding guests at the house too and both Isla and I got to meet many of Bob's extended family. But after a while all the new people and noise began to be a bit too much for Isla as she began to get restless and upset. She wanted constant feeding at the breast, which meant I spent almost the whole evening sat on the sofa with Isla permanently attached to me, while chatting away to all the friends and family. That night Isla slept for 8 whole hours!!! I can't believe it, it must have been all the excitement and the long journey, but it was great as we all needed a good sleep before the wedding.
However when she woke up after her long sleep she had developed a rotten cold and was sniffling and coughing lots. I'd never experienced this before so was quite worried, she was having trouble breastfeeding because her nose was blocked and she had to keep coming off for air. But as the day went on she began to improve and at 1pm it was time to get all dressed up and make our way to the venue.
Isla got so much attention in her pretty white dress, and it was such a beautiful ceremony. I had power pumped all the previous day so that I had enough milk stored in the fridge to last her the night and we were very lucky that one of the older ladies in the family offered to babysit for us, so Bob and I could stay and have a dance.
Time literally flies by when you're having fun, and before we knew it, it was the day before we were due to leave. Or so we thought...
We had taken a slow walk with the pram to the nearest supermarket to stock up on Dutch food to take home, mostly cheese and Dutch mayonnaise, and I also wanted to check out their range of baking decorations. It was on the walk back when Bob turned to me asking if I could check the EuroTunnel booking confirmation for the time of departure, just in case we had got it wrong. (This had happened multiple times pre-baby).
I got the information up on my phone, and stopped dead beginning to laugh. I didn't even need to explain it to Bob, he just knew from my reaction, and asked me how long we had. We had 5 hours. Then proceeded a mad dash back to the house to pack our things, stuff down some dinner, feed Isla then leave for Callais.
She slept the whole way and we were incredibly lucky with traffic, arriving at 22.05 when our train was at 22.20.
I know I always say it, but next time I WILL triple check the confirmation email...
Lastly I just want to say a quick thank you to Ian and Jolanda for an amazing day! It was the first wedding I have ever been to and I will never forget it.
Congratulations once again, and have a great honeymoon and a wonderful life together.
x Louise x