Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Israel Recap Part 1

As many of you know, my family and I made a trip out to Israel last week! It was sort of a last hurrah before baby comes and boy was it a hurrah.

Our trip started out just fine. My parents, Chris, and I drove to Chicago for our first flight to JFK. As soon as we arrived, we found out that all flights going to New York, including ours, were delayed due to weather. Our chances of making our connecting flight to Tel Aviv that night out of New York were looking more and more unlikely with each delay. We kept trying to find alternative routes to Tel Aviv, but every other international flight that night was full. We ultimately decided that if we missed our flight that night, we would spend 24 hours in New York and leave on the next flight to Tel Aviv from JFK.

I spoke to the gate agent less than an hour before our flight and she thought there was actually a decent chance we would still be able to make it since the pilot would likely make up a fair amount of time in the air. We were all feeling pretty optimistic. We called my sister, who was already at the JFK airport, and told her to tell the gate agent for our Tel Aviv flight that it would be tight, but to try and wait for us if they could. We also told my sister to go ahead and get on the flight and head to Israel, even if we couldn't get on the flight that night, since my brother and his fiance were already on their way there from California.

So we boarded our flight. And then we took off 15 minutes late. I was getting anxious. As our flight came to an end, the pilot said we would land in about 10 minutes. Our Tel Aviv flight was leaving in 12. We landed on the runway and could literally see the Tel Aviv plane pulling away from the gate as we landed. It was mere feet away, but they wouldn't let us off the plane. I could actually see my sister. We waved to each other. And off she went. We then proceeded to sit on the tarmac for another 45 minutes for reasons we still are unsure of.

Bye-bye, Brooke.

We eventually got off the plane and headed for baggage claim only to discover that they were not planning on putting our bags on the luggage carousel. We asked the bag claim lady how long it would take to get our bags. She told us at least four hours. At this point, it was close to 1 am and we decided to just make do with our carry-on bags for the next 24 hours. They didn't offer us vouchers, toiletry kits, or anything. Thankfully I had packed a spare set of clothes, but nothing else helpful.

Next we waited in line for a cab to take us to the one hotel in seemingly all of NYC that had available rooms. At this point, we were all a little grumpy. We piled into our cab and saw a man who appeared to have been rear-ended take his now broken bumper off his van and throw it into the bushes near the airport. I related to that bumper on a deep level.

We arrived at our hotel and the nice night manager gave us toothbrushes and toothpaste and some free food from the vending machine. That was probably the nicest thing that happened to us all night.

The next morning, I thought my water had broken. After telling my mom what happened, we decided I should at least call my doctor back home and see what she suggested. She wasn't on-call that weekend since it was a Saturday so I spoke to a different doctor who said I should get to an emergency room as soon as possible to see if it was in fact amniotic fluid. I then started coming up with contingency plans on how to get back home quickly if I really was in labor. We all made it to a hospital recommended to us by my dad's friend who worked as a doctor in NYC. Everyone there was so sympathetic towards my situation and did everything they could to get me checked as soon as possible since they knew I potentially had an international flight that night.

Having a grand time at New York Presbyterian.

While I was in the labor and delivery section, a giant group of pregnant women and their husbands were on a tour! Perfect timing. They all saw me walk out of the bathroom with my sample and struggle to assemble the hospital gown the nurse gave me. Eventually they all paraded out and I figured out how to put on my gown. I was then hooked up to several monitors and a doctor eventually came in to test me and do an ultrasound. She was young and Indian and so nice. I felt like I was being checked on by Dr. Mindy Lahiri herself. She said whenever you suspect your water has broken, that it is very important to check it out and said we made the right choice to come here and make sure. Thankfully, the results came back negative and she gave me the all-clear to fly that night. I had to stay for another 20 minutes so they could monitor the baby's heart rate and all the nurses who had attended me came in to say how happy they were to hear I was ok. I felt so relieved and happy that the baby was healthy and I didn't have to miss our trip.

Ultimately, I'm really glad we had our unplanned 24-hour layover in NYC. I was able to call my doctor and get checked out at a hospital that took our insurance without any problems. Going to a hospital in Tel Aviv would have been MUCH more stressful.

The rest of the day was spent walking/eating around NYC, which was so much fun. We eventually made our way back to the airport where we made our flight to Tel Aviv no problem. Once we landed (10 hours later), Chris and I got our bags but sadly, my parents' bags did not. They were never put on our plane even though our airline had them in their possession for over 24 hours. It was especially ridiculous because when we checked into our flight, the gate agent ASSURED us that our bags were all already on the plane. Once again, our airline did nothing to compensate them. My parents had to wait another TWO DAYS before they got their bags. I felt so awful for them.

But, we were all still so happy to finally be in Israel together! Even if it did take us three days to get there. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our trip!

Just: Ate rice and lentils for lunch.
About: To start making my baby registry! Yay!
Excited: That it's Farmers Market Day!
Baby: Has hiccups right now haha it's adorable.
Days Until Baby/Christmas: 74!!

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