Thursday, May 5, 2011

On Pregnancy and Travelling

Travelling while pregnant is, well, tricky and touchy for some folks.

To me it was a no-brainer from the beginning that I would be hauling my cookies across the country to Tejas to see my girl Shel get all hitched and stuff.

But, how long? Did I have enough vacation time saved up to do this AND my maternity leave? Would my health be a factor? Would the midwives be cool with it? And please God, what would happen if I went into early labor?

Planning Travel

First thing is first, if flying, check airline guidelines. My airline guidelines said you couldn't fly within 30 days before your due date. Check, I was like 60 out from mine.

Second, you have to get travel insurance. This made me feel oh so much better about booking tickets in advance and all that jazz. I got the good price, but still knew that if something happened and God forbid I got put on bed rest or something I wouldn't be moaning about the lost money in addition to the fact that I wasn't getting to go hang with all my friends - which would clearly be the much bigger tragedy.

Somewhere in this planning process, consult your medical professional. Just give them the FYI at any normal appointment that you will be travelling and when. See if they have any immediate concerns, and just keep them informed of plans along the way, especially if you start getting any sort of complications.

Figure out where you are going to stay, and what their policies are. For a while our friends went back and forth on renting a house, and going in together on "pricelining" hotel rooms, etc. (that's a word, right?) A and I decided it was best to do our own thing for the hotel room, because we would definitely know within 2 days of arriving (the last time you can cancel for no fee) whether we were actually going to be using the hotel room or not. anything were to go wrong, we wouldn't be out that money too, or putting a bigger burden on our friend group because of prearranged splitting of costs, etc.

The BIGGEST thing in planning though, which I am so.glad I did, is taking more time than you may need as your non-pregnant self.

Non pregnant self travelling to wedding? Arrive Friday morning, RD Friday Night, Wedding Saturday, Fly out Sunday morning.

Pregnant self travelling? I took my time. I reveled in that trip, and I am so glad that I did. I flew in in advance, had some scheduled down time to rev up for the big weekend, and didn't leave until late afternoon Sunday. Now getting up and heading to work on Monday morning was a little rough, but I needed that day for my 10 day coverage before maternity leave starts, which was way more important than being a little sleepy at my desk.

Actually Travelling

Ok, so when ACTUALLY travelling while pregnant, first hope against all hope that you don't have to go it alone. But, if you do, that will be fine too. Make sure to bring plenty of distracting things. I usually bring one book and I am fine just diving in.

This time around I finished the book in record time, plowed through all of the sodokus and the crossword puzzles and people watched and still found myself looking for more to do to keep my mind off how restless my legs were and how I was trying not to jostle my neighbors, how unexcited the people to my left and right seemed to be that they had a preggo sitting between them (sorry dudes, but SW wouldn't let me qualify for early bird check in!) and how many times I would have to maneuver into the tiny restroom while in the air.

Mind = jumpy.

Beyond that though, there isn't much difference when actually flying. Make sure to invest in your own bottle of highly priced airport water once past security, because the little cup they give you mid-air will not satisfy you.

Make sure to rev up for some chatty people, because if you think those people are chatty enough in airports, just wait until you are visibly pregnant. It's an icebreaker, remember? Especially if you are flying Southwest and get to line up in the cattle car positions that will surround you for an indeterminable amount of time by said strangers until they send you on to duke it out for good seats.

If you are NOT flying Southwest (we didn't on the way back) make sure to check in with a person at the desk before your flight instead of doing it yourself on the kiosk. Our lady from Airtran was SUPER nice and made sure to put me in the bulkhead row (first row after business class) so that I would have more leg room and be close to both flight attendants and the bathroom. People will work magic for you if they can and you are nice.

Last bit of advice? check everything you can. Trust. Going through security, layovers, etc. especially if you don't have a travelling buddy, with too much stuff is stressful and tiring enough. My best suggestion is to check it and forget it until you arrive at your destination. You shouldn't be carrying heavy things anyway. You don't want a broken baby.

Other than that, roll with the punches and relax. There is no worse way to fly than all worked up, and all worked up and pregnant is not.a.good.combo. You just don't need the stress. All that will come when you try and travel with a baby outside your uterus. Or, so I have heard.

32 weeks along

...and have I told y'all yet that I have a paper chain in my office counting down to my due date? It is super fun.

There are a lot more links gone now. Yay!

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