Friday, June 14, 2013

Pregnant and Traveling Across the World

Our big European vacation is here! Our itinerary is packed with travel stops and our bags will be soon too.
This will be the longest, and most extensive trip JC and I have taken thus far in our traveling career, and what makes it even more interesting is that along with my luggage I will be carrying with me a two pound bundle of joy.
When telling people about our trip we’ve had numerous reactions.  Most are intrigued at the European vacation.  Then when they hear that I am still going despite being pregnant the opinions and comments fly. Some people have told me “I’m a brave lady” to travel to Germany at 28 weeks pregnant, others are shocked that I’m able to still go in “my condition,” and a few others have asked about all the shots and procedures I’ve had to go through to be able to go to Germany.
Most of the comments make me laugh a little at the naïve thinking of some people. Germany is not a third world country. There are no shots or special medicines and procedures I have to go through to visit this country. My Doctor is extremely supportive of me going and has enjoyed talking to us about our European travel plans as he’s been across the pond a few times himself.
The other comments about being “brave” and still being able to travel in “my condition” really hit a nerve with me. Of course I checked with my doctor to make sure it was safe to travel to another country at this stage during my pregnancy. The last thing I’m going to do is put my baby and I in any healthy dangers for a trip, no matter how wonderful or cheap it may be. I love traveling, and find it to be one of the most enjoyable things a person can take part it in their life. I’m not being “brave” by going to another country, I like to think I’m being “adventurous.” I do acknowledge the fact that this trip may come with fewer activities, more downtime and more physical discomfort and fatigue, but I am still healthy, feeling well and the same travel loving person I was before the baby.
“My condition” is a little two pound bundle of joy growing inside me. That doesn’t mean I’m sitting in bed all day and can’t be my normal, active self-right now. I’ve been extremely lucky to have felt pretty good during my pregnancy and maintain a mostly positive bill of health so far. Plus, if I can travel to work each morning, deal with work and life stress, be a dog Mommy and still do a little housework I can manage to squeeze myself into an airplane chair, relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of a new country.
Because JC was asked to “host” this trip we were able to travel for a discounted price. Other people who know this and know he gets to take an extra person have asked about my pregnancy health status and then jokingly said “Well I guess that means I don’t get to go” when I report that my Doctor has given me the okay.  I laugh at the comment, but it  is a little hurtful. 
Pregnant women should still be able to travel (as long as it’s safe) without people providing their advice and comments. Just because I have a little baby inside me doesn’t mean I should have to give up absolutely everything I have enjoyed in life before baby. I’m still the same person I was, just with some added responsibility.  With all the added stress of carrying a baby a vacation is needed!  I’m sure Baby Fultz will love hearing about his or her first trip across the pond!

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