Monday, July 15, 2013

Flying While Pregnant

    This mini-vaca I have felt pretty blessed to have an "easy" pregnancy. By that I mean, I got all my throwing up out of the way in the first few weeks (though in those few weeks I think I barfed enough for the entire 40 weeks. On another note- I HATE the word barf. But there is no GOOD phrase for it, is there?) My back hurts and my feet hurt, but they aren't swelling like I've seen in some of my friends, and Joel has been taking it easy with the bladder punches so my runs to the bathroom, frequent as they are, haven't been enough to really annoy the people sitting near me.

     But before I flew, I was scared! I read and looked for other's experiences, and I thought I'd share some of my own tips and thoughts about my own experience flying or traveling in general while pregnant.

   First, especially if you're flying, get a doctors note. I cleared it with my doctor (who clears flying up to 28 weeks along, but many doctors have different policies) and got a note just in case. Some airlines want to see a note past a certain point in your pregnancy, and even if you haven't reached that point yet it could cause a hassle if they decide they want to see one for you. It's just as important though just so your doctor is aware you are planning to travel, whether by plane or car, in case they want to do an extra check for any possible problems

    Don't skimp on the water. I know it's a hassle already to have a million bathroom runs a day, and generally they are only more annoying during a trip. But water is important and the bathroom breaks aren't as daunting as they seem after you've reached your destination. The last thing you want is to skimp on the water for convenience, and end up dehydrated on vacation. (That can lead to many issues, including a trip to the er, contractions, and general uncomfy-grumpiness. Not really that convenient at all.)

    If you're flying, try to get an aisle seat. This will help you feel more comfortable with the pee-breaks you'll need to take, but also encourage you to stretch your legs. One of the bigger issues (my doctor said) with traveling is sitting for so long. That's a lot of pressure for quite some time, and let's face it, airplane seats aren't really built for longtime comfort. Taking a walk up and down the aisle occasionally or just stretching your legs out in the aisle (rotate your ankle and flex your toes, point them up and stretch your legs) and shifting your position will help with leg and back cramps. And in my case, due to a low lying placenta, sitting for too long can cause bleeding, which would mean an instant trip to the emergency room upon landing.

   Bring some snacks. Most people do this already. But airport food is EXPENSIVE ($4 brownie anyone?) and many airlines don't even offer peanuts anymore without charging you. A purse filled with granola bars, trail mix, any type of snack is a good idea. Plan for delays or any type of event that may keep you from being able to purchase snacks at any point. A fed mommy-to-be is a happy mommy to be.

   And last, don't forget to plan for an emergency. Bring along your doctors information, your id (of course) and any insurance cards you might have. Look ahead of time for hospitals located near you, and if possible find some that take your insurance.

    Most of all, have a good time and stay safe! Kick up your feet when you get to your destination and relax. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I'm still here!

    I am a bad bad blogger aren't I? I've been missing while also trying to build a readership (not the best way to do that, let me tell you.)

    Well, on Thursday I flew out to WI to visit with my mommy. I haven't seen her in over a year so it was a real treat, and she got to feel her grandson kicking and rolling around. We did the usual WI things- by that I mean a trip to the cheese store (Of course!) and walked around near beautiful Lake Michigan.

   Today we were planning to do another 3d ultrasound. I woke up slightly nauseated and with a weird headache. My mom suddenly got sick this afternoon and now I'm feeling a little woozy, oops! So no ultrasound today, but hopefully next weekend me and Aaron will go have one done. (Trying not to be disappointed by reminding myself that by waiting another week, he'll be another week cuter!)

   I fly back home tomorrow and as much as I hate to go (I will miss my Marmee, and boy is Wisconsin beautiful!), I feel a bit of relief. I have never been a good traveler. Just one night away and I am homesick and DYING to be in my own bed and surrounded by my pets.
   To top it off, Aaron has been working a few hours outside of town for the past week, and I haven't seen but a few hours of him since last weekend. Tuesday will be a nice few hour reunion to tide me over until he is home, but not seeing him before I came here just makes me that much more homesick.

I'd love to write more but I am starting to feel dizzy and icky as I sit here so I am off to bed. I pray I'll wake up feeling better in the morning before my flight back to NV. My biggest fear is getting the flu while pregnant- sounds like very little fun.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Talking to the pregnant woman

    I think I'll take a moment for a slightly lecturey blog post.

    I know not everyone knows how to talk to pregnant women. Is it okay to ask to touch her belly? Is it okay to mention how big her belly has grown? What things are okay to say or ask, what things are totally off limits?

     Of course, I can only speak for myself in all of this, so don't take my word as law for ALL pregnant women world wide. But if in doubt, just follow a good rule of thumb and remember:

       Pregnant women are still women.
       If you wouldn't say it to a woman who wasn't pregnant, don't say it to a pregnant woman either. Unless you know, for a fact, you won't be putting your foot in your mouth, or crossing the line you shouldn't cross, just don't do it.

   The belly is a big question mark, probably the biggest. Personally, I love my expanding Joel-Hotel and I am pretty fine with people I know touching my belly when they see me. But, that doesn't make it an open invitation for everyone who knows me in passing.
Like I mentioned before, if it wouldn't be appropriate to touch her if she wasn't pregnant, don't do it without knowing for a fact she is okay with it. Asking and being told no is way better than making her uncomfortable and awkward with an unwanted touch. If you don't know her well enough to hug her when you bump into her at the store, you should probably keep your hands on your own stomach.

    Since becoming pregnant the big issue I have had is my weight. I've gained much more than the recommended amount, and I started showing pretty early. Personally, I love it. I don't have a problem putting on weight, and the fact that I am putting on more than I should doesn't concern me. In fact, seeing as I was underweight most of my life, I think it's healthy to put on a bit for my growing boy. There is a small shock about suddenly having trouble fitting into clothes (something I never worried about before), but I still find myself one of the lucky women who just don't care much about their weight. But I'd be the only one.
    My weight was something people felt free to discuss before I got pregnant, and that irritated me quite enough. (I can't tell you how sick I was of hearing about how skinny I was and how I should put on weight- nothing like that to give a girl a complex.) And now that I'm pregnant it has become totally open for anyone and everyone to discuss at any moment, at any event, with absolutely no tact.

 Suddenly I am being told left and right that I am, in no uncertain terms, "huge".
    But it's when talk goes beyond being specifically about my expanding stomach, that it becomes offensive. And it turns something that I am completely okay with about my body into something I worry I am too okay with, and the last thing I want is to become concerned with my weight.

    The comments about growing faster and bigger than anyone they knew this far along, the comments about how hard it will be to lose the weight ("IF" I ever do), the questions about how many pounds I have packed on since I got pregnant, since my last appointment, since last week! Teased about putting on weight and comparing my body today to my body 6 months ago. Completely absurd, and though my weight has always been so nonchalantly brought into conversation, this new realm of rudeness just shocks me.

    Becoming pregnant doesn't change any of the rules of decorum. Just because the woman's body is now shared with another, doesn't mean it is public domain. Pregnancy is filled with discomforts already- let's all try not to become another one.

(Of course, the disclaimer on this is that there are always those close enough to say things without causing offense. Even still, just because Aaron's sister can say something without it ever crossing my mind as not okay, it doesn't mean that someone I barely know could say the exact same thing without being completely rude.)