I embarked on the second of two trips in June last week but not before consulting first with my obstetrician. At 30 weeks pregnant, I apparently had to ensure before flying that my cervix wasn’t measuring too long. Or too short. Or something like that.
Truth be told, everyone in my obstetrician’s office has been telling me lately that it’s somewhat of a fallacy that you can’t fly once you’re deep into your third trimester. If all signs are pointing to normal and you’re going somewhere in the vicinity of a clean, well-equipped hospital, then you’re good to go.
However, I realized on my most recent journey that there is, in fact, a time in pregnancy when you just need to step away from the airplane and keep your feet planted firmly on the ground.
You know you’re too pregnant to fly when . . .:
The Tray Table vs. The Belly 1 of 5When your belly and the tray table are fighting for space, it's time to stay home. Because if there's not enough room for the two of them, that means there isn't enough room to open up the snack box. Which means the very pregnant woman can't eat. And that's never a good thing.
The Bathroom 2 of 5You thought airline bathrooms were small before you were pregnant? Try carrying what feels like the Lollipop Guild, the Lullabye League and the rest of the population of Munchkin Land in your belly and turning around in one of those little filthy WC cubicles, or squatting so you don't have to sit on the toilet. But what's worse than the bathrooms is the potential to be denied access to one of them in the event of something annoying, like turbulence, takeoff or landing.
The Seat 3 of 5Is it better to be in the aisle seat so you have better access to the bathroom, plus you don't have to worry about climbing over or across anyone from the window seat? Or is it better to have the window seat so you don't need to worry about taking an hour to get comfortable just to have to get up as soon as you find one fragile angle in which you might be able to doze off because someone else in your row needs to get up? What if, heaven forbid, you get stuck in the middle? Contrary to what the Stealers Wheel might have sung, there is no "you" who a pregnant woman will enjoy being stuck between.
Labor 4 of 5Just because you can fly when you're very pregnant since nothing will probably happen, does that mean you really want to take your chances? I mean, what if the drink cart bumps into you and somehow causes you to go into labor? Where, exactly, do you envision yourself greeting your newborn? On the filthy floor in the back where they store the snack carts and everyone comes out of the bathroom with pee stuck to their shoes? In the front of the plane so you can be the in-flight entertainment in the event that the movie being shown is one that everyone has already seen?
The Other Passengers 5 of 5If you thought you got dirty looks from some passengers when you boarded the plane with a baby or little kid, it turns out you can get the same looks, if not a tiny bit worse, if you board the plane with an unborn object protruding from your belly. Your row mates see you as Shamu's cousin who could perhaps take away some of their arm or leg space — or worse, have your water break on or near them and they will be forced to recall what Trapper John, M.D., might have done in a similar situation. Bon voyage!
Images: Wikipedia + Creative Commons
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