Mommy Tales: Traveling Internationally While Pregnant

January 22, 2013  |  

As a former skeptic of those who “just know” when they’re pregnant, admittedly, I knew. Even though I hadn’t experienced any morning sickness, I couldn’t help but wonder why I suddenly found it impossible to get out of bed. I didn’t think much of it until I came across something on TV. It was a celebrity couple that had decided to meet with a fertility specialist, because they were afraid that they were too old to have a baby. I immediately thought to myself , “Yeaaaah, I’m pregnant.”

I called my husband Maxwell on his way home from work, and casually mentioned that I “had a feeling” I might be pregnant. He sounded surprisingly calm, and asked if I had taken a test. I told him that I was planning on taking one that night. About 20 minutes after we got off the phone, I got a text message that said, “Hey, I love you. BTW, just ate an entire chocolate bunny. Guess I’m a little nervous.”

My friends had planned a farewell dinner for me that night at my favorite sushi restaurant. In just two days, I was supposed to be on a plane to Ecuador. To my surprise, Maxwell’s sisters showed up with a box of pregnancy tests, and hastily pulled me into the bathroom before our appetizers arrived.

I can only recall asking them what a plus sign meant, as they instantaneously kicked in the stall door, so that I could receive the loudest hug I’m sure that Japanese restaurant had ever heard. Needless to say, my womanly intuitions were pretty on point. Just to be certain, I went to see my cousin the next morning so that she could administer an official test. Her official answer was, “Yeah, you’re mad pregnant.”

It started to sink in when she gave me the rundown of what not to do as a pregnant woman. Take it easy? No heavy lifting? I guess I couldn’t help but look concerned. She asked me what was wrong, and I told her I was leaving for South America the next day–to go backpacking for the rest of the summer. All of a sudden, it hit me. It wasn’t just about me anymore. I was carrying precious cargo.

My original plan was to spend the summer gallivanting around Ecuador, Cuba, and Colombia. No longer seeming like such a great idea, I had a decision to make. I knew that I couldn’t tiptoe around for the next nine months because I was afraid to hurt my baby, but I also knew that I couldn’t allow myself to be as fearless as I used to be. My cousin called me later that night to ask if I was still planning on going. Breathing in deep, I made up my mind, and asked her for two months worth of prenatal vitamins.

Would you still travel internationally if you just found out that you were pregnant?

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