After a long journey to France, an 8-hour plane ride, 3 hours by train and a 1-hour car trip to get to a village in the region of Pays de la Loire, I never thought I'd make it with an "Extra Luggage." To be honest, I've been a bit worried whether my body is strong enough to go through it after a stressful week.
"It is usually safe to travel between 14 to 27 weeks if you have a normal and healthy pregnancy," according to Baby Center, much to my relief.
Medical Letter: I was advised by friends to obtain a letter from my doctor that I'm fit to travel. I'm on my 22nd week. When I did ask for one, my OB mentioned it's not necessary. However, It is wise to consult with your prenatal care giver and discuss travel plans prior to traveling. She did advise me to go through a detailed ultrasound just to check if the baby is okay. When I did, I had a printed copy of this detailed medical report, which includes information found in a prenatal chart. Just in case the Airlines asks me for proof that I am less than 28 weeks, which they never did.
Traveling Light in a Commercial Plane: My husband traveled 2 weeks before I did. I asked him to take all of my winter clothes and toiletries with him. I was left with a small and really light (9kg) trolley luggage that I even checked in. A small tote carrying essentials and my coat was all I had with me during rest of the trip.
Helpful Tip I found: Check with the Airline prior to your trip . Carry all prenatal vitamins and medications required in your purse. Store your doctor's contact details in your mobile phone.
Web Check in: I chose an aisle seat close to the toilet. This would help me avoid disturbing my neighbor and bumping my belly on the reclined seats in front of me. Reserving the seat in advance makes it stress free. The aisle seat enabled me to walk and stretch during the smooth flight every now and then.
Up in the Air: One of the challenges of expecting are circulation problems, especially those who are prone to blood clots and deep veins. I have no idea whether I am one of them so to be safe, a friend of mine lent me her medical, knee length compression stockings. It is said to improve circulation and I felt that it does, regardless how difficult it was to wear it.
Lots of Fluids: The flight can be dehydrating. Water. Water. Water.
Surviving the Train Ride: It was also a relief not to carry so much while waiting for the train at the station in Paris. Being pregnant made me visit the toilet often and it would have been a nightmare if I had a huge luggage.
Avoid heavy lifting whenever you can. I'm grateful to kind passengers who helped me store my trolley luggage above my seat. (I wasn't tall enough to reach it and had no strength carrying my luggage up there.)
What to wear: It all depends where you're going. As for me, it was 5 degrees Celsius in Paris when I arrived. I was told it was negative weeks before the trip, so I prepared in advance. One of the challenges for me was, my pre-pregnancy winter clothes did not fit me anymore. My feet size increased as well.
I browsed Destination Maternity online and found this Belted Maternity Coat from Motherhood Maternity in their Mirdif City Centre store in Dubai. It's something I can still wear later. I got this stretched jeans from there as well.
We have limited pregnancy clothing options in Dubai. Apart from H.&M. and Destination Maternity, the other shops can be really pricey. The Suede Aldo boots above also kept me warm and comfy during the trip.
On a personal note: I'm happy to have arrived safely, taking lots of rests after the trip. Having joined the family this season, I'm enjoying each day, the winter breeze, the rain and landscape. Everyone is in a holiday mode and I believe you are all too. I'll be able to blog more than usual while I'm on a short vacation.
I wish you all happy holidays!
Love & light,