Would you travel across the world at 22 weeks? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 07-26-2011, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm barging in over here from the March 2012 DDC in hopes of some guidance and thought on travel. 

 

I'm a PhD student and a paper of mine (with a professor) was accepted at our discipline's big conference in December. It's in China. CHINA! I will be about 22 weeks at that point (GLWATCDR), and have no idea how I'll feel about going. Assuming a normal pregnancy, what would you guys do?

 

 


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#2 of 32 Old 07-26-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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Yes, I would. I actually went to china when I was 7 months pregnant with my first. I really had no issues and personally think it's fine. Good luck.

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#3 of 32 Old 07-26-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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As long as you're feeling fine and take general precautions while over there (food, water, etc.) I wouldn't see it as a problem.  My mom went to China a couple years ago and a lot of her travel companions ended up with food poisoning.  I would imagine you would need to take extra steps when you're pregnant, but I also imagine it could be done, especially at an international conference where they are likely to put you up at a nice hotel.

 

Congrats on getting your paper accepted and congrats on your pregnancy!  Good luck with your decision.


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#4 of 32 Old 07-27-2011, 04:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My biggest problem is that I kinda of have to decide now. The earlier the better or else I won't be able to afford to go last-minute. So I won't know how I feel. But it sounds like from the two of you that (at least in a normal pregnancy) it should be fine? 

 

I have a chat with my midwife planned for today and I'll post up any detail she has for me to consider. 


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#5 of 32 Old 07-27-2011, 05:19 AM
 
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There are the other normal airplane and travel considerations like making sure that you get up and walk around frequently, staying hydrated, eating properly, getting enough sleep, etc.  And then the fact that you'll be away from your normal care provider if anything should come up medically.  So having a plan in place for how to maximize your health while traveling and what you would do (like where you would go) if you needed medical attention, would be helpful and give you peace of mind.

 

Also from an emotional/career standpoint I would do a bit of soul searching about how important this particular conference is to you.  I know in my dh's academic field one of the major conferences is international every 4 years, but the other 3 years it is within the US.  The conference is really the same, they just pick an exotic location.  So he has opted not to spend the time and money on those and focus on the ones that are domestic.  But if this is THE conference and you feel like it's an opportunity of a lifetime (or of your career) then it's probably really worth planning and figuring out how to make it work.


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#6 of 32 Old 07-27-2011, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, this will be a tough decision. I'm in the early stages of my doctoral program. I should have gone to the conference last year, but didn't because it was too much fo DH (long story). This yeah I have a paper accepted, which is a big deal, and I need to start introducing myself to my future colleagues and hiring schools. This is the job market conference; it's THE conference for my field. 

 

However, reading the Harvard work-life article posted in the WOTH thread makes me think twice about being pregnant and showing the first time I meet my potential hiring schools. As much as I'd like to pretend it's not the case, I feel like I could put myself at a severe disadvantage by being visibly pregnant at the first impression.  irked.gif


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#7 of 32 Old 07-27-2011, 06:09 AM
 
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It's unfortunately true that it would be to your disadvantage to appear visibly pregnant at a job interview (even though they technically cannot discriminate against you), but you're not interviewing for a job at this point, you're networking.  I wouldn't think that would be as big an issue.  Plus, is this your first?  You may not even be visibly pregnant at 22 weeks.  You might have just a tiny bump that could be easily concealed and/or played off as just how you look.  What field are you in?


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#8 of 32 Old 07-27-2011, 08:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaimee View Post

It's unfortunately true that it would be to your disadvantage to appear visibly pregnant at a job interview (even though they technically cannot discriminate against you), but you're not interviewing for a job at this point, you're networking.  I wouldn't think that would be as big an issue.  Plus, is this your first?  You may not even be visibly pregnant at 22 weeks.  You might have just a tiny bump that could be easily concealed and/or played off as just how you look.  What field are you in?



So true! With my first, I was barely showing at 22 weeks. Not that you need to hide it if you don't want to, but wearing dark colors and maybe a nice, long scarf might be all you need. 


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#9 of 32 Old 07-27-2011, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The possibility of not showing is very encouraging! I'm in a business field, mostly economics-based.


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#10 of 32 Old 07-27-2011, 09:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosieL View Post

I'm barging in over here from the March 2012 DDC in hopes of some guidance and thought on travel. 

 

I'm a PhD student and a paper of mine (with a professor) was accepted at our discipline's big conference in December. It's in China. CHINA! I will be about 22 weeks at that point (GLWATCDR), and have no idea how I'll feel about going. Assuming a normal pregnancy, what would you guys do?

 

 



Hi RosieL,

 

I will be about 27 weeks along when I leave the US and return to New Zealand. I've lived here for a couple of years, so it hasn't been a vacation. Allegedly, my pregnancy is high risk, but I think that's more professional concern for me than the baby. (Everything's fine.) People keep saying "some airlines won't let you fly too late in pregnancy (yeah at around 36 weeks!). As long as you feel fine, stay hydrated and move around the cabin on the plane, I would think you'd be okay to fly. Just note that you may not get travel insurance, or at the very least you will have your pregnancy excluded from any possible claim. 


Meeting my daughter somewhere between 21st - 27th November 2011

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#11 of 32 Old 07-27-2011, 09:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TalkToMeNow View Post





So true! With my first, I was barely showing at 22 weeks. Not that you need to hide it if you don't want to, but wearing dark colors and maybe a nice, long scarf might be all you need. 



Same here.  I just looked thick around the middle and lost my waistline at about that time. With a blazer and a scarf or dark shirt underneath, you probably wouldn't have even noticed. Second pregnancy, not so much! :)

 

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#12 of 32 Old 07-27-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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Yep, a nice jacket or blazer could have easily concealed my first pregnancy at 22 weeks, and I thought I'd popped at that point! Even on baby number 4, at 23 weeks people are still at the tail end of the "ummm, are you pregnant" stage.

 

I say go, but I have traveled during each of my pregnancies. Never internationally, but travel nonetheless.

 


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#13 of 32 Old 07-29-2011, 01:58 PM
 
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I would absolutely travel and I wouldn't worry about my pregnancy affecting my future career. In fact, I am pregnant with my fourth and I start an internship next week. I told them that I need to have my project wrapped up by November 1st, but other than that, I have not indicated to my preceptor or advisor that my children or pregnancy could be a hindrance. If something happens, I'll deal with it then, but I'm not going to fail to complete my masters because I am pregnant. I think that your dedication and talent will show if that is what you want. Of course, I'm not traveling, but I would if I had to.

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#14 of 32 Old 07-29-2011, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks MM! I'm leaning toward going. I am going to confer with my co-author once she's back in town. She happens to be a native of the conference city. It looks like I"m going to China though! I'm excited.


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#15 of 32 Old 07-30-2011, 05:10 AM
 
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not pregnant right now, but yes i would go, and i wouldn't assume you'd look pregnant either. i was hired for a job around then with my first and i just wore a loose dress and no one knew. Depending on where the conference is (and i'm assuming it's in a major town or city) there wouldn't be any extra safety precautions you'd have to take either. rural china, yeah, drink bottled water and watch out for fresh produce and pre-prepared foods, but where you're probably going, it's as healthy and safe as any town or city in north america. make sure to get travel insurance, and maybe ask your co-author for help getting the contact number of a OBGYN or women's hospital (just in case something happens to go wrong, it's good to know where to go or who to call), especially if it's a longer trip. 

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#16 of 32 Old 07-31-2011, 08:05 AM
 
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When I read the title of this thread, I imagined a multi-continent backpacking trek and thought "no way!" But flying to China for a very important career opportunity sounds totally doable, as long as you factor in precautions as pps said. In the movies pregnant women can't fly in 3rd tri, so look into that, and while I have no personal experience, I know i'd be very uncomfortable pregnant in a plane seat.

OTOH, I think it's important to note that this won't be any easier with a baby or multiple children, and you certainly wouldn't want to wait til they are teenagers to do this. I think it's way cool you are getting your doctorate! Congrats on that and pregnancy!

Rachel, massage therapist and single mom :to Keanu 7/29/04 and Juniper 11/18/11!  Lovingfemalesling.GIFcd.gifnamaste.giflactivist.gifgd.giffambedsingle1.gif

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#17 of 32 Old 07-31-2011, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh man, a multi-continent backpacking trek sounds incredible!

 

Thanks for the congrats. This conference will be every year, and it's likely I will need to attend every year. It is international every other year and 2013 is in New Zealand! I imagine I will take along any little one(s) we have at that time with DH, or my mom. 


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#18 of 32 Old 07-31-2011, 10:54 PM
 
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I am now 37 weeks pregnant and 2 weeks ago I flew from New Zealand to Portland, Oregon to attend my sister's wedding. I looked extremely pregnant, but nobody gave me any hassles about getting on the plane. I think it depends on the airline, though. All in all, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. If I could do it when I am this far along, you could def do it.

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#19 of 32 Old 08-01-2011, 08:35 PM
 
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Go for it! 22 weeks you'll be fine...rarely do airlines actually ever ask for documentation but I find some international carriers have stricter policies (usually due to long distances over water traveled, etc) and I would just get a note from your OB or midwife just in case. Most domestic airlines are 36 weeks, some asian carriers can go as "low" as 32 weeks for requiring documentation, but again appearance is rather subjective so you're unlikely to be asked.

Other than that, that sounds like quite an opportunity. Good luck!


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#20 of 32 Old 08-02-2011, 04:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Um, wow. This thread made a Mothering e-mail. How odd. I forget how public the internet is sometimes.


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#21 of 32 Old 08-02-2011, 04:52 AM
 
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I'd go.  We almost traveled to Bolivia when I was 28 weeks pregnant, but the 14,000 ft elevation scared me off because I am very susceptible to altitude sickness.  I didn't want to risk being sick.


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#22 of 32 Old 08-02-2011, 05:05 AM
 
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I traveled to Utrecht for a 3 month predoctoral fellowship during my second trimester.  During that time I came back to Canada once a month to see my midwife, traveled once to Chicago to give a paper at a conference and traveled once to Vancouver for a job interview.  Just to add to your data:  I and my son (now 15 months) are just fine. 

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#23 of 32 Old 08-02-2011, 07:22 AM
 
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Just a note, Atlas International has travel/medical insurance that covers pregnancy up to 26 weeks, I believe. It was one of the only ones that I found that will include pregnancy AND pre-existing conditions (traveling with my son who has had multiple surgeries and could have issues because of it), so you may want to check it out. I would definitely go if I were you! I'll be traveling from 10 weeks to 16 weeks, but in Canada.

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#24 of 32 Old 08-02-2011, 07:41 AM
 
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Piping in from China here - lived here for 3 1/2 years thus far and actually work for a major university here.  I think you'll be fine.  That said - You should be FREAKY careful about food - even in a major city, even in nice restaurants - as opposed to what a previous poster noted.  I've had food poisoning (as has every other long-term expat) so many times it's laughable.  It's been horribly wretched twice - once while I was pregnant.  That was scary and not fun and would be very unpleasant and inconvenient during your trip.  

 

So... no fresh produce that's not peelable - no fresh juices, even from nice juice stands or in restaurants (which is a bummer, because watermelon juice here ROCKS! - but the aftermath is not worth it), bottled water all the way, do not take drinks served with ice, only go to places that are busy, during mealtimes and make sure they stir-fry/boil the heck out of your food.  Don't eat what's been sitting out.  And, skip the raw salads, even at fancy places in Beijing or Shanghai. That's how I got food poisoning when I was prego.  

 

Also, I'd recommend having a real plan in case you need healthcare here.  International SOS is a great company worth checking out.  They have a clinic in Beijing.  If you have a negative blood type (I do) - then understand that hospitals don't necessarily carry that kind of blood in case you need it as the vast majority of folks here are positive.  

 

You'll likely feel the effects of jetlag more intensely while pregnant.  Not much you can do other than try to plan an extra bit of adjustment time and plan in naps if at all possible and bring a bottle of Calms Forte (my midwife approved this for me while I was prego - would be worth checking with yours) to help you sleep at night.  

 

All that said, 22 weeks is an ideal time to travel and I'd bet, as others noted - that you could hide the fact that you're prego pretty easily if you wanted to.  And China is a great place!  I've truly enjoyed my years here.  Just be careful - there's a veneer of development in the bigger cities that covers up the actual lack thereof - especially in sectors like the healthcare system and food sanitation - so please be prepared.  This ain't Kansas.  

 

You'll likely also want to make sure you talk to your doctor about the risks if you're missing any vaccinations - for example, Hep B is rampant here, but you're unlikely to contract that on a short trip unless you receive a bad blood transfusion.  

 

If you do choose to reveal your pregnancy though - you will be waited on hand and foot and you'll be able to cut in front of every line.  Pregnant women are treated like empresses.  :) 

 

 

 


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#25 of 32 Old 08-02-2011, 02:01 PM
 
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During my first pregnancy, I traveled from NZ to USA for a conference at almost 20 weeks.  I was EXHAUSTED, made worse by sharing a room, and BOY did I need to nap.  Travel companions don't always understand!  Will you get your own room?

 

Right now I"m pregnant for 2nd time (many years later!) and we just got back from a wee family holiday to Australia.  Again, I was knackered, but at least with hubby & daughter I could insist on a lie down at any juncture. 

 

The hardest part of traveling both times (and that was wicked advice from the sister living in China) was EATING.  Like, if you don't wash the veggies yourself, be suspect.  I ate WAY too much stodgy crap - like usually I'd order salads or sandwiches/wraps with heaps of veggies, but on this trip it was all cheese toasties or supermarket fruit.

 

SO it sounds like you're gonna go, and good on you - enjoy - but from where I am sitting, in my own home with my own sanctioned groceries, I would say "hell no.  NO THANKS!".  Not for all the tea in China! 

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#26 of 32 Old 08-03-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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In case it hasn't already been mentioned, if you have the option...request an aisle seat!


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#27 of 32 Old 08-03-2011, 08:48 PM
 
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I flew a pan-pacific flight around that time in my first pregnancy.  It was wretched.  It was some new plane without the air control above your seats, and something was wrong with the cooling system.  It was so hot and I was so pregnant and uncomfortable and thus emotional.  I almost went postal on the person in front of me (who wasn't really doing anything - they were just sitting forward and back and it was bugging me).  I ended up going and standing in the back of the plane where all the cool air was and felt soo much better.

 

And for the food - I was in India and if you are a fresh fruit junkie you can wash/treat your own food (iodine in water, IIRC).  I would not trust a thing.  If you get a glass that is damp before your bottled water is poured in it before your very eyes, don't drink.  I don't know if you really need detailed advice on travel to a country with potentially unsafe water, but if you do, that might be another thread all around. 

 

It sounds like this is a great opportunity for your career-wise, and as a mom I also suggest you get one conference in pre-kid, because if you are anything like me your brain will be more split once you have a kid and taking it all in and figuring it all out while you are in the midst of parenting a baby is harder.

 

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#28 of 32 Old 08-03-2011, 09:26 PM
 
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I would go.  For three of my four overseas trips, I was pregnant.  The comments about drinking lots of fluids, walking / moving around a lot on the flight are all valid, Deep Vein Thrombosis is more of a risk during pregnancy.  Your OB should have some advice about what to eat / what not to eat.  You might need to buy bottled water for the trip.

 

For the first trip, I was about 10-11 weeks pregnant, and we went to Korea.  10 hours into the 14-hour flight, I wanted OFF, I was tired of flying, but I managed.  I bought bottled water practically everywhere we went, and had to be careful about what I ate.  I skipped the sushi / kim bub, which felt like a real sacrifice.

 

The second trip, second pregnancy, I was about 14 weeks pregnant, and going to Europe.  Charles de Gaulle airport was a real pain, because they had all these long walks and stairs, I think I was bussed out to the plane and had to climb a steep set of boarding stairs to get onto my plane.

 

The third trip was also the second pregnancy, and about 20-22 weeks pregnant, I spent two weeks in Moscow.  The first week, one of our docs was there too.  Somebody made a joke about what would happen if I went into labor over there, but I knew the answer would be an emergency flight to someplace like London.  I have heard of Americans who had children there, but my understanding was that Moscow didn't have the sort of NICU to handle that early of a preemie.  Fortunately, nothing of the sort happened, we got back home just fine, and DS was born full term.

 

By 20-22 weeks, I definitely needed the aisle seat for restroom breaks.  One the first flight, I was listed as Window seat, but was able to convince my seatmate to trade me.  Considering she slept the entire flight, I'm surprised she hesitated.

 

If you can fly business class (more $$$ :( ), it is DEFINITELY more comfortable for overseas flights.  The Korea trip was regular class and SO crowded.

 

Mine was a business trip, so a medevac would *probably* have been covered.  For a self-funded trip, I think trip insurance and/or a medical evacuation insurance plan would probably be worth the money.

 

Definitely get checked out by your doctor ahead of time.  Find out what vaccinations are recommended, and whether they are safe for pregnancy.  I had to get checked out at my customer's clinic as well as by my OB, and the clinic wanted my OB's approval before they would vaccinate me.  I think it ended up being a little bit of a game of "chicken," as each office said "I'm okay if your other doctor is okay," but I ended up going.  We did a TON of walking there, I got pretty worn out several times.  The people I was traveling with slowed down for me.


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#29 of 32 Old 08-09-2011, 10:34 PM
 
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The radiation is a little concerning in an aircraft.  But at 22 weeks I probably would feel better than in the first trimester.

 

AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK.  We live in Beijing (we are American, hi, LizBiz, do I know you?) and I was returning with my baby from Singapore for a Doman parent course I attended there.  The airline crew GASSED the plane upon landing - with insecticide!  YES.  With hardly a warning "some people are sensitive, we will bring around tissues to cover your face with if you want" they blithely put nerve toxins into everyone there, old, young, pregnant, no matter. 

 

I guess it's because Dengue Fever is mosquito borne and that's going around in Singapore.  But do your homework.  I had a terrible reaction, as I do to all pesticides.   My lips were numb, my throat tasted awful, my forearms get shooting pains and my hands are unusuable.  My brain gets foggy and I just cry and cry.  It's all very predictable now (I walk around a corner, and they're spraying trees, etc) but I can mostly avoid it.  Here I couldn't.  I yelled, made a big fuss, and told all the flight attendants to look up the chemical name (AND I took a can of the aerosol too, I am trying to get some press coverage).  The thing that makes me mad is that my little one got gassed too.  She's so little.  Not even a thought. 

 

Liora

Beijing

Founder/Moderator of Beijing Mamas Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Beijing_Mamas and Beijing Organic Consumers Yahoo Group

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/beijing_organic_consumers/

 

 

 


Liora. Best way to reach me is FACEBOOK, search for "LioraP2". Jewish and Frum In Beijing, Mom of Three (mother of 3: #1 was vaccine injured at age 2m later dx with PDD-NOS, healed in 3 years with biomed. #2 unvaxed and healthy boy. #3 unvaxed amazing girl with Down syndrome using Targeted Nutritional Intervention (TNI) since infancy)
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#30 of 32 Old 08-10-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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I traveled to Japan in the middle of my pregnancy to be with my husband's family and be with him for a while since he was away for work.. Sometimes it was difficult with my low blood sugar induced visitations by my inner Jekyll and my inability to read Japanese and effectively order food without my husband present unless I was at a 7-eleven, self-serve bakery (sweet God they are good there... but I digress) or starbucks.. That doesn't seem like it would be a problem so much for you.. I enjoyed my trip on the whole and there really weren't any negative points directly related to my pregnancy.. I say go. 


DS arrived 3/10/10, DD arrived 3/13/13, and a third will be joining us around 5/20/14. pos.gif
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