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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here's the deal.

If I was not pregnant, this would be a no-brainer trip for me. My grandmother, my only living grandparent and my mother's mother is dying. Slowly, awfully. I live in another country from my family. I am about 21 weeks pregnant.

My mother is having a very, very hard time coping with her mother's impending death. Besides the sadness and grief, there's a lot of anger and fear about the *way* it's happening-- because it's drawn out and just horrible to witness. She and her sisters are caring exclusively for my grandmother (well, hospice is coming, too.).

I really, really want to go spend a week with them. In terms of practical support, there isn't a whole lot I can do. I can make lots of freezer meals, do shopping for them, and if my grandmother is still alive when I go, I could sit with her to give my aunt a little time off. I could be a shoulder to cry on for my mother-- an ear. I suspect I'm her closest friend, and neither of my siblings would be willing/able to do these things.

I also really, really don't want to make an 18hr plane trip (each way). I don't want to travel in swine flu season (though I suspect I had it last year-- I was living on the Mexican border). My husband is not thrilled with the idea of me going. It will stress him out horribly, the idea that something bad could happen to me and the baby during my travels.

In practical terms, my ILs will be here to care for DS and help out my DH, so I don't really have any qualms on that front. This is purely fear about traveling while pg. My OB had absolutely no problems with it when I brought it up with her and told me she'd much rather I fly long-distance than drive long-distance.

So I guess I'm trying to figure out what the right thing is to do. I feel like whatever I choose, someone loses out. If I choose my family, my DH has a ton of extra stress and worry. If I choose purely safety (by staying home) my family loses out on what little help I can offer.

So. WWYD?
 

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I'd go. its only going to be harder to travel with a newborn, and no one should miss an opportunity to be with family, especially around the time of death. In many instances of my life, I've realized the sacrifices and the lenght I would go to be with my family and how I would likely regret not doing it in the future. I was very disappointed to miss my husband's grandfather's funeral because it was the day of my due date, and it was across the country from where we live. The sooner you go, the easier it will be. As your pregnancy progresses there will be more concerns about going. The second trimester is when you are going to be feeling the best and having the most energy. Take care of yourself, boost your immune system, stay hydrated and keep snacks with you are ways to keep you healthy while traveling. Like I said, I would go. Good luck with your decision.
 

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I would go. This is important, and not really something you can put off until a later date... Plus, if there's a best time to travel in pregnancy, this is it. Take reasonable flu-season precautions, and I'm sure you'll be fine.
 

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I agree -- you should go. There is no medical reason not to and your dh will be able to deal with things at home. Just reassure him that you'll take good care of yourself. You'll always remember this time and I think you'll regret it if you don't go.
 

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I have traveled widely while pregnant. I never took an 18 hour plane ride, but I did go visit my dying grandmother while I had an infant and was pregnant. I also went to Europe pregnant with a toddler.

Honestly, I have never regretted going to see my grandparents. In the first year of my DD1's life, I took her to meet all 3 of my living grandparents, and it was so meaningful to me. I'm sure it didn't matter much to her, but as a result I saw them all living one last time. The year my 2nd daughter was born, I lost a grandmother and a grandfather.

You can never get these moments back. It's worth it to do. Will you regret it if you don't go? That is the big question. If you will regret not going and seeing her alive, then just go.
 

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I agree with the others. I would absolutely go. I don't see any compelling reason to not go. It sounds like your pregnancy is healthy, things will be taken care of at home, and you have a lot to offer your family.

It would be different if you didn't want to go, but since you feel up to it, I would do it.
 

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i agree!

short term stresses will fall away in future years, leaving you with the precious memories and knowledge you did the thing that would bear absolutely no regret.

in addition to the other travel advice, i'd say stay as sanitary as you can - bring your own water AND food (flight attendants are touching aaaaallll those people and stuff that has touched their mouths!), and walk the isles every couple of hours at least.

besides, the things you listed you could do ARE concrete, and indispensable kinds of help we all need more of in times of family loss.

i am so sorry this terrible suffering is happening to your grandmother. hopefully, you can go, and be part of the healing for your mom, aunts, grandmother, and yourself.
 

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I'd go. I travelled quite a bit while pregnant (including a 19 hour each way car trip which I wouldn't recommend). If this is the last chance to see your grandmother you will regret not going.
 

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I'd go. It sounds like an intense flight, but such a crucial time for you to be with your family. I'm planning to travel from the northeast U.S. to Central America during this pregnancy at 9 weeks and 24 weeks for the sake of my career, and I'm okay with that. Life doesn't stop when you're pregnant.
 

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Without hessitation, go. Traveling at that stage of pregnancy is really not much different than when not prego, take the same precautions- only drink bottled water, eat only fully cooked foods, and know where the hospitals are, just in case. I traveled at 28-32 weeks when prego w/ DD and that was a on a 14 hour plane ride. It was fine.
 

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I would go. Even if you just stay a few days, seeing you happy and pregnant will boost everyone's spirit. Promise to call your husband constantly, do a bit of research on the best hospitals in the area (for his sake) and then ask him to please support you, because this is going to be very hard on you as well.

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother.
 

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I literally just did a 18 hour flight, in coach, to see my parents/family on one last 'baby free' trip and I am almost 30 weeks. I will be returning to the EU in a week on the same long flight.

I have flown pretty much every month of my pregnancy 1-2 times with flights ranging from 2 hours to 20 hours and so far, no complications..


I had no problems on the flight or getting sick. I did ask for a bottle of water and told the flight attendants I was pregnant. I was comfortable and got up and walked aroung the plane for a few 'laps' every 1-2 hours and was fine.

My biggest suggestion is to bring snacks! They only fed us every 7-8 hours on the flight which would of killed me if I hadn't of brought something with me. I brought 4 oranges, some granola bars and nuts. The fresh stuff is fine as long as you eat it all before you get into the next country, otherwise they make you trash it at customs..

have fun! if you're worried about swine flu I'd suggest wearing a mask and sunglasses while on the flight.. wash your hands everytime you get up and once you arrive..
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everyone, for the votes.

I know I would regret it forever if I didn't go.

My mother thinks my grandmother might not last out the week. But if I went home in early October, I could at least be there for the memorial service.

And the flight is an 11 hour flight, a three hour layover and a another 3 hour flight, so it isn't 18 continuous hours-- just long and exhausting.

Thanks again for all the good wishes.
 
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