Thursday, January 10, 2019

Flying in the first trimester

We planned our trip to Portugal before I found out I was pregnant. When I checked the calendar, I realized I would be there on weeks 10 and 11. 
No big deal, I thought. After all, I hadn't had any symptoms or gained any weight. This will be easy. The only thing I need to worry about is avoiding certain foods (liked cured meats and soft cheeses - not so easy to do in Portugal!). 

Little did I know that the worst was yet to come: Morning sickness. 

Typically arriving in the 6th week and lasting until the end of the first trimester (weeks 12-13), this symptoms can range from nonexistent, mild, annoying, debilitating, and life-threatening (you can dye from dehydration due to morning sickness).

For me, the sickness manifested in an intense nausea and vertigo that lasted all day and got worse at nights. Sleeping was challenging. I would throw up multiple times and day and when I wasn't throwing up, I was feelings like I needed to. 

My taste in food completely diminished. I couldn't eat anything except potato chips and coca-cola. The smell of cooked food, especially meats, was repulsive and gag-inducing. I ran from the smell of coffee. None of my usual foods could be consumed anymore. It was a bland, terrible diet of white bread, chips, and coke every day. 

I started to really worry about my trip to Portugal. I worried I wouldn't be able to eat anything, be able to walk around the explore, and the able to survive the place ride over. 

In the subsequent posts, I will be writing more about my trip to Portugal, but in this one I want to address the worst on my mind: flying. 

I already hate flying and hate being on planes. My hatred of flights is well-documented in other posts, and now with my pregnancy and new symptoms, I was dreading the flight even more.
My fears:

  • throwing up on the plane
  • being unable to handle the smell of plane food
  • having to pee at take off, landing, or during turbulence
  • getting jerked around in my seat due to turbulence 
  • being unable to sleep or rest
  • getting deep vein thrombosis
The nausea was my worst concern, so to combat that, I did a lot of preparation. Check out how much anti-nausea stuff was in carry-on bag:



  • dried prunes (natural Chinese remedy)
  • dried plums (natural Chinese remedy)
  • dried ginger (natural Chinese remedy)
  • Zofran (prescription drug used to treat nausea in chemo patients)
  • Ginger tablets
  • Prenatal vitamin (not for nausea just for general health)
  • Vitamin D (not for nausea just for general health)

After all was said and done, I ended up needing none of these on the plane. Ironically, it was while we were walking through the streets of Lison and Porto that I had to bust out my emergency anti-nausea remedies. 

The other thing I did was buy some compression socks. I loved them and they made my legs feel so good during the flight. 

One rookie move I made was to carry a large backpack on my shoulders. I figured it was fine because I wasn't that big yet and it's it my belly that grows? Wrong. Having to bend over and pick up such a heavy bag was taxing. As was carrying the weight long distances. I wouldn't do that in any stage of pregnancy. 

All in all, flying was not bad except for the nausea. Without that, it would have been almost a completely normal trip. 

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