Flying To A Remote Location While 9 Months Pregnant Is Not A Stellar Parenting Start
When I was six months pregnant with my twins, my mother and my two sisters took a trip to Costa Rica. I, of course, was not allowed to go. Did I complain? Maybe a couple of times, but only for the LOLs. Because as amazing as Costa Rica might be, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to deliver premature twins there. One woman who wrote to the advice column Dear Prudence recently, however, is pretty sure that she can take a trip at 36-weeks because…I don’t know. I guess she figures she can hold it.
Emily Yoffe, of Slate’s advice column Dear Prudence, received the following email recently:
My family planned an important vacation for this coming June. This vacation will be in a remote location, a helicopter ride away from medical services, and it is important to us for cultural reasons. Surprise, surprise—I learned I’m pregnant, and I will be 36 weeks at the time of this trip. I asked my doctor, and she said it was pushing it to go on vacation at that time. I have already had one easy, uncomplicated birth. Also, my husband will be coming with us, and he is a doctor. My sister is threatening to cancel the vacation for everyone because she is too worried about me going. I’ve assessed the risk as minimal, if any, and in any event, I am an adult! Should my sister shut her trap and let us all go on this vacation? We’ve agreed to respect your advice.
First off, that’s minus ten points for using the word, “preggo.”
Second, the combination of these three things: “remote location,” “helicopter ride away from medical services,” and “36 weeks pregnant at the time of the trip,” provides the answer to your question. And that answer is: go for it.
That was a joke.
No, that answer is that you need a slap across this face with a leather glove by someone with a French accent who can say, “Non!” Because this is a terrible idea.
I’m glad that you appear to be in good health and that you have already had one uncomplicated delivery. I’m also glad that you asked your doctor about this, but you should know that when a doctor says, “that would be pushing it,” what they’re really saying is, “that would be ding dong dang stupid, you ding dong idiot.” That is not exactly a vote of confidence. And while you’re lucky that your husband is a doctor, you don’t make it clear what kind of doctor he is. Sure, they all go to medical school, but I wouldn’t want a podiatrist (for example) delivering my baby if I had a choice about it (which you do). It’s also not fair to ask your husband to be the physician responsible for his wife and unborn child’s well-being. If something went wrong, can you imagine how he would feel?
And that brings me to a game I like to play in situations like this, which I call “The What If Game.” It’s a great game for people who believe they are invincible and blessed with good luck to consider the alternatives. In your case, the game will be very easy because the answer to any of the “what ifs” (e.g. you start bleeding, you go into labor, you fall and have an accident) is “I would be in terrible trouble.” So stop being unreasonable and forcing everyone else to shoulder the responsibility of worrying about your life and safety, and let your sister cancel the trip. As Prudence says in her response:
Yes, you’re an adult, but if something goes wrong, the risks aren’t minimal—they’re grave. I think you should thank your sister for speaking up; I’m thanking her for allowing me to play doctor without having to waste all that time in medical school.