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Flying Pregnant

Today I'm on my way back to Jacksonville Florida to film a wedding taking place this weekend in lovely Fernandina.

I drove across the country twice during this pregnancy and flown once in my first trimester between North Carolina and California but it's so much more different traveling with a wee one that's not so hidden anymore. Here are some of my tips and lessons learned from air traveling during my third trimester: 

- Wear comfy shoes. You might need to hustle between terminals to you connecting flight when your first flight was delayed. 
- Drink plenty of water. For some reason traveling makes me really really, no really thirsty. I pack an aluminum water bottle to fill up in the airport. Look for water fountains or bottle refilling stations near restrooms. 
- Go to the bathroom right before your flight starts boarding. Chances are you'll get up to pee on the flight anyway, specially if you're drinking enough water. I'm 34 weeks pregnant today and according to baby is now producing a pint of pee a day, that means lots of pee breaks from here on out.
- Pack healthy snacks. Anything from a cheese stick, yogurt, granola bars, small box of raisins, small bag of almonds, baby carrots or cut up fresh fruit should keep you going between long flights. I straight up packed a lunch, nothing fancy just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to go along with my snacks, airports tend to inflate prices and I once vowed never to spend $10 on a soggy pizza again so PB&J it is. 
- Ask for help. I brought my small rolling suitcase and camera bag as my personal item. Perhaps I should have checked in the carry on but was too afraid my camera equipment would get lost, misplaced or go to that magical place missing luggage goes to for vacation during air travel. We can't have that when we've got a wedding to shoot tomorrow. While I travel light, (i tend to be a serious under packer, there's always plenty of room for souveniers in my bag) my carry on also included my brand new 70-200 IS II Canon lens so there was no way I was going to have that be tossed around in luggage. I attached my camera bag to the handle of my suitcase in the terminal and when boarding and landing asked for help to lift the carry on up and down the compartments. 
- *Choose an isle seat (I chose window seats as I like looking out the window and don't like to be disturbed but quickly found out that it was me who made my fellow travelers get up. (Sorry sweet lady and fellow travelers!) Don't make this mistake. It also didn't help that I needed to chug my water bottle while in line to precheck. Holding your urine is not only uncomfortable it can cause abdominal and even back pain. I also felt like my belly was going to burst every time little one moved because my bladder was so full waiting for the seat belt light to go off.  
- Get up and walk every hour. Doctor's instructions, and again that's why you need to sit on an isle seat. Cramped airplane seats are no fun, you need to get your blood circulating a little, specially if you are retaining water or have swollen feet which luckily *knock on wood* I have not experienced this pregnancy... Yet. 
- Hold on to your items. Bending over to retrieve items with a belly in your way when you drop your phone/snacks personal items is hard enough, it's extra challenging when you've got only a few inches to move.

Lastly and this is not quite a flying tip but a traveling tip. Never rent from Thrifty car rentals. I spent way over an hour waiting in line just to get my car. Worse customer service ever. They took an average of 10-15 minutes per customer and bluechip members kept coming into the front of the line. Pregnant, hungry and aching feet in line to rent a car is not where you want to be. Also customers kept coming in after they had been helped for additional help, later I found out when I did get my car they sent me to the wrong slot (this was happening a lot to other customers), I ended up finding it using the alarm sound. On a positive note, once I arrived in Jacksonville I used yelp to find a really neat eatery called Newks Eatery. Amazing customer service and they had lots of yummy soups, salads, sandwiches and pizza options. I went with the Mediterranean pizza and indulged on sweet pickles and breaksticks from their round table complimentary topping table. 

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