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Flying while Pregnant

I was six weeks pregnant when I started traveling with Number Three, the nickname of the baby growing inside of me. Wade and I would argue back and forth about who should be Number One — and then the other would be Number Two — but there is no doubt about who would be Number Three.

Wade and I had just graduated from Global College a few weeks before, and were now visiting my family in Maine. The plan was that we would meet up later on in Budapest — Wade would fly there from New York, and I would join him a couple of days later from Maine.

But these plans changed as I discovered that I was pregnant.

So Wade made a detour through Maine to see me and to make sure that everything was alright before we would depart for Eastern Europe.

So we had already told my parents that I was pregnant, stocked up on prenatal vitamins, and promised to visit a doctor as soon as we landed in Budapest, and took off out of Maine.

Wade had traveled in Hungary over the summer and I had somehow managed to convince him to return to the USA and finish our degrees together in New York. So he had already purchased a roundtrip air ticket before leaving Europe (an escape plan).

When I decided to return to Hungary with him, I found it was much cheaper to fly New York to Dublin on Aer Lingus and then take a Ryan Air flight from Dublin to Budapest rather than to take the same flight as Wade — who was flying on a different airline.

My flight to Budapest was cheaper but it had a long nine hour layover en route. So Wade and I flew from Maine to JFK together on Jet Blue, hung out for a couple hours in the airport where Wade even bought me a salad.

“But we never buy food in the airport, it’s too expensive” I protested. But I quickly relented, knowing I was now going to have to get used to making sure I was getting all my vitamins — I would be eating for two from here on out.

The flight from New York to Dublin wasn’t so bad, though I was thankful to have an aisle seat for how often I had to get up to pee. I checked out all the parents traveling with their babies on the way: a two month old going to visit his grandparents, a nine month old returning home. It was reassuring that Wade and I could continue to travel in this new phase of our lives.

After landing at the Dublin airport, I took a long nap. I woke up nauseous. I barely made it to the bathroom in time. An old Irish lady with blue hair looked in the stall at me “Are you alright, dearie?” I nodded and fumbled through my backpack for my toothbrush.

“I’m pregnant” I said sheepishly.

The Ryan Air flight from Dublin to Budapest could be called typical. In the terminal I was exhausted but still stood in a long line in order to have a chance at seizing a desirable position in the aircraft. Ryanair doesn’t reserve seats.

But — pregnant, ill, and all — I fought for a good seat, and won.

I fell asleep before take off and barely woke up during the duration of the entire flight. I was relieved and excited to see Wade waiting for me in the Budapest airport. I knew that our pregnant traveling adventures were about to begin. I wasn’t too nervous about traveling pregnant then.

Perhaps this was because I had no idea how it was going to change my traveling life.

Flying Pregnant

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Filed under: Air Travel, Pregnancy, Travel With Family

About the Author:

After traveling on her own for three or four years, Chaya met up with Wade Shepard, the editor of VagabondJourney.com. They were married in 2009, and continue to travel the world together with their young daughter. From time to time Chaya blogs about family travel and life on the road. has written 102 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Chaya Shepard is currently in: Xiamen, China