Monday, September 17, 2012

Vietnam Controversy

10 weeks, 1 day

So DH's family is all in town.  It is Grandma's 91st birthday this week, all the kids (10 of them!) are here for a week.  It is lovely (well, not that they speak to me in English, but they're all having a good time).  Oldest Uncle and wife have flown in from Hong Kong, and Second-oldest Uncle and wife have come in from Taiwan.  2nd Uncle is the father of DH's cousin who is expecting and due a few months before us, so it is all nice and happy.

So last night we went over there before dinner, and suddenly there was a lot of talk where I could here my name over and over.  Finally I was like "DH, what are they talking about?!?!"

He said they don't think I should go to Vietnam.  Youngest Uncle + Oldest/2nd Oldest were all up in arms about it.  They think it is too risky.  They pointed out things like - sure, you can eat only cooked food, but what if the bowl they serve it in is dirty?  (Chinese regularly 'clean' their chopsticks in a restaurant with hot water).

As 2nd Uncle is a doctor (albeit a psychiatrist), everyone (DH and I included) takes his opinion more seriously, than, say, youngest Uncle going off about something.  They're worried that I'll get traveller's diarrhea for days, and this could harm Appleseed.  And that the hospitals there aren't good (which I'm not sure is true...?). 

They kept saying "3rd world", but I was sort of thinking of Vietnam as 2nd world.  Haha - I just googled it, Vietnam is 2nd world!

So I've already talked it over with my midwife and she's cool if I go, but now DH and I are having second thoughts.  There is also the cost issue - good chance I won't get my $2200 flight back - OUCH.  And it will be sad to be without DH for 3+ weeks - I am a crazy sleeper, that is for another post, but trust me, it will be unlikely to be smooth sailing.  And I'll miss all this family bonding.

So, I ask you, my lovely first-world ladies - do you think I should go?  Would you go in my shoes?  Is there anyone reading that isn't from US/Canada that would like to drop an opinion?  (anonymous comments welcome) (All of my shoes, including being stranded DH-less, losing money, not getting to go to see DH's friends in HK and buy a purse from the ladies market, not getting to see Ankur Wat, etc.)

Thanks Ladies for your vote!


  1. I was so terrified my entire pregnancy, there was no way in hell I would travel half way around the world. But I was paranoid after my bleeding scare and after a previous loss....I have a friend though who travelled all over throughout her entire pregnancy and never had an issue. I would say heed to your DH's uncles as they are there and know what's up, but you have to do what feels right for you.... Wishing you the best of luck in what seems to be a challenging decision.

    Congrats on making it to double digits!! That's a milestone for sure!

  2. I have lived in South Korea and travelled to Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau. Not Vietnam, but I think Malaysia is pretty close, and to be absolutely honest, if I were lucky enough to conceive, I would never travel anywhere less advanced than a first world country where English is prevalent and the healthcare is the same, if not better than here.
    I just wouldn't take a chance. As SLESE says, though, you need to be comfortable with your choice. Thinking of you and yay for 10 weeks!

  3. Oh, boy, this is a tough one. I'm a major world traveler- love it- and it would be so hard to turn down a trip. You'll be 23 weeks at that point? And flying back at 26 weeks? I flew in the US at 22 and 27 weeks. I felt great flying at 22 weeks. I made sure to walk around a lot between flights, which helped, but at 27 weeks, I was so much more uncomfortable flying, even though I felt great with the pregnancy. I don't know what it was, but even a 2 hour flight was really, really uncomfortable to sit and be confined. I can't imagine a trans-Atlantic (or Pacific) flight to be honest.

    And then there's the topic of Vietnam and Cambodia. I lived in China for 2 years and traveled to both of those places (along with HK, Macau, Japan, Thailand, etc.) The only time I ever got sick while traveling was in Cambodia at Angkor Wat. I don't know what it was, but I had to visit an international clinic. They had English speaking doctors there and meds. I think my bill was like $10 total. Cambodia is definitely more primitive than Vietnam, and but even in Vietnam, things are pretty unclean (I went to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City). I don't know about the hospitals in either place or what would happen should you need prenatal care regarding the baby.

    If I were you, I'd probably just end up staying home because I'd be worrying every single day until I returned home anyways. But then again, I'm a worrier and was so paranoid with the pregnancy because I'd had 2 miscarriages and it had taken so long to get pregnant. Ultimately, you have to do what you and your DH are comfortable with, regardless of what his family members says.

  4. P.S. I should also mention that when I lived in South Korea, I became sick a LOT in the first few months...various colds, influenza, etc., because I was not immune to the viruses there. So, that's something else to consider aside from things like food poisoning, water safety, etc.

  5. Hi there-

    You asked for our opinions, and mine is pretty different than everyone else, so here it is:

    My thoughts are go and have fun!!! I have lost two pregnancies before, and during my third I traveled to a 3rd world country myself. I was around 20 weeks pregnant when I did it. If there is one thing God taught me through the loss of babies and the years of infertility, it is that HE is in control. And, most OBs will tell you there is NOTHING you can do to prevent a miscarriage. That said, just be smart- drink only bottled water, don't eat meats, make sure everything is cooked, and get plenty of rest every day. You will be fine and I dare say this outloud because I usually offend, so please take it with a big grain of salt, if that baby is meant to be with you (and I pray that is the case!) traveling will not hurt him or her.

    Get up frequently on the plane ride and walk, do some ankle circles and drink twice the amount of water you would regularly while flying. Also, do not carry bags that heavy- nothing more than a purse.

    There are risks to colds and viruses, but again, if it were me, I would go. I traveled internationally twice while pregnant (first time 11 weeks pregnant, second time, 19-21 weeks pregnant) and I delivered a healthy baby boy with no issues at 35 weeks. Yes, I KNOW there are horror stories out there of women who travelled and something terrible went wrong. But, I can tell you with my first two pregnancies (both ended in loss) I did everything right and my babies aren't here. Pray for protection daily and if you feel ok and your DH is ok, and your midwife is ok, go.

    That said, if you are nervous, then don't go. Prenatal care really cannot stop a miscarriage. If a woman starts bleeding, her emergency room instructions will be to lay down and hydrate, because again, nothing can be done. So go. If you did get sick and had a stomach bug, there are some medicines you can take (ask your midwife) like immodium, so buy that here and take it with you.

    I'll be praying for you. If you need anything at all in the way of encouragement or travel advice, please let me know. Happy travels!!

  6. Oh and I will throw this in: I set a travel limit of 24 weeks with myself. That's when a baby reaches viability here in the US, so I rationalized that if I went into preterm labor or something then, I would want to be home. So I took no more international trips after 24 weeks on the theory that if pre term labor started, I wanted to be near a hospital where they could stop it and/or have a really good NICU to help my baby should he come early. That might be something to think about too. I don't know when you'd be traveling, so it might not even apply.

  7. If I were ever blessed to conceive a child there is no way I would go. I would want to do everything I could to try to be safe. But again I am a worrier and would end up freaking myself out if I went. I have never been over seas so I have no idea how they are with hospitals but I'm pretty sure they can't compare to the US. Just my thoughts, take it for what it is worth. If you have time before you go...PRAY. You will find the answer.

  8. Hope you don't mind, but I asked my sis and SIL this wknd, and both think you shouldn't go. They totally agreed you shouldn't. And that's from my sis who canceled a trip to China when she got pg and from my SIL who went to Egypt when she was pg. SIL said she wouldn't go b/c of possible illnesses, etc.


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