I’ve been told that the main reason you’re advised to avoid shellfish/blue cheese/paté when you’re pregnant is to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
If this is true, I’m wondering why my husband and I thought a holiday in Egypt was a good idea. I’ve yet to meet someone who’s visited this fascinating country without the post script that they spent half the time in the toilet.
We went to Sharm El Sheikh, to a five star hotel and believed the travel agent when she said I’d be absolutely fine. I was not.
We arrived in the early evening and enjoyed a fabulous meal. We got up early and lay for a blissful day on the beach, returning for lunch and carefully washing our hands, avoiding the peeled fruit and insisting on no ice in our drinks. After dinner I felt like I had indigestion (nothing unusual) but we went to bed relaxed and happy.
At 1am I had to bolt to the bathroom. I think I was a child the last time I was that violently ill.
All day I lay in bed feeling enormous sympathy for the Haitians affected by the cholera epidemic. I drank dioralyte and as much water as I could, worried all the time that I was dehydrated and making my poor wee baby suffer. After 24 hours of crippling cramps, I was absolutely delighted to feel the familiar nudge of the wee one – as if it was saying, “It’s OK mummy, I’m fine and you will be too!”
I called my GP friend, who reassured me junior was cosy in his/her amniotic sac and probably completely unaware. She did remind me to drink lots of water and canned fizzy drinks (to replace sugars) and to stick to rice, pasta, chicken and other easily digestible foods.
Unfortunately Rod got the bug too, so we decided to play it safe and call the doctor. He checked our blood pressure and temperatures, which were fine, and prescribed three sets of pills for Rod and just the one set for me, as my pregnancy meant I couldn’t have the antibiotics. They seemed to do the trick.
We didn’t let it ruin our holiday. In fact, it was maybe nature’s (admittedly extreme) way of telling us to slow down, sleep lots, drink tonnes of water and, in Rod’s case, lay off the booze. It’s the only holiday we’ve ever had where we’ve come back lighter!
It’s also made me realise how important my personal health is during this pregancy. I’ve started taking multivitamins, I’m swimming regularly and I’m trying to remind myself that it’s OK to just sit. I have to say I’m feeling great now – long may it continue!