Most of my dedicated readers out there know that I am going on a cruise in November with my family and another family. And you all should know I'm pregnant, since I've nattered on about it for weeks now. The cruise line sent us some documentation right after we booked, and in the fine print, I noticed "DCL will refuse passage to any woman who has entered her 24th week of pregnancy."
Now, this struck me as odd, since a full term pregnancy is 40 weeks and most airlines, etc. will allow you to travel right up into Week 35. So I asked my prenatal nurse if she knew why the rule existed. She did not.
Mind you, I don't care, really, as I will have only entered my 20th week when we sail. However, I did have to carefully plan this. I probably would have started trying to get pregnant earlier than I did if I had been able to take the cruise. So this isn't coincidence... I knew the rule when I conceived.
Today, I had my first true prenatal appointment with a doctor. (First appointment is with the aforementioned prenatal nurse, and the second is with the groovy ultrasound machine and it's person.) So, I asked the doctor. And here is what she said:
If a woman goes into preterm labor before 24 weeks, there is little or no chance of the baby surviving. However, if the woman goes into labor during or after the 24th week, with good medical care (that is, NICU at a hospital), the baby's chances of survival are good to excellent. So, since a cruise ship doesn't have NICU, and could very well be some distance from the nearest hospital when something happens... they won't let you climb aboard. Liability is too high.
Who knew?! I find this information fascinating and depressing at the same time. Not as depressing as what is going on in Louisiana at the moment, but it's still icky to consider.
Speaking of Louisiana, does anyone think about those scenes of desperate people mobbing ferries and working vehicles in War of the Worlds as they watch the footage of Katrina's aftermath? Is it just me, or is living in Louisiana more frightening than living in Ethiopia at the moment? People are shooting at the folks who are trying to help them, and then complaining that no one will help them. The human animal doesn't take very long to emerge when survival is on the line. I intend to donate formula and other baby supplies tomorrow, but I'm concerned that the trucks will be looted and destroyed before they can get to the people who need the stuff. *shudder*