So, as of today, I'm 27 weeks pregnant (or almost 7 months). Peanut is starting to make herself more and more known, especially when I give her some chocolate! I have taken two flights and multiple road trips. The biggest lesson I've learned is to LISTEN TO MY BODY!!! If I can't handle a two hour road trip, which I used to scoff at as no big deal, then I need to accept that until I'm past the narcolepsy of the first trimester road trips of more than 45 minutes are a bad idea. That took a while, and a few yells from passengers, to get through my thick skull.
Here's what else I've learned so far:
1) It's OK to ask for help lifting the carry-on suitcase into the overhead bin. In fact, if I don't ask for help, Peanut lets me know my pride and self-sufficiency was a BAD decision. This is the one time in my life that it is okay, expected, and a good thing to really ask for help, rather than slugging it out on my own.
2) I'm worthless the day after a flight. I might as well just plan on reading a book cover to cover, because I'm not going to have energy for much more. I should also plan at least one nap the day of and day after a flight. More naps and more recovery days if I'm going from low altitude to high altitude. (Sea level to 7,000 feet?? I think I was back to my normal self 4 days later??)
3) Altitude adjustments being what they are... it's a great excuse to visit my Mom in Colorado Springs for a week or so to acclimatize myself before heading up to Keystone for TBEX '12. Ya know, so I'm bright eyed and bushy tailed when meeting other bloggers and sponsors, learning about the business, etc.
4) Water, water, water, water!!!! I carry around an obnoxious pink water bottle that holds 750mL. I try to drink at least 4 a day. When I'm on a plane, I try to drink at least one whole bottle on each flight (usually the flights are 1-2 hrs long). This means I'm annoying my seatmate, because I'm up at least once per flight hitting the bathroom. But I'm supposed to get up at least once an hour to stretch my legs anyways, according to the OB!
5) Ahh, bathroom breaks. Unfortunately, the frequent need for a bathroom doesn't start late in the pregnancy, it pretty much starts immediately after becoming pregnant. Therefore, on any road trip, don't be surprised if you can't go more than 1 1/2 or 2 hours without having to stop. (Again, you should get up and move around every couple hours anyways, according to my OB.) Don't forsake the water just to not go to the bathroom as often... it won't work.
6) Yoga pants are my friend!!! SUPER comfy when travelling by car or air, nice enough to wear with a tunic for a business meeting, not restrictive at all, and more comfy than sweats. Until my bump is big enough to fill maternity clothes properly, these stretchy little gifts will remain my friend. My other great friend? Maxi dresses! On those days when all the pants and shorts I brought are magically too snug, these dresses have plenty of room to grow, breathe, and keep a hot, sweaty pregnant woman relatively cool.
7) These trips are all the more precious because they're my last taste of true freedom, without either carrying Peanut and all her accouterments or worrying about being separated from my sweet baby. I've also been able to do things to celebrate her existence, like enjoy a 3D/4D ultrasound in San Antonio at GoldenView Ultrasound with my stepmom and sister. (Awesome experience, by the way!) I'll be able to cherish that memory for years... as well as know that my husband and mother-in-law also got to enjoy watching via streaming, and I've been able to watch the DVD of the session a few times now with other friends and family.
Ultimately, I'm enjoying every moment... and the moments I travel are that much sweeter because I know that my time being relatively footloose and fancy free is quickly drawing to a close. Learning a few ropes along the way has made it easier to accept my body's current limitations, laugh about the mortifications of pregnancy with other women, and embrace this new role. So I'll keep travelling... until I'm too uncomfortable to leave my house for more than an hour. And even then, I'll still enjoy the local travel life offers me.
So, other moms, what am I missing? What were your favorite tips and tricks for travelling while pregnant? When did you start travelling with the baby and how did it go? Am I crazy to think that a Christmas flight and 10 hour road trip with a three month old is doable?
Why follow a compass that's lost? The Lost Compass is for people who can't stop travelling, who always seek out the next destination. It's for those who'd rather take a backroad than the Interstate; who wonder what happens when you get off the beaten path and look up an odd nook or cranny. It's about finding the little gems, wherever they may be hidden. It is for those who embrace travel as an experience - not stopping just at a tourist trap, but finding a local cafe, bookstore, or dive bar to stop and talk to the people who make up the town. What happens when the compass' needle spins off you the beaten path? Keep reading to find out.