I spent last week exploring the hustle and bustle of New York city with my husband. We planned this trip as our last pre-baby vacation and really wanted to enjoy our time together and see parts of New York we hadn’t had a chance to see on our last 2 day trip to the Big Apple.
What I discovered is that traveling and being on vacation while pregnant is extremely different than going on vacation while not pregnant. Duh.
Now, I had been working and going to school full time before this vacation, so it’s not a though I’ve been sitting down and doing nothing. My endurance for activity has seemed completely normal up until now, I haven’t had to sit out on anything and I haven’t really had to rest more. I may be in the minority, but I haven’t taken a single nap this pregnancy, despite desperately wanting to pretty much every day at work. There’s something about 2pm at work that just sucks all the life out of me.
All that said, I found that vacation while pregnant isn’t like regular vacation in at least 7 critical ways. What I’m saying is, learn from me grasshoppers.
1. Walking endurance
As I said earlier, I really didn’t think that my endurance was down, but it only took a few blocks of walking to realize that that was not true. I was one of those lucky people who hadn’t felt short of breath at all, until the trip that is. Suddenly I wasn’t able to walk as fast or as far and I needed more rest breaks. At 19-20 weeks, I definitely did not expect that and some days we completely failed and ended up with me exhausted to a point of pretty much not being able to do anything but sit.
2. Bathroom breaks
I don’t know if it’s because I’m carrying this baby pretty low or if he underwent a big growth spurt recently, but throughout our week in New York, my bladder took a beating. Literally. I would need to pee just a little bit, a totally reasonable amount that could wait, and then I would feel the baby move and BAM I would need a bathroom right. that. second. I think we did more mad dashes into coffee shops and stores than ever in my life. And as the week went on I got better at peeing whenever I had a chance to reduce the moments of panic, but it was a bit of a dramatic and scary learning curve for a few days.
3. Food and time change
Not being at home means that pretty much every meal required a plan and a restaurant. With the time change, I would wake up at around 10 New York time, which was 7 my time and every morning I was completely famished. Like hunger to the point of nausea the instant I woke up. Which was frustrating because my husband was completely incapable of choosing a restaurant and putting clothes on in under an hour each morning. The same things would happen at lunch. The hunger in pregnancy is unlike anything else I’ve ever felt. Once it hits, it’s all consuming, and being out and about and having to find a restaurant was often a bigger challenge than I anticipated. I strongly recommend carrying snacks with you. Granola bars saved my husband’s life on a number of occasions.
4. Patience, or lack thereof
This one might just be me, but the way my hormones have been since week one with this pregnancy have not been the stereotypical weepy kind. I mean sure, I’ve had my crying jags, but nothing that is too out of the ordinary for me. However, my hormones have mad me very short tempered. Most of the time I can contain the rage in my head, but I found that during vacation, when tired, starving and frequently lost, the lack of patience became, um, noticeable.
5. Baby movements
I had just begun to feel the baby move consistently before this vacation, but I had always felt him while sitting. And so when we went on vacation and promptly gave up sitting for 7 days, I got worried. There were days where I didn’t feel him move at all, and it was simply because I was so busy, so active that his small movements were lost. Thankfully he seems to have an affinity for musicals, because he took the two hours of sitting through two different Broadway shows to remind me that he was doing just fine.
I hate that at 20 weeks I’m still talking about nausea, but there it is. I’m pretty good at managing my nausea at home and work, or even when I have a car, but in a foreign place with subways and cabs? Not so fun. I didn’t expect this to be the challenge it was and I came about this close to puking in a cab. I highly recommend just piping up and asking them to crack the window. Being a compliant quiet passenger is totally not worth the nausea.
I refused to buy a new coat for this trip since I live in Southern California and I was completely unwilling to spend money on a coat I could wear for one trip. So instead I wore my regular long winter coat, only, instead of buttoning from top to bottom, the only button that I could (barely) get closed was the one just under my boobs. In case you wondered, the difference between a fully buttoned long coat in 28 degree weather and a single button closed on a long coat in 28 degree weather is monumental. If your coat doesn’t button, let layers be your friend. Otherwise you will be perpetually freezing.