blue hawaii

June 25, 2010 at 7:05 pm (Third Trimester) (, , )

We took our first “family” trip last week. Originally, M and I had planned not to vacation anywhere this year since I was pregnant. However, after talking to many friends and colleagues, we decided that we should take a trip this summer since it would be our last chance to really get away, just the two of us. Now that we’ve taken our “babymoon”, I would definitely recommend it to others who are considering it as well.

Flying while pregnant was definitely a bit of a challenge, but it was not horribly uncomfortable. At 28/29 weeks, I was definitely big, but not so huge that fitting into those little airplane seats was an issue. Bending down to get my purse from underneath the seat in front of me was pretty tough, but I was usually able to use my feet to drag it closer and lift it up a bit so I could grab it more easily. I also made sure that I was getting up every hour or two to walk and up and down the aisle. Usually I would walk to the back of the plane by the washrooms (might as well pee while I’m up) and hang out there with the flight attendants while doing some leg and calf stretches. I also drank lots of water to make sure I was staying hydrated – apparently you can get very dehydrated while flying – and brought a special trail mix of almonds, dried apricots, banana chips and some M&Ms to keep my energy up.

We did lots of walking since the condo we rented was a few blocks up from Waikiki beach. Although we were still very close to everything, it still required a walk everywhere we went. I definitely felt it in my legs and back the first couple of days, since that was the most walking I’ve done for my entire pregnancy. After that, I think I got used to it, and it wasn’t too bad.

Snorkeling was definitely a highlight. I loved the weightless feeling I had in the water. All of our snorkeling was very relaxed, so I think the light swimming was also a great pregnancy workout for me. On our catamaran trip, we snorkeled in the ocean, about 3 or 4 miles off the coast at a place called Turtle Cove. Giant sea turtles are regulars there, as the fish that hang out at that reef like to eat the algae off the turtles’ shells, so it’s sort of a turtle hangout and cleaning station. We were told that the turtles were usually down at the reef eating, but would come up every 10-15 minutes to take a breath of air, and if they did come up, not to chase them since they would just swim away. The best thing to do is just float passively with them.

Since I am not a very strong swimmer (bays and rivers are OK, oceans not so much) I decided to take one of the “pool noodles” into the water. That way I could just relax and float around instead of worrying about getting tired out there. Especially being pregnant, I didn’t want to take any chances with overexerting myself or getting worn out. As I was floating several feet from most of the group, I noticed that one of the giant sea turtles was making his way up to the surface. Hmm, I thought, he’s coming this way. As I watched him, he continued to come up in my direction, seemingly right towards me. (I knew it was a male by his long, thick tail. Female sea turtles have shorter, stubby tails.) He was not moving aggressively at all, and I was definitely excited to have the opportunity to be so close to one of these amazing animals, but I think my maternal protective instincts were in full gear. I noticed my hand had moved protectively to cover my belly. He continued to come up towards me, and actually surfaced right in front of me – no word of a lie: about 2 arms lengths away. I couldn’t believe how close I was to this huge turtle! It was amazing!

It was definitely a very different vacation for us. Normally, on any of our trips to Mexico or Cuba or any sun destination always includes a lot of sleeping in, mixed drinks by the pool or beach, and late nights. Vacationing while pregnant included getting up by about 9AM, walking and hanging out, and calling it a night by 10PM. It was still very enjoyable, but it was definitely a change for me. Especially on our 8 year anniversary dinner, I wished I could have celebrated with a glass of white wine, but instead I enjoyed a virgin pina colada.

I had also always wanted to try surfing, but unfortunately, that was not in the cards. I thought maybe I could try it if I just took it easy out there, but M reminded me that surfing requires paddling out on your belly. So…. not so possible with this big basketball in front of me! I suppose that will still have to wait until our next trip to Hawaii. Overall, our babymoon was fantastic, but I am definitely worn out. Growing a baby is a lot of work, so a relaxing vacation was certainly the way to go. I don’t think having a packed schedule of excursions or tours would have been possible at this point.

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leaving on a jet plane

June 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm (Third Trimester) (, , )

My bags are packed, I’m ready to go…

We leave for Hawaii this weekend! We are so excited now that it’s so close to our trip. I think baby is excited, too, because it has been kicking like CRAZY for the past few days. It amazes me how big and strong our little one is getting. Sometimes I’ll be sitting at my desk and I’ll get a big huge kick! It surprises me, because I’m not expecting it, and I’ll let out a little “Oh!” I am really enjoying this time because I know that in a couple more weeks, you don’t get to feel as many kicks anymore, and its more just poking and rolling around.

A co-worker of mine also went to Hawaii when she was pregnant with her little girl. I think she was 25 weeks pregnant at the time. She said that baby loved it when she went swimming, or was in the water at all. Whenever she would be wading around or swimming, baby would become very active. How cool! I wonder if our little one will react the same way.

The flight is not too bad – about 5.5 hours. Before booking our flight, we had to check with my doc to make sure I was given the OK to travel. Because I am travelling by plane while pregnant, some airlines require a special note confirming my due date and that I am allowed to fly. Usually, after 37 weeks, airlines won’t allow you to fly just in case you go into labour on the plane! I am 28 weeks today (hooray!) and will be 29 weeks when we come home. Since everything is going along fine with the pregnancy this time, with no complications, I was given a note saying that I’ve been approved to travel by plane.

They did give me some pointers, though: Get up and walk up and down the aisle regularly to get my circulation going. Drink lots of water during the flight, and bring my own healthy snacks. I plan on making myself a tasty little bag of custom trail mix – almonds, dried apricots and apples, and a few M&Ms 🙂

This will be my first sun vacation ever that will not include late nights, margaritas on the beach and glasses of wine with dinner. It will be a little strange, I suppose, but there’s still lots of things that we can do. We just want to do plenty of relaxation and enjoy this last little getaway with just the two of us. It’s going to be the last time we can get away as a couple for quite some time! There’s going to be some shopping and sightseeing, but a lot of hanging out on the beach and eating great food. I’ve already packed up my extra-SPF sunscreen because apparently your skin is much more sensitive to the sun when you are pregnant. The last thing I need is a sunburn on my big, round belly! I also borrowed a nice big beach hat to give some extra coverage.

I am really looking forward to getting away and enjoying our trip. Baby is going to be a little jet setter even before it’s born…

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the incredible shrinking bellybutton

June 3, 2010 at 7:27 pm (Pregnant body, Third Trimester) (, )

It’s getting closer…

I always liked my “innie” belly button. When I was in high school and university, I often used to wear midriff bearing tops to show it off. During the summer, I would wear tube tops. I got a piercing back when I was 19, and used to dangle various jewels off of it. Now that I’m older, I still kept the piercing, but stuck with a basic bead instead of the flashier adornments of my younger days. My innie now looks like an upside down T and it is getting noticeably more shallow with each passing week. When I felt it last night, the skin was very very soft, which tells me that it’s that skin that has always been turned inwards and has been protected for all these years!

I’ve been reading for weeks that my belly button could pop at any time, and to be honest, I really don’t want it to! I don’t like how “outies” look… I have kept my piercing in so far, but I don’t know how much longer I can keep it in. I’ve read about flexible plastic “pregnancy piercings”, but I’m not sure if I want to go that route. Apparently, they’re quite ugly. I’m even wondering if I want to put my piercing back in after I give birth or not. It’s not like I show it off anymore! I guess in a way, it will be like saying goodbye to an era… I don’t think I’ve made my final decision yet.

I am hoping that if my belly button must pop, that it at least waits until we get back from our trip. Yes, we are taking a babymoon! We are going to go to Hawaii for a week for some rest and relaxation. We had originally planned on staying close to home this year and not doing any travelling, but on the advice of many of our friends and colleagues who now have children, we decided that we would take one last trip for just the two of us. It will be the last chance for us to get away from it all and just enjoy being together. It will be a bit strange, since this will be our first time on vacation where I don’t get to enjoy a few margaritas on the beach, or a glass of wine with dinner, but on the other hand – baby will be a jet setter even before it’s born!

I’ve decided that I just can’t do the maternity swimsuit thing and will be braving the beach in a bikini. I found a style that had lower cut bottoms that I can tuck under my belly, and has a thicker band up top that still supports the ladies. M and I had quite the laugh a couple of weeks ago when I tried on one of my old bikinis. It was the usual string triangle top kind, and I honestly looked like a porn star. I’ve gained two cup sizes since before I was pregnant and am now a 34DD, so that string just wasn’t going to cut it! It sort of sat on top of my boob instead of underneath it, and I knew as soon as I took a step, I would pop right out of it. This new style is still cute and fun, but it’s going to give me the support and coverage that I need.

I will be keeping my fingers crossed that my innie stays an innie for just a few more weeks.

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the difference 3 months makes

June 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm (Emotions, Third Trimester) (, )

Today is an important milestone for a couple of reasons. Firstly, at 27 weeks, I am now in my third trimester! And secondly, on a much more somber note – if I had not miscarried in October, my baby would have been due today.

In the dark days and weeks after my miscarriage, I often thought of this day: June 3rd. How would I feel? Would I still be sad so long after my miscarriage? Would I be pregnant again by then? What if we still hadn’t been able to conceive? I remember feeling like it would be an extremely difficult day for me if I was not pregnant. As it turns out, I’ve had a wide range of emotions today and leading up to today.

As the date loomed closer, I was already feeling a bit of anticipation. I can’t recall when it was exactly, but in the last few days there was a morning when I lay in bed alone, with M already up and about, and I cried. I thought about our little blueberry, the baby that we had lost, and that I still mourn. I thought about all of the pain and anger and disappointment, and mostly about that feeling of emptiness. I remember how I used to wake up each morning and sadly put my hand on my then-empty belly, thinking of what we had lost and if I would ever be happy again… I remember dreading June 3rd, and wondering how I would feel knowing that my baby could have been born on that day. Even writing this now is so difficult! I have to stop typing after every sentence to wipe the tears from my eyes!!

M and I talked last night about how today would have been the big day. He knew immediately what I was going for as soon as I started to bring it up. I wonder sometimes if he still thinks about what happened to us last year. He’s such a positive thinker that I don’t believe he does. I think he thinks about the excitement of what’s coming up for us in September.

He caught me off guard this morning. I was at my desk when the receptionist called me and told me I had a package delivery. I assumed it was a sales package, but to my surprise, sitting there was pretty red box with a black and gold ribbon. Instead of flowers, he had sent me Cookies by George! The card simply read – Sweetie, thinking of you today. Love, M. I burst into tears immediately. Luckily, I had the explanation of today being our third trimester milestone, but the double meaning of today hit me hard. I quickly retreated to my office, closed the door, and tried to fight back the tears. We could have been welcoming our baby into the world today, but instead we are counting down these last 3 months.

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