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.