Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Necessary Benefits of R&R

When I look back on the summer of 2012, I will remember it as being both fun and hectic. So far I have driven down to Oregon four times, and I have been out of town almost every other weekend since May. We still have one more road trip planned to Montana for mid-August, then are home until Baby arrives (I think). Although I enjoy traveling and visiting with loved ones, the stress of packing, maintaining a home while away from home, and the constant change of my daily routines has finally started to ware on me physically.

At 23 weeks I traveled down to the Oregon Coast for my sister-in-law's bachelorette party. I was a little nervous to go down there for a couple reasons. Not only would I be the sober pregnant lady at a bachelorette party, but also I had never met any of the girls who would be there. However, I was determined to make an appearance to support Katie, and I figured I could at least provide a responsible designated driver. When we picked up Katie's maid of honor Helena, I was immediately relieved. This girl was one of the sweetest, most beautiful women I have ever encountered...seriously someone that hot should not be so's not fair. Over the course of the day, more and more girls started to show up. I loved each and every one of them. No one got out of control or dramatic, everyone was incredibly hospitable, and I felt completely supported in my lack of alcohol consumption. To put the cherry on my sundae, there was another pregnant girl in the group, as well as a mother of two. The three of us had so much fun sharing pregnancy stories and exchanging parenting advice (Selena is the kind of mother I want to be!). It ended up being one of my favorite trips I have ever taken to the beach, and I don't think I've laughed so hard in months.

This experience was a great reminder of how important it is to have female companions. Although Jeff is my best friend, it was great having the company of 8 other girls for a weekend. Katie is very lucky to have such a strong community of women to which she can turn.

I mean it was a bachelorette party...

After beachin' it up with the ladies, my brother Joe and his girlfriend Sofi came to meet Jeff and me in Portland. Sweet, beautiful Sofi is from Monterrey, Mexico, and had never been to the Pacific Northwest. Joe spent most of July showing her all the hot spots, which necessitated another trip to Cannon Beach. Again, this was one of the best trips we have had in a long time. Joe and Sofi make wonderful travel companions, and we spent a majority of the trip playing games and making each other laugh.

Unfortunately, after a relaxing and semi-long walk on the beach with Jeff, Joe, and Sofi, I returned to the house to discover I had started spotting. Although this is normal in early pregnancy, it is in no way normal during the second trimester. I made a hasty phone call to the doctor, and was instructed to sit on the couch and take it easy for the rest of the trip. Although going to the Oregon Coast is not in any way a stressful vacation, any form of travel can take its tole on a pregnancy. With the heavy lifting of suitcases, multiple trips up and down stairs, and of course volunteering to help with wedding preparation while staying in Portland, our vacation quickly turned into a pregnant lady laying on the couch.

Though I was not experiencing severe pain or contractions, there was definitely discomfort. My lower back was strained from all the activities we had been doing (even though they were not strenuous), bending over became a nightmare, and even sitting on a hard chair was difficult. The doctor assured me everything was okay in the meantime as long as I relaxed, and we would check to make sure things were normal at my 24 week appointment. The wait over the next few days was excruciating. I was weepy and irritable, constantly worried, and 100% convinced that the baby was no longer moving as much as he was before the incident. I made the mistake of agreeing to sing at a funeral, and was picturing my baby in the casket the whole time (it took dark thoughts to keep myself from breaking down). I even started crying during my yoga class when the teacher asked how things were going. I shared my story with him, which some men might consider to be over-sharing, but I swear he intuitively knew I was having a difficult time just by looking at me. He was loving and supportive, and even adjusted the class to be gentle enough for my current state.

[Quick side note. For any pregnant women (and/or partners of pregnant women) in the Spokane area, Lila Yoga Studio has a wonderful prenatal class. I find myself scheduling each week around attending. I highly recommend! I have been to Harmony as well, but coming from someone who practiced yoga before pregnancy, I prefer Lila.]

At my 24 week appointment, Baby's heartbeat was strong. I breathed a sigh of relief, and have been feeling okay since. Though all is normal, I am not willing to take any more chances, and will not allow myself to be overexerted (except for dancing at Katie's wedding).

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