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Traveling while Pregnant: Expectations versus Reality

Traveling while Pregnant: Expectations versus Reality | CosmosMariners.com

While I had this blog when I was pregnant with my daughter three and a half years ago, I wasn't really into the whole blogging thing.

Honestly, I was a bit of a mess blogging-wise: I would forget that I even had a blog for weeks at a time, I actively refused to make a Twitter account, and I had no cohesive theme or focus. If you look back at those posts (while I hang my head in blogger shame at how ramble-y and unreadable they are), you'll see that I sometimes talked about my pregnancy and sometimes I talked about my travels, but never together.


Over the last 900+ days, I've gotten my blogging game together a bit more, and I can now share my thoughts on what it's like to be a pregnant travel blogger. Some of it is good, and some of it is downright miserable. I know that the experience of pregnancy is vastly different from person to person, so I'll try to avoid making too many generalizations and focus instead on how I felt while out and about during this (not-so-glamorous) nine months.

First Trimester

Expectation:
With my past experiences being pregnant (both with my daughter back in 2012 and the little boy we lost in late 2015), I expected that the first trimester was going to be rough. I'm one of those lucky people who are prone to morning/ all-day sickness, so I very much expected to have to work around that on the travels we had planned during February, March, April, and May.

Reality:
While I felt as if I was on a rolling ship at sea during a tsunami on some days, I actually had much less morning sickness with this baby than I did with either of my other two pregnancies. The days when I did feel bad were rough as my toddler really didn't care and gave me zero sympathy, but I clung to my Ritz crackers and ginger ale and did the best I could to keep going.

One thing that I wasn't expecting was the overwhelming anxiety that came with this pregnancy after a second-trimester loss last year. When we lost our son August, I was in Florida on a trip, and went through the experience by myself since my husband couldn't drive quickly enough from South Carolina. It was absolutely traumatic, and, because of it, I found myself being abnormally content at the house.

Between my doctor's reassurances and my husband's willingness to put up with my clinginess while we traveled, we managed to get in a few solid trips to different places here in the southeast including Seabrook Island for my sister's bachelorette (below).


Second Trimester


Expectation:
This is the sweet spot in pregnancy for most people I know. You're not too big, so you can still get around pretty easily, but you're showing, so other people tend to hold doors for you and act a bit nicer. I anticipated this being my best part of pregnancy and planned our travels accordingly.

Reality:
Not only did I have lots of energy, I started becoming more confident in this little one's health (thanks to lots of extra visits with my doctor since I was considered "high risk" after that late loss). More confidence = further visits from home and more traveling!

I did the theme park thing at Walt Disney World twice during my second trimester: once with my husband and daughter in late April, and then again with my parents and daughter in late May. We also had our usual trip to Edisto Beach in July with my inlaws, which was quite relaxing.


Third Trimester

Expectation:
I figured that, by month 7, I would be ready to retire to the couch and live out my final days as a parent of one in misery (much as I did while pregnant with Britton!). There's really nothing glamorous about those last few weeks of pregnancy: you're huge, you're uncomfortable, and you're so over getting pummeled in the ribs.

I purposefully didn't plan much travel between August and November because I just knew I was going to be miserable to be around.

Reality:
I won't lie: I am huge and generally uncomfortable and not at all my usual spry self. However (and this is a huge thing that I didn't see coming), I'm not as bad off as I expected. Yay for small victories!

I even felt good enough to go with my parents to Saluda, North Carolina, a few weeks ago, where we went to the Biltmore House and Sky Top Orchard. I made it--though a bit slower than usual--and had a blast.

We also ended up evacuating for Hurricane Matthew, but turned it into a bit of a mini-vacation. We went to Stumphouse Tunnel and Issaqueena Falls in upstate South Carolina, went fishing near my in-laws, and walked around our alma mater, Clemson University. I got plenty of stares from other people we met along the way, but I managed to motor my way around.


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I'm definitely ready to get back into my regular travel mode once this little boy makes his debut in just a few weeks, and my husband and I have started planning a few easy weekend trips we can make to ease us into being a family of four. Bring it on, 2017!

For my fellow parents, have you done much traveling while pregnant? What are your best tips for enjoying your travels during this time in your life?

Traveling while Pregnant: Expectations versus Reality | CosmosMariners.com
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