Thursday, May 22, 2008

Camping at 7 months' pregnant

There's something to be said for living life as normally as possible while pregnant. The problem is, sometimes "normal" means "supremely uncomfortable or awkward when you have a large pregnant belly." I'm not saying we should just lie around for 9+ months, though I think most of us descend into some variation of that theme right around 35ish weeks (out of 40). Especially if you happen to hit that point right at the peak of summer and it's all you can do to drag yourself from air-conditioned house to air-conditioned car to air-conditioned building. Assuming all three exist, of course.

Otherwise, you're left with the patched-up version of the above scenario that I endured while hugely pregnant in Damascus, which was something like:

Sleep every night on a flimsy foam pad on the floor of the living room, the only room with AC (and wow, were we ever thankful for it!), heaving yourself up x number of times to go to the bathroom. Also, put on insect repellent to keep away the bugs while you sleep, and then Benadryl cream for all the bites you got last night anyway.

To get anywhere in the city, climb into - without falling back out of due to balance issues - a service van (an extremely bashed-up and stripped-down white minivan used for public transportation; fare = $0.10) that sometimes doesn't come to a complete stop while you're boarding and whose door sometimes doesn't shut behind you in case you do fall. "AC" in this case is "all the windows are rolled down and the driver drives as fast as possible."

Buildings are air-conditioned if you're lucky. Usually, you're not. That's why you start to only frequent stores who keep their meltables in at least semi-refrigerated coolers.

When I was 7 months' pregnant with Miriam and we were visiting my family in Oregon, we went camping on the Oregon coast. I love the Oregon coast, and we had a great time camping, except for the actual camping part. It rained all night long and I could not get my huge self comfortable. Even if I did manage to find a comfy, dry spot, it was only a matter of time before I had to get up and trek to the bathroom down at the end of the row of campsites. After this experience, I made a mental note not to go camping while 7 months' pregnant.

So, yesterday, we went camping. It was 106 degrees here in Tucson. We headed up Mt. Lemmon with some friends. We didn't camp at an actual campground, so there was no picnic table, no grill, no prepared firepit, no running water, and no bathrooms. Bring it on!

In the end, it was lots of fun, even if I hardly got any sleep. I think it would have been tolerable if Jeremy had let me bring my body pillow, but he had us all on a strict ration of one pillow each. At least it wasn't raining this time, but it was very windy. We all got extremely dirty and smoky and dusty, which made today's shower feel all the more wonderful. And Jeremy watched Miriam while I took a nap, and our bed has never felt better to my camp-weary awkward self. I just hope Sasha 2.0 will someday forgive me for a terrible night's sleep - seriously, it was like she knew I was doing the best I could but still felt like driving me crazy from within.

So you see, there's really not much about normal life that pregnancy has to change. You just might not get any sleep in the process. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has forsaken basic comforts during pregnancy. What's the awkwardest thing you've done?


Katie, Scotty and Cora said...

Well, since you ask...I went pole dancing while 6 months pregnant! Now, before you get any crazy images into your head, this was a bachelorette party with a small group of girls and we were all in workout clothes...with high heels of course. (I skipped out on the high heels for obvious reasons.) Even though I was 6 months prego, I ended up having a blast and could really swing around that pole with the momentum of my belly! I provided a lot of comic relief to my girl friends!
(Good for you for camping! My goal has always been to continue my life as usual while pregnant with a few exceptions. I had to give up rock climbing for instance!)

Nancy Heiss said...

I danced with high heels when I was 6 months pregnant...they were retired soon after.

I don't think I did much that was crazy. Mostly just lifting boxes up 10 foot ladders. That kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

I backpacked through Europe from 6-8 months pregnant (first baby). We did have the use of a car for a few weeks at the end, but the rest of the two months I was running to catch trains, and doing miles of walking. A few times we slept overnight in the car, another time we slept on the floor of the Aachen train station.

That summer (1976) was the hottest summer Europe had had in hundreds of years; the heat nearly did me in. People didn't carry water bottles then and it was tough to find a place to get drink of even warm water, let alone something cold and refreshing. One time feeling I was going to pass out I walked into a Dublin pub and just sat down on the floor where it was coolest. A kind pubbie brought me a glass of water (warm) which saved my life I'm sure.

Mikael said...

are you crazy bridget? And what is with Jeremy saying you can't bring a body pillow. If my hubby said that I would have said "yes I will bring it, and I will shove it up your ---" Men just dont get it do they?
As for me doing something crazy I think this whole pregnancy has been crazy. I should be in my bed permanently, but instead I attempt to lead a normal life and go out shopping and end up almost fainting in the process. Driving is just ridiculous too, I think I should have my license revoked for now.
Stick in there! All us woman go through it and we need to stick together, because men just dont get it :)

Nancy Heiss said...

I agree with Mikael. I totally would have used the pregnancy card. You are sleeping for two, you know!

Bridget said...

Katie, wow!! That is definitely "awkward" in more than one way :).

Nancy, I totally remember your ballroom dancing while 6 months, and I couldn't believe it at the time. I still can't.

Mikael, you get a bye since you're having twins. I think my pregnancy hibernation would start around 3 months if I had more than one baby in here.

I'll have to bring up the pillow issue with Jeremy. At the time, I think it was a question of not having enough room in the car, but I don't know why I didn't argue my case better.

Jeremy Palmer said...

and perhaps the "wife-beater" top I was wearing...

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