Posted in Blog, Emotional wellness, Family life, House and home, Life as a mom, Mother, Posts for mommies-to-be, Shawna, Travel with a baby

Under pressure

Who knew it would be a bad idea to travel across the country in my first trimester? That it might not be too bright to take a tiring flight with my toddler and then drive up a canyon to a cabin that’s about 8,000 feet above our house in Seattle?

Well, I knew. I knew that my morning sickness, already making me miserable, would most likely get worse. But Todd and I planned this trip to visit his family in Colorado before I (oops!) got pregnant, and we didn’t want to cancel it, though that really would have been the smart thing to do.

Like so many pregnant women, I decided to ignore my body and power through an arrangement that spelled disaster. The flight was OK, the drive up the canyon better than I expected, but the altitude sickness in the Rocky Mountains hit me like a ton of bricks. The worst part is, it took me two days to figure out that that’s what was going on. I was despairing, miserable, curled up in the fetal position, teary-eyed asking my husband how I was going to survive this pregnancy. Finally, he put two and two together: Maybe it’s the altitude making you feel so bad, honey?

Well, duh. As soon as he said it, I knew immediately that’s what was going on. Of course, I still didn’t leave the mountain until the next morning. I felt better the second we hit 5,000 feet, though I of course felt really guilty for changing the plans on everyone. Todd’s family understood, of course, and everyone has been really flexible about making alternative arrangements so we can still be together and enjoy each other’s company (at a much more tolerable 4,600 feet).

But I am still annoyed at myself. Have I learned nothing from my first pregnancy and the last 16 months of motherhood? That you have to take care of yourself, that you can’t expect yourself to do the impossible anymore. Especially when you’re sick, pregnant, nursing, travelling and running after a toddler.

When will any of us learn? I don’t really want to go back to the dark ages when pregnant ladies laid in dark rooms sequestered from the world. But sometimes it sure seems more sane than a society that expects women to work up until their due dates, including business trips and overtime. I have so many friends who went into labor at their desks, and went straight to the hospital, and that is really insane. I personally took off two weeks before my due date with Quinn, because I was so sure I was going to pop any minute. I was disappointed when she came two weeks late, chopping a month off my maternity leave. But looking back, I’m so glad for that time. I rested and prepared for labor. I steeled myself for motherhood. I really don’t know how I would have done it if she came early!

It’s great that we’re still treated like capable humans when we’re pregnant, but it would be even better if we were allowed a little room to relax. If we didn’t constantly feel that we had to choose between taking care of ourselves and living up to expectations. OK, I guess I do long for the dark ages.

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  1. Sorry you are feeling so uncomfortable. The golden rule: always trust your instincts!

  2. Oh girl! I’m so sorry. Wish I could make time go faster for you so you hit that 2nd trimester faster. I remember going to Colorado springs when I was in my first trimester too. My family lives out in the mountains at 10,000 feet. Not so good for me! I got soooo sick. Won’t do that again while I’m pregnant.

    Hope you are feeling better soon! xoxo

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