Back in October, I was just a teensy bit stressed out. At work, we were in the final hours of our doomed website launch and I was trying to manage long days and keep my early pregnancy news a secret from those out side my immediate family.
After my 12-week prenatal appointment, I called my mom just to give her an update:
Mom: So how did it go?
Me: <sniff, sniff> Fine.
Mom: What’s wrong?
Me: <full blown sobs> My doctor said I shouldn’t travel to Maui in March.
Mom: I see. Is the baby OK?
Me: <still sobbing> Yes, everything looked good.
Mom: And are you healthy?
Me: <STILL sobbing> Yes, I’m fine. But either we’re going to have to rearrange our entire trip or Jim and I can’t go.
Mom: I know, but you and the baby are fine?
Me: <exasperated sobs> Yes! I’m fine! Are you even listening?
At my 8-week prenatal appointment, my doctor’s office has you meet with a nurse practitioner, which is what Jim and I did. At the appointment, we asked the nurse practitioner about booking our annual March vacation, which would fall during my 31st to 33rd week of pregnancy. She cheerfully responded that they allow their patients with no complications to travel up until their 35th week. She only qualified that with “just purchase trip insurance in case unforeseen complications arise.”
So in the 30 days between that appointment and my 12-week appointment, my mom, dad, aunt, brother, Jim and myself made our plane reservations, rented cars, and sorted out all the corresponding details of spending March 5th – 15th in Hawaii, including purchasing the advised trip insurance. So imagine my surprise when Jim and I are sitting at my 12-week appointment, happily saying “yes, we booked our trip for Maui in March” and my doctor responded with a frown. “I hate to be the bad guy, but you shouldn’t be flying over the ocean at 33 weeks pregnant,” she said, “If you go into labor, it’s not like they can make an emergency landing. If it’s at all possible, I strongly recommend you travel before 28 weeks.”
Given that I was stressed to the nines, this was straw that broke my composed camel’s back. All I could think about was either 1) missing out on the fun or 2) the financial implications of rearranging six people’s plane tickets, prepaid rental car agreements, hotel accommodations (although thankfully the place we stay has an amazingly flexible change/cancellation policy) etc, etc. Needless to say, my head wasn’t really aligned to the correct priorities – like my mom’s were (moms are always right, right?) – in that I was healthy and so was the baby. Instead it was sob city.
Bless her heart, my mom gave me a week to mellow out and then brought up the idea of, in fact, moving the vacation. We did some digging and discovered that the plane tickets were actually cheaper than those we had purchased (meaning that even with the change fees we got credits back!), and while our preferred condo units weren’t available, the resort that we stay at had openings and it was no big deal to switch. The rental car ended up being a little bit more expensive, but not too bad. And when it came to boarding both our dog and my parents dog, it was a good thing we called about switching their reservation – despite the fact that my mom had made a reservation for the March dates, they had absolutely no record of it! If we had left things alone, we would’ve shown up to drop off the dogs and they would’ve very likely been full with other spring break bookings.
I guess that’s the lovely benefit of hindsight – we returned from our trip last Saturday, and now my initial reaction to moving the vacation seems petty and laughable. Moving our trip up to the 1st through the 15th of February (my 26th- 28th weeks of pregnancy) had some incredible benefits: the resort wasn’t crowded and while Minnesotans were suffering through a loooooooooooooong stretch of sub-zero temperatures, we were enjoying 80-degree sunny days.
This was our 17th annual visit to the islands, so we’re kinda “been there, done that” with the tourist attractions, but when we weren’t lounging by the pool or floating in the ocean, we did make time for the fun highlight of the vacation: a day trip to Kula Botanical Garden.
The garden is set on 8-acres of land nestled into the side of Haleakala volcano – the volcano that essentially made the island of Maui. They have an abundance of amazing plants and flowers, some native to Hawaii while others from distant places. I don’t remember all the names, but I did take a lot of pretty pictures:
Given that we were traveling with my whole family, it’s hard to classify this trip as a true babymoon, but the whole two weeks did have a unique feel to them: I was both reveling in it being our last trip where Jim and I were free to choose how we spent our time, yet simultaneously getting excited for the future by observing other vacationing parents with their little ones. It was so nice to be able to nap when ever I felt tired, for example, but yet my mommy heart yearned for the day when we laugh along with our grinning daughter as she splashes in the kiddie pool.
Call us crazy, but at the moment we are planning on attempting the vacation next year with a 9-month old. Of course, if she ends up being a colicky baby or a terrible sleeper, we’ll have to re-evaluate those intentions. Let’s just hope that if it comes to making changes my postpartum hormones will have stabilized and I won’t be reduced to a blubbering mess.
(Man, these first-world problems are tough. :-))