Well, we left on a jet plane, and now, I’m back to tell the tale.
Phew! Y’all. This week’s post is going to encompass the last 18 days, as that’s how long we were traipsing around Europe. It’s the longest we/I have ever been away. Our trip was planned way before I was pregnant, so there was no turning back. (But, let’s be real, I was pleased as punch when I looked at the calendar and saw that I would just be starting my second trimester by the time the trip came around.)
We had a five day work conference scheduled to Berlin, Germany, and we went a little crazy from there. My husband and I are both in the same line of work, as are my parents, so this work conference turned into the family vacation of a lifetime. We just kept adding to it! We’re certifiably crazy people.
The five days in Berlin started as the backbone of the trip. We added three days in London prior to arriving in Berlin, so we could be as acclimated to the jet-lag as possible by the time we had to get to the conference. Then, my parents said, “Hey! It’s our 30th wedding anniversary; let’s add a cruise, too!” and invited us because they are the best parents ever. Actual fact. So, from Berlin, we took a train to Hamburg, Germany, then a bus to Kiel, Germany and caught a seven-day cruise up the Baltic Sea and visited Copenhagen, Denmark, Stockholm, Sweden, Tallinn, Estonia, and finally, Saint Petersburg, Russia. (I’m still trying to pick my jaw up off floor from all of those beautiful places.)
Anyway, that’s where and why, let’s discuss the how.
I talked to my midwife about all the travel ins and outs, and she had some life-altering advice and tips. So now, it’s my duty to share these with you beautiful people.
1. Compression session
27 hours on plane alone equals bratwurst feet. (You see what I did there?) She suggested not just compression socks but full compression tights. Those sounded like actual hell, so I did not partake in that particular suggestion. Whoops. We did reach a compromise after she saw the look of horror on my face, and we settled on mandatory hourly walks around the cabin (turbulence permitting) and as much leg stretching and leg pumps as I could stay awake for while watching three different Harry Potter movies. Don’t judge. Those leg stretches saved my little feet on the way there, let me tell you.
I don’t know about you, but this pregnancy has reverted my normally wide-ranging palette into that of my seven-year-old step-son’s. I brought a carry-on bag full of snacks, and I ate every single one of them over the course of the two weeks—also genius because by then, I had an empty carry-on for all souvenirs on the way home. Score!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I did my very best and tried all the foods. But sometimes mama just needs a blueberry muffin instead of a plate full of various kinds of German sausage or pizza with tuna and artichokes on it.
3. For the love of naps
Nap. I know, I know you want to see all the things, do all the things … blah blah blah. Factor in a nap for the sake and sanity of you and your traveling companions. You’re growing a human! Nap!
…and finally… the best for last…
4. Anti-Nausea Medication
During my first trimester, I had horrible nausea but no actual vomiting. I didn’t need any medications for it, but I lost a few pounds due to being unable to eat on occasion. That being said, the wonderful woman who I am lucky enough to call my midwife wrote me a prescription for anti-nausea medication just in case, and for that, I will be giving her a bear hug and showering her with love and presents on Monday when I have my next appointment. That stuff saved my soul. Between the buses, trains, planes, big boats, tiny boats, European taxi drivers and the food smells, I would have been done for if I didn’t have it.
Monica, thank you. Love you. Bless you.
I also got a prescription for pregnancy-friendly antibiotics just in case I got sick/bladder infection/etc. while we were gone and didn’t want to leave the fate of my health to the on-board doctor of a cruise ship and whatever medicines they happened to have on board. Luckily, I never needed it, but it gave us both some peace of mind.
Alright. Now that I have written you a short novel, I will leave you with this. Baby-Mooners, workin’ mamas, cross-continent adventurers—go forth! Speak with your healthcare professional and get to traveling!