In my two goes at this baby-growing thing, I’ve had my share of on-the-edge moments. I’ve ridden jet skis, eaten deli meat (what can I say? I’m wild like that), and took a cross-country flight in my ninth month of pregnancy. But the craziest thing I’ve done thus far is brave an amusement park… at 37 weeks pregnant … in 100 degree heat. And, actually, it gets even crazier. I did it willingly, without coercion or threat of bodily harm.
With just two-and-a-half weeks to go before D-day, my dad, sister, brother-in-law and I headed for one of my very favorite childhood spots last week: Southern California’s Knott’s Berry Farm. Considering that it was the day before “Labor” Day (get it?), I might ought to have been a bit more careful, but I threw caution to the wind and rode everything I was allowed to ride–and then some.
Having checked the “expectant mothers” section of the Visitor’s Guide, I knew there were a couple of low-key rides that had for some non-sensible reason been included on the “Do Not Ride” list. One of these happened to be the ride I was looking forward to the most–the sixteen-story high Supreme Scream. Only kidding. I actually had my heart set on the completely innocuous two-story ferris wheel located in (get this) the kiddy section of the park. I have memories of riding it as a wee bairn, and was determined not to let some fine print stop me.
(Note: I’m not typically the “rule-breaker” type, but in this case, knowing this would likely be my last trek to the park ever, I threw the silly brochure to the wind–but, only after pretending to study it intently in the hopes of shielding my belly from the eyes of the ride operator.) Turns out, my efforts to hide my burgeoning bump were unnecessary, the gals that let me through the gate and buckled me into the car wished my nine-month-pregnant-self a nice ride. (And, it was lovely, by the way. I’m certain the speedbumps going into the park were more jarring than the fluid movements of the the ferris wheel.)
The ferris wheel was our first stop of the day, and for the next five hours, I charged ahead, usually leading the pack, wanting to make the most of every minute. Unfortunately, somewhere around hour six, things began to go downhill faster than you could say “roller coaster.”
After walking what I imagine was a distance equal to the space between Canada’s Niagara Falls and Mexico’s Baja Peninsula–for the geographically challenged, this translates into “a heck of a long way”–I was hurting. Badly. But not for the reasons you might expect. I couldn’t be like any normal pregnant lady and have Braxton Hicks contractions, round ligament pain or monstrously swollen ankles. Nope, I had to develop the world’s worst case of bikini line chafing.
By the end of our eight-hour day, I was a waddling sight to behold. The pain worsened with every burning step. Fortunately, I think most people assumed I was just feeling the effects of the pregnancy. Little did they know, every step forward was a test of my will that took me that much closer to morphing into a giant below-the-belt blister.
Finally, it was time to go back home, and now after our day’s adventure, I am writing this while sitting sprawled out on the couch in a (completely unladylike) attempt to keep my thighs in different time zones. Hopefully, I’ll recover in time to walk myself into the labor and delivery ward. If not, I’ll just explain to the nurses that I was one of the crazies that thought going to an amusement park two weeks before my due date was a good idea.
Oh, and in case you were wondering: Yes, the ferris wheel made it all totally worth it.