In today’s economy, vacation is one of the last things people can imagine fitting into their budget. On the other hand, in today’s economy, we make the big mistake of cutting vacation out of the budget not realizing that by taking vacation you salvage a portion of your sanity and your health. Stress levels are dangerously high and the majority of people rely on anti-anxiety medications or anti-depressants to cope with every day life.
My husband and I are expecting our first baby. Prior to finding out I was pregnant, I made the difficult decision of quitting my high stress, well paying job to pursue a career in a field that wouldn’t make me sick from anxiety. Money is impossibly tight and we are always thinking of saving every penny we can for our new addition. So when my husband approached me with a huge smile on his face and asked how I felt about taking a trip to Denver, Colorado for our 3rd wedding anniversary, I was quite puzzled. The first thing that entered my mind was, “How in the hell can we possibly afford to go anywhere?!”. Knowing if I voiced my true feelings I would upset him, I simply asked about the details of the trip he was envisioning. He said we were to borrow a car from a family member that gets better mileage than our truck, eat very simple and inexpensive meals, and stay at a Hyatt. The first two things he mentioned sounded realistic, but when he threw in staying at a Hyatt, that same initial thought ran through my mind once again. He reminded me that as a Hyatt employee he is given free stays at various hotels across the world. My skepticism kicked in again as I thought, “Okay, so the room is free, but what about lodging tax and parking?”. In places as nice as the Hyatt we were going to be staying in, those things can add up very quickly. After much deliberation and one quick prayer, we decided to go for it.According to dr recommendations, it’s best to travel before the third trimester and since we had recently finished moving, I knew both of us needed time alone to reconnect.
Our adventure began as we left Santa Fe, New Mexico and began our five hour drive to Denver, Colorado. I gave him a warning that when traveling with a pregnant woman, you need to be willing to make multiple pit stops. Everything is more difficult when one is pregnant, and traveling is no exception. I was sure to pack two pillows for the roadtrip knowing that sitting for five hours was going to be a very unpleasant experience. I also packed plenty of water bottles and snacks. I tried to stick to healthy snacks such as almonds and pecans but was easily tempted to go for the M&M trail mix and salty Chexmix.
My main objective was to stay hydrated. One of the most uncomfortable things to experience when pregnant is dehydration. They symptoms vary but often take you back to feeling the way you felt in the first trimester. The most common symptoms are headache, nausea, weakness, and for myself, irritability. The other thing I was concerned about was swelling. My third trimester was quickly approaching and I had been noticing my feet swelling at the end of the day. Per recommendation from my doctor, we timed our pitstops to be just about every two hours or so. This gave me the opportunity to walk around, stretch, and keep the blood circulating properly. This is not only key in your comfort, but is important for the baby as well.
Upon arriving, one of the first things we did was check out the pool. Swimming is a very relaxing experience when pregnant. Though normally very shy about getting into a bathing suit, this time I was so excited to get into the pool and for a brief moment forget how much weight I was carrying. It was incredible! My body was so very thankful for every second in that pool. I decided to be ambitious and swim a couple of laps, but that resulted in overstretching my upper abdominal muscles and so would highly recommend taking it very slow especially if you don’t normally swim! I enjoyed the backfloat most as it allows you to work out your lungs considering your uterus is putting extra weight against them, and yet it does not require a lot of energy to be exerted.
We did a lot of walking on 16th Street in downtown Denver. There were great restaurants and great shopping. I took several pairs of different types of shoes that I knew I could be comfortable in. I also took clothes for various weather because you never know when a sunny day will turn into a cold, wet one. Throughout the day, we had to stop and find a place to sit to keep my body from overworking and stressing out. Some women, myself included, experience “Braxton Hicks” contractions, and overworking or stressing out your body can often trigger these uncomfortable experiences. Wearing a maternity belt really helped with supporting the weight of my ever-growing belly and relieved lower back pain allowing me to walk more comfortably. At the end of the day, I spoiled myself with taking a nice warm bath, kicking up my feet, and taking a relaxing nap before dinner.
We truly enjoyed our vacation. We stuck to our plan and did not overspend, but still managed to eat healthy and enjoy the sights along with eachother’s company. We took advantage of our time alone, caught up on each other’s lives, and enjoyed our last vacation before the baby comes. Though being romantic when pregnant can be difficult, it is so important to maintain that intimate connection with your spouse. It can be difficult to feel sexy when you feel like you’re body has exploded into a massive version of yourself. My thoughts, put those negative feelings aside, focus on the positive ones, and enjoy eachother!
The vacation was short but very sweet. Though I had not been working the 40 hours my husband was, I needed that vacation just as much as he did. I highly suggest taking a vacation – even if it is a short one- and getting away from the stress of every day life to remind yourself of the most important things.