Sunday, October 7, 2012

Trip to Atlanta - The Epilogue

We've been back from Atlanta for almost a week now.  In fact, a week ago right now we were sitting on the plane waiting to take off.  Tonight, Jacob was in bed on time and we had a lovely weekend closer to home.  The trip was awesome and we had some fantastic experiences.  Looking back at the pictures, we saw so much in our whirlwind weekend.  I'm glad we did it.

However, the experience also reminded me how important it is to have structure.  By the end of the weekend, Jacob was an absolute mess.  He was having meltdowns and tantrums all over the place.  We tried our best to ensure he was well-rested.  Yes, we had late nights, but he did sleep well at night, didn't wake up crazy early, and did take tiny little naps here and there.  You'd think all of that should have added up to something decent, but apparently just being out of his element was enough of a challenge.  By the end of the weekend we were pretty much at our wits' end and the mere sight of our house couldn't come soon enough. 

I discovered the weekend before the trip that all of the crazy weekends and running around we'd done over the previous couple months had gotten Jacob out of his groove.  He used to be a pretty great weekend napper, but not having to do it on schedule here at home for weeks had an impact.  Obviously he's getting older and some kids his age dropped their naps ages ago.  He still takes one at daycare, which probably helps, but part of me dreads the day he gives it up for good on weekends.  He's been taking considerably longer to go down lately, and the naps haven't been particularly long (today's two-hour nap was a rarity).  He seems to behave better in general when he's on a schedule and engaged in activities.  Even with that, we've also had some serious issues with bedtime lately, but that's another post for another day.

Anyway...Jacob's issues aside, it was a great trip and it was nice to get away as a family of three for what is probably one of the last times.  Obviously traveling will get far more complicated by next spring, and it was nice to have a crazy trip schedule-wise while we still could.  We had experiences that I'm sure Jacob will be talking about for years to come.  And for Craig, the ability to see his favorite player prior to his retirement (don't get us started on the blown call from Friday's playoff game--ugh) was pretty darn priceless.

As for me...traveling pregnant was, well...interesting.  I was having total freakouts for a couple nights prior to the trip because I couldn't find anything to wear.  My body was at a terribly awkward phase, complicated by changing back to summer clothes for three days.  My maternity clothes were still too big, but my normal clothes were either too small or looked terrible with my belly.  I don't mind looking pregnant, but looking like I'd put on 10 pounds and didn't care about how I was dressed really bothered me.  In the last week or so I've really noticed that the "looking like I don't care" thing is really the problem.  This week I wore a couple outfits where I just looked heavier.  My belly stuck out a bit, but ultimately I realized I didn't look much different than someone who really does carry weight like that.  The difference between those outfits and the ones I rejected for the trip is that the clothes I wore this week laid nicely, so even if I looked a little bigger, I still looked like I cared about how I dressed.  But so many of my clothes don't flatter this in-between phase at all, and that was incredibly frustrating.  Eventually I came up with a few acceptable outfits, and even ended up switching things around while I was down there so a few pieces went unused.  I don't really look that pregnant in the handful of pictures I made it into, and that was sort of a theme for the weekend--almost existing like I wasn't pregnant.  I was well aware of it, of course, but I was mostly dressing like I wasn't.  I was trying to push through any tiredness, and was just trying to focus on the fun and unique experiences we were having.  We had plenty of distractions, so I didn't have to think about it much.  I did have the world's most obnoxious rash on my legs while we were there--it started the previous week and finally let up earlier this week--and that was making me crazy enough to not think about the pregnancy itself.  The rash is a side effect, I think, as I had a lesser outbreak of it early in the pregnancy, but you can be sure I'll be asking my doctor about it at my appointment tomorrow to make sure it's not a symptom of a greater problem.  The fact that it went away is probably a good sign, though, that it's just a hormonal thing as opposed to a hardcore pregnancy skin condition that's only fixed by having the baby. 

The hardest part of the whole thing was probably being a little more helpless than usual.  The lifting restrictions on pregnant women really suck.  Seriously.  I had to rely on Craig to lift my suitcase and do the majority of the packing and unpacking.  I had a hard time dragging the luggage I did have through the airport, and even battled some minor discomfort after our journeys through the airport.  I couldn't lift up Jacob to see animals at the zoo, and I needed Craig to lift him up into that Coke chair for our lovely little family picture.  There were moments where I had to sit more than I would have liked, just because I could feel the exhaustion.  On the other hand, I was paranoid about sitting on the plane for too long, since pregnant women are more likely to have blood clot issues and things like that while traveling.  My legs tend to bother me on planes anyway, and this made me that much more nervous.  The trip to Florida is weighing heavily on my mind, but that flight will be long enough that my "wander the plane" time won't be as limited as it was this time.  We ended up with turbulence around the time I had wanted to get up on both flights, and right when it ended the seatbelt sign went right back on for our descent.  Anyway, long story short, traveling while visibly(-ish) pregnant is a whole different ballgame.

In the end, I'm grateful we had this opportunity and I'm thankful that it wasn't later in this pregnancy.  There was a lot of pressure on Craig this trip, for many reasons, and he handled it well (aside from the aforementioned angst while trying to park Sunday morning).  While it didn't always seem like it at the time, I think the meltdowns from Jacob were a small price to pay for the chance to visit a new city and have some special, limited-time-only experiences.  I'm so happy we did it but I am also grateful to have been home this weekend (even if we did take a little day trip yesterday--more on that soon).  Being on the road for so many weekends has made me more appreciative of the opportunity to wake up in my own bed.  I need the time home to do the little things and keep our lives in order.  Next weekend will be another busy one, so let's hope I can make the most of my evenings this week!

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