Sunday, September 13, 2009


Slacker Builder reporting in. You all know that less blogosphere time usually means more real-life insanity, and that has definitely been the case here. At 33.5 weeks of pregnancy, my prenatal "must-do" anxiety has taken our family of four on trips through 3 European countries in the last month. After all, we are only stationed in Germany for three years and any trip would be easier with two children than three, I assured my overworked Army husband. Most recently we returned from a weeklong beach vacation on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Visiting the Balearic Islands has been a dream of mine for years, and their beauty did not disappoint. Nonetheless, I cannot count the number of times that my husband and I looked at each other (over the head of a twitching, gaggling 19-month-old boy in a plane seat) and swore "no more traveling for a long long time."
This trip was difficult. Foreign travel with young children is always difficult and expensive and exhausting and rewarding. That last adjective is the tricky one. Whenever we were tempted to look at the latenight paella-eating, Sangria-drinking couples and think that maybe the next time the kids should stay home with neighbors we would do a 180. All it takes is to hear an enraptured 4 year old girl describe a stalagmite in an underground cave as "the world's hugest wedding cake." Then you realize that you could never leave them home. Traveling as adults it would all become a rush of itineraries and shopping and dining. Whereas, with our insane little ones in tow we are forced to axe many of the sites we would have visited, but watching Daddy explain the significance of a Michelangelo statue of Mother and Child being housed outside of Italy to his daughter is worth the price of admission to all 4 other museums we didn't visit. Thus, our conclusion was that a romantic weekend away in some Euro-city will have merits of its own at some time in the future, but we are glad we pushed through these last few big ones with both children along.

Sidenote, in the T.M.I. category - I think all my walking and lifting and what not caused Baby Brother to descend further into my pelvis. You know, to lighten? My hips feel way weirder than they typically have at this point in the pregnancy and my Braxton Hicks are much more noticeable. Is it ok for the baby to drop this early? Am I still going to make it to 40 weeks? Note to self for future pregnancies -- no travel beyond 30 weeks.


Mama on a Mission said...

All mothers are different, but after my first two babies, all babies dropped earlier, my hips were looser and looser, earlier and earlier. Braxton Hicks came stronger and earlier with each addition. Also the cramping afterward was more intense each time. I think you are normal. But will be praying for you and your baby.

We did no traveling last night but was invited to a kid-free birthday party. It was a friend from childhood that I had not seen for many years. Lesson learned: I would rather be home with my children on a Saturday night then with a bunch of drunk, never going to growup adults. My children can be trials but how I miss them when they are not with us and how I enjoy being a family.

Right Said Red said...

Thirty six weeks and change around here and I can't even imagine traveling like that with little ones! We barely survived a trip to the Jersey Shore! You are amazing.

My first three babies didn't drop until active labor. My 4th, Augustine, dropped 2 weeks prior to delivery and it was a VERY strange sensation. Looking back, I think he had to move down for more room--he was almost 11 pounds. I had my BEST delivery with Augustine, and shortest labor (literally 1/3 the length of my others!) More pressure on the cervix in late pregnancy is always a good thing. Since you have no history of pre-term labor, I think low is VERY good.

My current baby in utero is still pretty high at 36 plus weeks. I'm hoping she drops down soon and gives me some extra room for these last weeks.

Kate E. said...

I ditto what Red said...waiting for this gal to drop so I can breathe again. Jack dropped pretty early (like 34-35 weeks) and it meant I walked around 2-3 cm dilated for few weeks and had what I would describe as a pretty good first I would say enjoy it!

B-Mama said...

Way to go AWOL. Proud of you for shlepping the kids and doing so with an incredible outlook--what blessed children they are! We were reminded of just how much fun our kids add when we went to our first all-invited family wedding this summer. What a blast! Let's just say our no kids trips are going to be few and far between in the future.

As for dropping babies and BH contractions, I remember earlier dropping with each pregnancy and many more contractions MUCH earlier on as well. The contractions are probably partially a function of you doing more and being more active than in previous pregnanciesx You are in demand and that's a good thing. Hey, maybe you'll deliver earlier? Though not the case for me!

Kat said...

AWOL, I can't believe you're getting so close! I've also found that babies who drop easier also come more quickly and easily - hopefully that will be your experience as well!

Your kids will remember these trips that you take them on, you're really giving them a great gift by bringing them along. My parents took us on trips all over Europe, and I definitely remember some of them - very fond memories, and your kids are blessed to have had these experiences. Not easy for you and your hubby, to be sure!

Juris Mater said...

AWOL, what fun!! I LOVE your carpe diem spirit, friend. Even if it's been exhausting, at least it's helped the time pass more quickly to the end of your pregnancy I'm sure, and what memories you've made.

My new rule of thumb with family travel is one week away equals three weeks of disorder: the weeks before and after the trip, as well as the week of the trip. I've never found this not to be the case. Of course, you all have mastered the family "vacation" much better than I have, where the trip is actually relaxing.

Hopping around Europe with a one and four year old sounds absolutely intense--intensely fun, intensely tiring, intensely intense. Your postpartum time will feel like a complete vacation : )