Weeks twenty-seven and twenty-eight have been a very mixed experience.
On the plus side, I was off of work for a week and a half. Ahh.
And we traveled to Cancun with my sister and her family! And that was amazing.
We've never done anything like that before. Back in my previous life, pre-child, I loved going to off the beaten path destinations in Central America. I speak Spanish decently, and Central America is so close and affordable (relative, to, say Europe) and rich in culture (mostly) and has fabulous weather and the people are generally welcoming to visitors.
But off-the-beaten-path with a three year old and a pregnant belly didn't seem like just the thing. I needed convenience and access to medical facilities, just in case. And the absence of fear about food poisoning with every bite of food we took. And there are lots of direct flights to Cancun, and lots of all-inclusive resorts there, and beautiful beaches. So an all inclusive in Cancun it was.
It worked out great. Having meals readily available, just steps away, was tremendously convenient. There were two nice pools, but we quickly found the beach was even more fun -- crystal blue waters PLUS sand to play in -- what could be better? Calliope was happy to play there as often as I would let her.
We also made some trips off property -- to the city acquarium (by local bus! so proud of our adventurous selves), to Isla Mujeres (by city ferry), and to the Mayan ruins of Tulum and then the "natural water park" of Xelha (by pre-arranged private tour bus).
A restaurant right on the beach of Isla Mujeres might have been my favorite spot. Though I hope to get back to Xelha when we have more time to explore, so I can snorkel and see the fabulous fish there. Still, floating down the lazy river in inner tubes was wonderfully relaxing.
Calliope was a fabulous traveler and skipped naps when necessary but otherwise slept well. She adapted happily to the buffet meals and adopted a pasta/Fruit Loops/pizza/chocolate milk diet that I decided to ignore while we were there. Luckily I brought a bag of prunes along.
My sister's two girls, ages 10 and 16, were a delight to Calliope, especially the younger one. She followed her around like a moonstruck lover, frequently throwing her little arms around her idol's waist. Her cousin bore it with good grace.
My sister isn't as chatty or as likely to share stories as I am, but it was nice to relax with her and my brother in law over meals and on the beach. They were great with helping out with Calliope, especially on the longer excursion when Calliope got worn out. I didn't bring a stroller so they would carry her at times... sometimes even when Calliope was perfectly willing to walk. I think they both enjoyed having a "baby" to tote for a few minutes. I was gratified to find that Calliope's shyness with them mostly went away, though she's still a devoted Mommy follower. But by the end of the week she would often stay at the table with them while I went to get more food... progress!
And when we came back, we had several days at home to recover before my return to work.
They were busy days. We went to Ikea the first day. I was quite a sight, pushing Calliope in a shopping cart filled with plastic bins while dragging a flatbed cart behind me with two heavy boxes on it, pregnant belly jutting in front of me. I felt like quite the quintessential single mother. The effort led to quite a few uncomfortable Braxton Hicks contractions while waiting to pay and then waiting to order food in the Ikea cafeteria. Luckily another mother noticed me swaying and rubbing my belly and waved me to the front of the line.
I was completely exhausted by the time we got home. That, despite paying for home delivery, since it was immediately apparent there was no way I could get those heavy boxes upstairs by myself.
On Saturday we had a lovely brunch with some SMC friends to ring in the New Year somewhat belatedly.
And Sunday, two camp friends came over with the small children and assembled the two sets of Ikea shelves for me. Last night I moved Calliope's toys from her small set of shelves with little bins to this much larger set.
It's funny my "new baby to do list" last time was all about car seats and swings and cribs and this time around is all about things for my three year old.
So despite all the hard work, I'm thrilled to be getting some things done at home. And so grateful for our trip to celebrate my fortieth birthday plus babymoon plus surviving 2014, what with the terrifying early days of my pregnancy plus, of course, losing my mom.
On the downside, I'm really not feeling well an awful lot of the time. Mostly at night. (Though there are certainly bad moments during the day too.) Lying down leaves me feeling wretched. But I don't sleep well sitting up.
So I'm spending at least part of each night on the couch. And still not sleeping well. I'm not sure if it's reflux or just the "delayed gastic emptying" that my midwife mentions, or some combination of the two. Or something else. My friend mentioned gall bladder issues?
I've been eating a lot less as a result. Because feeling full so often leads to feeling wretched... but not at the time I eat. No, it happens later, so it's very hard to predict. And leads me to be very, very cautious, indeed, when eating.
I wouldn't mind the weight loss but I just read a great book about pregnancy that warned that gaining too little can cause real problems for the fetus, post-birth. And unfortunately, I think I will gain the weight back very quickly once I give birth.
But mostly, I'm very very anxious at the prospect of sleeping badly and feeling sick to my stomach every night for the next twelve week. I start to get a little weepy at the thought. Feeling sick so much is hard. And until first trimester nausea, I fear I have a very long way to go for relief.