OVER THE MOON
Taking time our before baby arrives
When we found out we were pregnant with our first child, amongst the elation of friends and family came the questions that you’d expect: ‘Do you know if it’s a boy or girl?’; ‘When’s your due date?’; ‘How are you feeling?’. One question that surprised us had to do with moons – of the baby variety. I didn’t realise there was a word created around the idea of booking a last hurrah with hubby before two became three. After weeks of morning sickness rearing its head in the form of me feeling perpetually hungover and exhausted, and in addition to seeing the chilly haze of winter’s grey approaching, going somewhere exotic far from the everyday before life drastically changed sounded perfect. So, coinciding with my 26th week, Dino and I booked a four-hour flight to northern Australia and started planning sailing day cruises. As every woman discovers during her first pregnancy, although there is plenty of ‘sure things’ to expect, it’s also wise to expect the unexpected. For us, we were surprised when we were told I had a low-lying placenta during my 20-week scan – a condition where the placenta is near or covers the cervix. Given that in most cases the placenta moves up the uterus during pregnancy, we figured I would be amongst that 90 per cent. But, a 25-week scan showed that the placenta hadn’t moved. Subsequently, our doctor advised against our going. Being far from a hospital with this
condition could be a risk to both our unborn baby and me – and the nearest hospital to our destination was more than an hour away. We both tried to talk our doctor around given my healthy track record, assuring her we’d take every precaution, but got in the car after our appointment and agreed it was better to be safe than sorry. We cancelled our $1800 flights, our hotels and rental car and felt sorry for ourselves. Turns out, not going was the best decision we could have made as the following week (when we would’ve been snorkelling in tropical waters) I had a bleed. Needless to say, the 15-minute drive to the hospital was one of the longest rides of my life and after two nights being closely monitored we arrived home grateful that both our unborn child and I were OK, and that our doctor had given us such wise guidance. After the scare, we figured that the furthest from home we’d go as expectant parents was to work and to the movies, but our doctor suggested we look at an alternative trip – somewhere in New Zealand. A few days in luxury where we could be pampered together away from the everyday grind. She didn’t have to mention it twice. We got online and booked a long weekend away in the country, where the only thing we had to do was relax. And relaxing is exactly what we did.
How to book a pre-baby break
Your life is about to change in a big way. Organising a pre-baby break calls for plenty of planning, especially if you’re venturing far from home. When to go: The second trimester (1824 weeks) is the ideal time for an escape, given this is when you usually feel your best. After 28 weeks many airlines require a letter from your LMC allowing you to fly, and some won’t let you fly later in the third trimester. Besides potential health implications, the later you are in your pregnancy, the more uncomfortable long hauls will be. Where to go: Other than places that have health concerns (such as those where the Zika virus, yellow fever or malaria are found) you don’t have to avoid destinations as long as you’re prepared for each location situation and how that can affect your pregnancy. Be aware of the local cuisine as you’ll be more limited in what you can eat and drink – fresh iced tea from food stalls in Thailand would be off limits, as would many market stalls. And even if you’re an adventure junkie and up for anything, you might not be able (or as inclined) to indulge in as wide a range of activities – not just paragliding or deep-sea diving. Sun-drenched days on the beach make for a favourite babymoon escape. Stay hydrated with a constant water bottle companion, use sunscreen (as pregnant skin is more sensitive to the sun) and stay covered in mosquito-ridden areas or wear bug spray – expectant mothers are more susceptible to diseases they may carry. Long hauls: On long flights wear compression stockings, drink lots of water and stretch your legs often to avoid deep-vein thrombosis. Book an aisle seat in case you have to use the toilet often and to walk around the cabin. If you’re travelling by car, stop regularly to boost your blood flow, push your seat back as far as possible and wear your seatbelt low, under your belly bump.
Melissa and Dino enjoying Matauri Bay.