Bending over to bang in pegs whilst you’re 6 months preggers is impossible and downright laughable. Reaching over a huge belly to gently tap in the top of the peg, if you can see it that is, is akin to planking over a waterfall. It’s precarious, requires all your concentration and very unwise.
Putting up tents is what husbands are for, when you’re enormous and you need to wear one of these just to walk.
Starting December 2016, my husband and I went on a five week road trip whilst I was six months pregnant and weighing a whopping 101 kilos.
When I told friends that we would be visiting four states in five weeks and camping along the way, I was met with gasps and dropping jaws but before anyone could tell me I was crazy, I quickly explained that we were really excited about the idea.
We had interstate family and friends and we needed to have some adventures with them before bubs was due, knowing we'd be a bit more grounded once he popped out.
We planned to be in Melbourne to visit my brother’s family, then pass through rural, mountainous NSW then on to Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane for an inlaw Christmas and NewYears. We then wanted to meander back down to Adelaide via the coast and beach hop along the way.
We did all of that and had a great time, saw some beautiful beaches and all the ‘big’ tourist traps the big shrimp, strawberry, banana, apple, cherry, marino, koala and the Dish.
They exist just to suck in passing traffic but by golly they are a welcome distraction from the copious amount of kilometres and lack of coffee.
The most wonderful idea that kept me positive through all the nights sleeping on our camping mats was the beach side resort we were going to stay at to celebrate a great trip and the upcoming sleepless nights with baby. We hadn’t booked, we were just going to drive & work out where to stay as we went.
The trouble was that we didn’t book in anywhere and when you’re on that side of Australia, Byron, Lismore, Yamba, Nambucca Heads, you need to book, probably a year in advance. The accommodation was almost completely booked out. We had to search for a long time, flying by the seat of our pants and squeezing into caravan parks that were already chockers just to get a patch of grass. Pregnancy hormones and putting up a tent in the dark don’t mix very well AT ALL. I have to say, honestly that the camping was HARD and I was introduced to a whole new level of anxiety. In addition, I had to go to the toilet 5 times a night out and walk in the dark to the toilet block with a sore back.
In NSW my wonderful sister-in-law took us for a jaunt up a mountain in her SUV and my old happy go lucky self would have grabbed that adventure with both hands but this hormone induced stress ball of a body decided to have a full blown panic attack and I burst into tears at the top. It was a breathtaking 360 view of the region which was spectacular enough to calm me down eventually but the stress of the drive up a one lane road to the top of the mountain took me by surprise. We even drove past a cemetery on the way up and I thought, “that’s where they are going to bury us.”
My advice is that if you’re going camping, book ahead, pick warm weather (not too cold or hot), take all your favourite pillows, buy a good quality sleeping mat, take a table so you don’t have to reach to the ground, find a campground with a pool and take all the most delicious snacks you can carry, it will be okay. I survived, looking back I absolutely loved it but gosh I am grateful to see my feet again and bend over without toppling forwards. My little pancake is much cuter out than in and now we have the fun of when we next travel, seeing him enjoy even the most meagre of patches of grass.