Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tent Camping In The Second Trimester

Yes, it might be a little nutty, but it was well worth it.

Christian is a good husband and as such, he made a reservation for a camp site in the redwoods next to a bathroom that had a shower. Literally, when we pulled up to the site, I could see the bathroom without having to search. It was maybe 50 feet away.

First obstacle tackled.

My second concern was one of food. For those of you who have been keeping up with my pregnancy exploits, you know that I need to eat snacks throughout the day and possibly a fourth full meal.  We had bananas, granola bars, and planned to bring protein shakes (which ended up being left unfortunately, but as it was, the food we had sufficed).  Fortunately we had enough on that front.

Second concern dealt with.

Finally I was worried about sleeping. Sleeping on my memory foam topper on my mattress at home has rendered my hips sore and uncomfortable the following day, so what would tent camping do?


There was no good solution to this one, short of bringing one of those huge air mattresses. Considering that our 2 man tent barely held the two of us (it was made expressly for back-packing) there would be no way to fit an air mattress inside unless it was a twin....which wouldn't work if another person was expecting to sleep there as well.

I had originally thought I would bring my Snoogle, but I didn't have a cover for it (and I really didn't want to try to wash mud or whatever off the pillow itself). Also, Snoogles are large. Being in my sleeping bag alone felt confining. With a Snoogle it would have been impossible. Plus the temperature at this time of year north of the Bay does not encourage open sleeping bags. So instead, I used two pillows to lift my upper body a bit, a blanket over my sleeping bag (because I was FROZEN!), and wore wool hiking socks to bed along with two shirts and long pants. This meant I slept some of the night, but of course, I was sore and stiff in the morning.

We also did something else crazy. We went hiking.

Normally I would say hiking is not a crazy endeavor - even for a pregnant lady. There are plenty of hikes that could be finished easily even with a new center of gravity and the propensity to be out of breath after every 20 feet.  We did not go on one of these hikes.

We climbed a mountain.

Alright, we climbed part of a mountain. We traversed approximately 2000 feet in elevation and about 4 miles, round trip. Needless to say it took all of my fortitude to go as far as we did, and by the end, my bladder was full, my water bottle was empty, and I was starving. Looking back I wouldn't have pushed myself as hard as I did. We should have turned around sooner, however I was glad to know that I could do it, even if it ended up taking the majority of the morning instead of the hour or so it would have before being pregnant.

Tent camping wasn't horrible over all while being in my second trimester. I would have been miserable in my first, and I'm sure this would also be true in my third (though for different reasons). That said, I expect the experience is not for everyone. I could see that many women would find the whole thing an exercise in exquisite masochism. For me however, the beauty of the place and the respite it offered from the city was enough to counter any inconvenience I experienced. I found myself depressed as we came closer and closer to Oakland. Being at home was actually distressing.

If anything, my time in the redwoods taught me 2 things:
  1. I am now capable of much more than I was during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
  2. I need to live in the woods - seriously.
Hopefully I can put these lessons to some use. If only I had more motivation to Zumba...

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