Being the travel lovers that we are, I embraced any excuse for a holiday and started googling destinations very early on in our pregnancy. Despite being out of work at the time (and money running at an all time low)... I threw caution to the wind and booked one of those super Cudo deals http://cudo.com.au/ to bali for 12 days. We had not been to bali before and the idea of a tropical summer escape to an exotic location we had yet to explore sounded like Bliss! Babymoon Bliss surely!
Mistake number 1) we booked our holiday during the 28th week of our pregnancy (after 27 weeks travel insurance will not cover you if you are pregnant and flying, you will also require a written document from your doctor confirming they can vouch that your pregnancy is low risk). We decided to take the risk and head off yonder! How risky can it be? this friendly northern island neighbour, with its recent history of bombings, drug trafficking, lengthy jail sentences and widespread corruption... a perfectly safe destination for a 7 month pregnant woman to travel.
My initial worry was going into spontaneous labour on the 6 hour flight from Melbourne to Bali. I thought if I survived the flight that the rest of the holiday should be smooth sailing. In preparation I purchased some ridiculously overpriced compression travel socks they recommend you wear if flying whilst pregnant. At $30 a pair you want to hope they actually do something... and that its not just "marketing hype". I also packed all the other relevant medications/lotions/sprays and potions for 3rd world country travel, insect spray, sunscreen, hydra-lite's, anti-diarrhea tabs, pain killers etc. We were set! All I needed now was a clear bill of health with a letter signed off by my GP the day before we flew out of the country and we would be set!
Unfortunately in the week leading up to our departure I started to get increasingly unwell, severe pains in my right side and constant trips to the loo were my two main symptoms. Considering these are also "normal symptoms" of pregnancy I was finding it hard to judge as to whether they were " normal" discomfort and pain... or "worse than normal"...implying something more sinister? After reading a variety of articles on these issues I decided to start a "bladder diary" (as suggested by one of these websites) so at least when I did visit the doctor I had some sort of real track record to go by (not just "whinge whinge, sore, whinge whinge, wee a lot"... go home silly complaining pregnant woman). After the first night of keeping the bladder diary I realised things were not normal... I had gotten up 15 times during the night to pee (giving me approximately 20 minute intervals of sleep in between). The following day the pains in my right side became considerably worse and by the time my parents arrived that afternoon (as they were visiting from interstate for the weekend) I burst into tears "waaaahhhhhhh everything hurts!!". By midnight that night my hubby and I decided to head to the local hospital emergency department, I had the sweats and shakes by that time and we thought it was best to be safe than sorry. I suspected a kidney infection or possible UTI. After answering the same list of questions to a variety of nurses and doctors, blood and urine tests taken, I was settled into a bed dressed in a "sexy" backless robe. My suspensions were soon confirmed, kidney infection it was. We were sent home with some strong anti-biotics and a friendly hit of Panadeine forte. By the time we arrived home I was floating on "cloud-happy-happy-thank-heavens-for-drugs-they-are-my-friends". Within a few days the symptoms started to subside and the green light for travel was given by my GP.
We survived the flight no worries and were greeted by the thick & steamy Indonesian summer air. Luckily the hotel transfer van provided a mini esky with cold water and icey wet washers to keep us cool for the drive from the airport to the hotel. We were staying at the Grand Aston Bali which is located just outside of the very "high end" part of Nusa Dua. Like many of the "Cudo" hotel deals they tend to be offered on what used to be very high end hotels that are slightly run down and have been recently purchased by new owners to do them up. You end up with a great quality deal for the price but need to expect that the resort has tended to have seen better days (or that parts of it may be in the process of renovation when you visit). We were very happy with the accommodation and VERY appreciative of the great air conditioning in our room!
Andee and I knew this was supposed to be a "relax by the pool holiday" with daily massages and mocktails... but the adventurers in us couldn't help their greedy selves! We were in a new country with endless food, cultural and shopping experiences to be had... and this is where our problem began. We wanted to explore as we normally would, but were hindered by my 7 month bump handicap. Each day we would attempt to venture out (only via taxi our hired car...no scooters this time boo hoo!) but would very soon be requiring a toilet, pain killers for back ache, cold water, a fan and food (preferably restaurant or 5 star quality). For anyone who has travelled about in a 3rd world country those things are not necessarily easy to find at a moment's notice (especially the toilet!). Then there was the HEAT! sweating, sweaty fat legs sticking together, running out of energy to walk far. I was struggling... and Andee was struggling with my complaining. As my anti-biotics kicked in and cleared up the kidney infection they also gave me that lovely LADY side effect of giving me horrendous THRUSH! So now I was grumpy, sweaty, peeing constantly, my back hurt and my vagina was on fire! The day before we were due to return back home to Melbourne this was all topped off by me kicking my toe so hard on the end of the bed that it looked as though I had broken my toe. My toe turned black and I had a limp. When I kicked my toe I completely LOST IT! melt down mummy BIG TIME! I stormed outside to the balcony and howled at the top of my lungs. My poor hubby was trying to console me (although he looked slightly scared). Each time I would quieten down and almost stop sobbing, he would start telling me "everything will be alright, just calm down" and I would start howling again. It was this complete overwhelming feeling of frustration, self pity and exhaustion. I was sharing my body with another being and it was hard work. I never expected to feel quite so encumbered by the experience of being pregnant… in fact encumbered is definitely the right word to describe it,
encumber restrict or impede (someone or something) in such a way that free action or movement is difficult.
It made me consider how hard it must be to live with a debilitating illness, constant pain from an injury, or just the general frustration with your body's restricted ability's as you grow old. At least I had a time limit of another 3 months and the incredible reward of my own miracle baby to receive at the end of it.
So my thoughts on "Babymoon" holidays… knowing what I know now. I would still opt to take the holiday but probably somewhere in Australia (Noosa perhaps) shorter flight, clean toilets and sanitary food. I think any excuse is a good excuse to escape with your loved one! Let alone the "we-just-created-a-human-together-and-our-lives-are-about-to-change-inexplicabily-forever" excuse.
Surely that is the best excuse of them all!
Perfect babymoon bliss... or so the photo seems to portray