What traveling during my first trimester was really like!
Let me preface this by saying that I found out I was pregnant with our little lady very very early. I mean, we are talking three weeks in. The main reason I knew before even taking a test was because of the overwhelming sickness and exhaustion I felt and it was 10 times worse than with our first. My first trimester memories when I was home are mostly of me laying on the couch drinking a coke, eating ramen, attempting to stay on top of client and toddler needs all while trying not to throw up.
But if you’ve been following my spring and summer season, you know that I actually have not been home that much! In just a few weeks, I was bouncing around from one end of the world to the other: Hawaii, India, Boston, and New Orleans to name a few. Under normal circumstances, this would have been a lot of travel and for my first trimester self, to put it lightly, this was not as enjoyable as it may have appeared on social media!
Before I tell you all the little aches and pains though, you should know that it is not as hard as it seems. Really and truly, I found that as long as I rested, stayed hydrated, and ate frequent meals throughout the journey (especially the long flights), it was quite manageable. So don't worry, baby and I were safe throughout all of these travels! Before she's born this December, she will have been to three countries and a few states, I'm pretty sure she is already a little adventurer!
Now here are the learning moments that I want to share with you, whether you are just curious or planning some adventures of your own in your first trimester:
- A note on exhaustion: I got tired very easily in my first trimester, so even a carry on bag was exhausting to me. I found a cart in every airport I could in order to make my load as light as possible AND I learned quickly not to care if I was the only one with a cart other than elderly people, baby first y’all! Usually I work on flights, but this time I had to sleep so I was ready to shoot when I landed, especially since most of my travel was sandwiched between other shoots back home. I also learned to never feel ashamed about moving to that empty seat with another empty seat next to it. I found that it is fine to ask forgiveness instead of permission on this one...early bird gets the double seats without having to share! I slept for more than half of my time on airplanes by laying across multiple empty seats and it was the best!
- So about that airplane hygiene: A pocket full of ginger and gum is a must to make it through all the strong airplane smells without getting sick. But more importantly, getting through all the travel without catching something from another passenger is key. I made sure to get my vitamin C and I hand sanitized at every opportunity both on the plane and in airports to minimize the chances of my getting sick. I also didn’t touch anything with my bare hands unless absolutely necessary. I know this sounds a little ocd, but I didn’t get any airborne sicknesses, so I’d call that a win! I did get sick on my return from India, which lasted about a week, but it wasn't too bad.
- Dealing with morning sickness: Morning sickness during a shoot was bad, morning sickness during a shoot while traveling was just awful. In order to push through the marvelous experience that is morning sickness PLUS jet lag, I had to constantly have some hard candy or piece of food in my mouth. I didn’t plan well and this wasn’t really possible in India, so this trip was really hard for me. It took almost a full week of rest to recover from this trip, so we are talking amoeba status on the couch as often as I could while Gabe learned a lot about self sufficiency. I took vitamin B6 pills, drank lots of water, but what really kept me feeling alright was a cold can of Coke. Hey, if it worked for Kate Middleton, it could work for me!
- Staying on top of work: I honestly couldn’t. I had to reach out to others for help around the house or with Gabe or with work, I even had to ask for grace and understanding in some situations...as a self proclaimed workaholic (and loving it) asking for this was my worst nightmare. I just didn’t have the time or capacity to work at the speed that I was used to. Add travel and jet lag to the morning sickness mess and my productive work hours (not including shooting) went from 80 a week to about 10. This was one of the most frustrating things for me, but I learned a lot about how to be productive despite the sickness, how to ask for help when I need it, and how to balance my workload in a healthier way.
Though it was difficult, I wouldn't change anything I did this season travel wise. I would do a few things differently to help manage my own expectations of my abilities and give myself a little bit more grace, but I think I need to do that regularly anyways! If you have more questions about how I handled different things, feel free to comment below! I'd be happy to share my thoughts and stories with you!