On the road… and pregnant
20 November 11
It’s not really different to be pregnant while travelling on the road full-time. I’ve experienced four other pregnancies from the comfort and safety of a house, and this is my first pregnancy while living in our trucks.
Morning sickness is the first and dramatic effect of my pregnancies. Although this has decreased slightly, it still involves nausea, vomiting and tiredness — all day long. Being on the road has meant that I have my bed with me when I need to lie down, and a bush is never far away if I need to throw up. Really, it’s no less comfortable than living in a house, and our more relaxed lifestyle has meant that I could take it easy when I needed to.
While travelling in New Zealand, I experienced strange cravings for certain foods, including chocolate bullets and lemonade fruit. I also desired to eat meat, something that we haven’t done since becoming vegetarian in August 2010, but I sought the extra protein through other sources instead of succumbing. Sometimes, because of our location, I had to go without, but David was very accommodating of my cravings and we eat very well while on the road.
As we travel without a large mirror, my increasing size was always a surprise to me when I caught glimpses of myself in the window-panes of shop-fronts or happened upon a full-length mirror. This has been the greatest difference about travelling on the road while pregnant as opposed to staying in a house. I’m not examining my reflection every day, watching my tummy expand, and so the pregnancy progressed without my full awareness.
In many ways, the distractions of all our adventures meant that I didn’t focus on the pregnancy and my increasing girth. Every now and again, I realised that clothes were too tight to wear, but I also never needed a full maternity wardrobe. A couple of loose items served to clothe me, and I now realise that my dependency on a greater range of maternity clothing was only enslaving me.
On the rare occasions that I’ve been able to weigh myself, I’ve noticed that I’ve gained less weight than in other pregnancies. I’m certain this has to do with our nomadic lifestyle, as I now rarely eat out of boredom and don’t find myself staring at a well-stocked pantry several times a day!
Climbing up into bed has proved to be a little bit of a challenge. By the time we left the horse truck in New Zealand, I almost couldn’t climb onto the top bunk without David’s help, and I could only turn around if he wasn’t already in bed. In Australia, sleeping in the trailer has meant that I don’t have to climb up quite so high.
The forced activity of climbing in and out of the trucks and navigating the uneven spaces has meant that my fitness levels have remained good, and I’m more agile now than I have been at the end of my other pregnancies. I’m hopeful this will play a part in shortening the labour process!
Previously, I’ve always pursued medical care throughout pregnancy. I’ve gone for regular check-ups at my doctor’s and have booked into the hospital for tests and scans. During this pregnancy, I didn’t voluntarily pursue any medical care, and this has meant that I’m more comfortable and confident about the way this pregnancy has progressed without hearing fear stories about possible negative experiences. I don’t know if I would have been strong enough to withstand the pull of the medical profession if I had been staying in one place, so being on the road has released me from my dependency on it.
Now that I’ve almost completed a full term of pregnancy, I’m pleased that we’ve been on the road full-time. Our relaxed lifestyle has meant that I’m more rested, more confident in the baby’s well-being and ready for whatever comes next — hopefully a baby!