Back in late January, while I was on bed rest, my older sister, husband and I were sitting around discussing our upcoming family summer camping trip. My husband and I had chosen to stay home the previous year because Josh had been 4 months old at the time and wasn’t sleeping well through the night. (I grew up camping every summer, and camping is probably one of my top ten favorite things to do– so I admit I actually cried about having to miss it.) But seeing as Josh was a year older and sleeper much better at night, we were all set to go camping this year.
Until I remembered.
Oh yes, that horrible pregnancy claustrophobia I got with Josh, starting at 23 weeks. It was pretty intense. I was on the submarine ride at Disneyland when it struck full force. For the duration of the pregnancy, I had a hard time being in a car (without the window rolled down) or a small room. I knew there was no way I would be able to sleep in a tent–and forget about a sleeping bag. I felt anxious just thinking about it!
So after much deliberation, we decided to go ‘camping,’ but booked a hotel room about 5 miles down the road from the campsite. I knew we’d take some flak from our die-hard camping relatives who like to backpack and don’t call ‘camping’ anything but sleeping in a tent, but it was either that or stay home.
Ironically, so far the claustrophobia hasn’t really hit this pregnancy! I’m a little claustrophobic, but nothing like last time. The hotel room was nice to have though since Josh still takes crazy long naps. We were in a group of 20 (7 of which were kids) people camping, so as you can imagine, it would be pretty hard to keep everyone quite while Josh took a 2 or 3 hour nap in a tent nearby in the middle of the day.
We ended up sticking Josh’s portacrib in a small closet in our hotel room and kept the door propped open while he slept. It worked out great! At the campsite, we took a playpen yard and put it over a tarp and blanket that my aunt had brought. My aunt also brought toys which kept Josh entertained quite a bit. It was hilarious to see the “big” kids in there too wanting to play with Josh or just listen to a story. Josh never seemed to be in there by himself for long, which was great!
The hardest part was probably the car trip home. Josh barely napped and then whined/cried for the remaining 2.5 hours of a 4 hour drive. He just hates his car seat most days, and wants to get out of it.
I also started getting braxton hicks contractions on the day we left for camping and they never really died down until yesterday. There was just so much to carry and transport from house to hotel, hotel to campsite, back to hotel, hotel to home (hubby loaded up EVERYTHING on his own by that point) plus a couple sets of stairs at the hotel (which was an old, historic hotel), etc. The contractions weren’t strong at all but did make me a little nauseous, so I decided to sit and rest as much as possible and I worked on upping my water intake. Seems to have done the trick and I only had 2 contractions yesterday, and none so far today!
I was pretty intimidated to take camping a non-walking toddler (who loves to explore!) who still needed two naps a day– but in the end we all survived and had fun, too. On the trip up to the campsite, my cousin and I were texting each other, and we decided that our motto for the camping trip would be “Oh well!” when things didn’t go as planned. There were many of those moments but I think having that frame of mind really helped my attitude overall. I wanted to look back and have good memories from this trip, and I am happy to say that I do!