A Pregnant Pause in Kyoto
There was so much to see and so far to walk. Sure we could have cut some corners with bus rides but Mike and I have always loved to rack up the steps on our Fitbits while we explore unknown streets. Unfortunately our normal sightseeing approach was failing me now for one very simple reason:
I was 18 weeks pregnant.
Now, I was never alone. Tucked inside me, the soon-to-be-baby was my constant companion. Shrimpie (the un-named baby we didn’t yet know was a she), had only existed for 18 weeks, but was already doing a bang-up job of throwing my whole life out of whack. All of a sudden I cried at commercials, fell apart after missing a single meal, and needed an afternoon nap every single day.
My husband was there too, and thank goodness for that. All of a sudden I needed Mike more than ever. I needed him to carry my travel backpack because even a slight amount of weight was enough to throw my stressed back out of kilter. I needed him to rub my calves when they stated to swell from too much walking. I needed him to take charge and find us dinner when I was melting down from hunger.
And I needed him to tell me it was OK if we didn’t finish sightseeing this afternoon and went home for a nap instead.
This Japan trip was our babymoon- one last hurrah before the baby changed everything about our lives and travel style. Clearly however, Shrimpie was already making her presence impossible to ignore.
We had started out strong that morning, at the beautiful Kiyomizu Temple, with it’s stunning views of the city. The cherry blossoms were just starting to peek out and everywhere pretty girls in rented kimonos posed in front of picturesque vistas. We bought a charm that promised a “safe and healthy labor” and took our requisite baby bump picture, although truthfully the bump looked more like a big lunch than a baby at this point.
Sometimes that felt like a bitter pill to swallow, but as I let Mike lead me back to the bus that would take us to our AirBNB, I reminded myself that change could be good too. I like seeing all the sights, but truthfully: I also really like taking naps. I love wandering aimlessly for hours, but I also love stopping for all the snacks. I may love solo travel, but I also love exploring the world with people I love.
We’d catch all the sights we missed another time. Maybe on my third trip to Japan, this time as a true family of three.