How to celebrate pregnancy-style?

My husband’s birthday is next weekend and I have a dilemma on what to do to celebrate. Sure, we could enjoy a type date night, but I’d really like to do something special since once this baby arrives, I realize we will not have much going-out time nor money anymore.

The few ideas I have come up with have been ruled out by our pocketbook or doctor’s orders. We cannot go to theme parks given the fact I cannot go on any rides and I may fall over from heat stroke in Florida’s 90 degree weather. Plus we’d like to do the Disney thing with our three-year-old and so that’s really not a celebration for my hubby. I thought creatively and booked an airboat ride in Everglades City, but the doctor ruled that out because it was too bumpy. We can’t stay at the beach because of the flesh-eating bacteria swarming our waters, plus it’s not that special.

So, my conclusions: I’ve come up with three alternative ideas.

First, John Pennekamp snorkeling in Key Largo. Although, we probably won’t go with this idea, snorkeling trips are around $30 out of the state park. Hotels in the area are pricey though and the trip down takes a while. It’s a gorgeous reef surrounding a Jesus statute and really something all Floridians should take the time to see.

Second, a ride down the Rainbow River in Dunnelleon. This is north of Tampa and about 3 hours from Charlotte County. The hotels are around $70-80/night. The KP hole is where you launch a tube. Entrance and rental fees are about $15/person and the water is a consistent cool temperature of 72 degrees. The float down the river takes approx. 4 hours. This sounds awesome to a pregnant woman seeking relief from the hot summer days.

Lastly, Weeki Wachee. Same distance of 3 hours. Mermaid shows, animals and a fun little water park for the kids. Hotels are around the same as above and entrance fees are about $15/person and free for younger kids.

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…5 AM, that is

Gone are the days that I could tolerate, I mean, actually enjoy the hours past midnight. Another strange pregnancy symptom for me is sleeplessness. You’d think God would want to give me some Zzzzzs before the baby arrives and I am up 3+ times a night doing feedings and changing diapers, but then again God has a strange sense of humor sometimes. I believe this is my what makes me most nervous and, shall I dare say, is a major con to welcoming a new one into the fold.

My wholehearted goal this go around is to employ my husband this time. My last experience with a newborn brought with it sleepless nights for the first six months. And because I breastfeed, I was the one up every night. I remember the countless times I would literally kick my husband when I caught our baby’s first cries at 2 a.m. over the monitor.

So, this go-around, I told my husband straight up that we would be taking turns. One night on, one night off. And, when you are on shift, you sleep in the baby’s room so the other parent can actually sleep and not be woken up by the monitor. (By “other parent”, I mean me).

Moms, what advice do you have to avoid becoming a zombie during the first six months of sleeplessness? Have any of you effectively split up feedings with your significant other?

Maybe some of you who work as bartenders or nurses in those early hours have tips to feel awake the next morning besides the obvious one of buying some strong Cuban coffee?

Those Darn Hormones: Crazy Pregnancy Symptoms

Had a checkup today. Close to 17 weeks now and starting to feel the little fish flip around, which reminded me about the other crazy pregnancy symptoms I had earlier on in this pregnancy, as well as during my last. During my first trimester, it was not difficult to kick the caffeine habit from the start. Immediately upon waking each morning, the smell of coffee would trigger my nausea and I would have to vomit to feel better and then choke down some saltine crackers. I’m so glad that phase is through.

I am beginning to get a bit more energy in the afternoons, but now I have crazy headaches, and I know they are not caffeine-induced anymore. I asked the doctor about it today and she said it was a normal side effect and related to my change in hormones. My hormones went crazy post-baby last go-around and I had intense itching sensations on the arches of my feet and on my shins. What the heck? I remember sticking a pencil into my shoes during class, attempting to gain some relief by scratching my arches. It was so weird and the doctors attributed it to hormones. What pregnancy side effects have you endured and learned to deal with?