I was 16 weeks pregnant when we went to Camp Bestival. Now if my last pregnancy was anything to go by then I felt amazing at 16 weeks, in fact the whole second trimester was just wonderful for me and we went on a lovely holiday to Cornwall where we did a lot of walking. I had more energy and was able to eat normally again and started to glow.
This time however I have felt more tired, that might be to do with having a toddler as well and being slightly heavier and less fitter than I was when I was pregnant with my daughter.
When we turned up at Lulworth, nothing had prepared me for “the valleys”. The walk down a huge hill and up another hill just to get in, is exhausting for most people at the best of times but for a pregnant woman pushing a pushchair laden with sleeping bags and a rucksack on my back it’s REALLY hard, especially as pregnant women have more blood to pump round their body so their heart is working harder and so they tend to get out of breath easily.
I was quite proud I managed two trips to get our gear from the car, I piled up the pushchair and hubby piled up our sack-truck. I was pretty exhausted once we were all set up and for a minute I forgot I was actually pregnant!
I found my stash of cereal bars and crisps a godsend for times when I needed something to tide me over, especially as I am someone who needs to eat at least 5 times a day during pregnancy or I get grumpy.
On the subject of food, obviously in pregnancy there are many foods that you are advised not to eat as they could cause illness and or complications for the unborn baby. I, as a rule at every festival I go to steer clear of meat, (unless I have bought it and cooked it myself) there are so many wonderful stalls though that this is easy. The veggie and vegan one is always consistently good, jacket potatoes are a festival essential for me, as is a veggie curry. It is just about being sensible really. Camp Bestival has an array of delicious food on offer, I enjoyed a Heidi Pie and mash, a pizza and falafels with salad it seems that festival food has got much better over the years! We did cook bacon rolls every morning (which I was bored of by the last day!) and we bought homemade curry and chilli to have for two nights but sadly our little gas cooker wasn’t very good and things took an age to cook!
On the first proper day of the festival we spent a lot of time walking around and I was really starting to flag, the WI tent was my saviour but sadly there was nowhere to sit and I didn’t look pregnant enough to ask anyone if they were kind enough to give up their seat, luckily hubby found one for me and perched next to me.
So what did I learn from this experience?
Because I felt so well I think I definitely overdid it, I did forget I was pregnant at times and should have taken more breaks. I really should have gone back to the tent for a nap in the day so that I had more stamina in the evening.
Sit down and rest as much as possible – this was one thing I found difficult. With so many people there wasn’t really anywhere to sit and chill out. It was far, far too busy in my opinion and at times I felt overwhelmed because I just wanted to sit down quietly without feeling in the way or someone stepping over me; I have never felt like this at a festival before.
Snacks and drinks are essential – I took bottles of flavoured sparkling water.
Try not to do too much – because had never been before, and had a festival break of a few years, I had forgotten how much is going on at these events and how you can potentially wear yourself out by trying to do too much.
Choose a festival suitable for your needs – Camp Bestival is THE ideal family festival from what I have experienced but it is a large festival. I think it was probably a bit much for a pregnant me but will probably be fine for a non-pregnant me. I had forgotten how much of an endurance festivalling could be with all the walking, being on your feet a lot of the time and not sleeping in your own bed!
We are not attending next year but we certainly hope to return in 2013 with both children and hopefully a slimmer, fitter, and much healthier me!
Camp Bestival takes place at Lulworth Castle in Dorset each year, usually on the last weekend of July.