We recently got back from India.
As I type this in Oregon the rain is falling and another cold, damp day is about to dawn if the sun can find it’s way up—something the sun seems hesitant about on every Oregon winter day.
But for about three weeks we sat outside in thin summer clothes, shooing mosquitoes, watching giant fruit bats in steady traffic above our heads. At the family home where we were staying terns manically fed in a freshwater valley while herons and egrets patiently waited for prey and Brahminy kites in stunning white-headed, burnt-copper-bodies glided through.
We were in India to see family. Every day they spoiled us with fish moles, chicken stews, bowls of coconut beef, potato masalas, smashed yucca, and biriyani. It’s well known among our family that I love masala dosa. I must have had it ten or fifteen times. Once the crispy dosa were made over an outdoor fire in the traditional kitchen.
We started planning this trip a year ago. I had not planned on being pregnant. In early November before the trip, my morning sickness mounted, and with it my normal anxiety about flying. I used to be a carefree flyer, but so many things have changed since the days when I would cross continents by myself.
Boarding a plane to Asia with the precious cargo of my husband and two children, in the same year that two Malaysia Airlines planes went down, seemed brash. The only thing worse would have been traveling without them. I stockpiled herbal calming remedies, nausea medication, and melatonin in various forms.
My morning sickness started to fade the week before we left. At fourteen weeks pregnant, just out of the first trimester, I was supposed to be feeling better. Each day I was less nauseous for more hours. I could eat some salads, or chicken and rice. I discovered, however, that if anything will bring nausea roaring back, it’s twenty hours cramped in a dimly lit, vibrating space with brittle air and the threat of turbulence. By the time we were crossing the Arabian Sea heading to our final port, I was rocking back and forth with a giant garbage bag in front of me, hoping not to throw up.
K-Pants had already thrown up on our first flight. I anticipated this because he gets motion sick, so we were prepared with plastic bags, towels, and extra clothes. Baby Woww threw up in a car once we were in India, and my morning sickness got bad enough that we went to the doctor (which turned out to be a lovely experience).
Thinking back to travel in my mid-twenties, all this nausea and vomiting and the consequential changes in plans would have made an adventure like this harrowing. But the only word I can think of to describe the trip is wonderful.
This wonderful is equal parts hiccups and ease. It’s filled with the pride that comes from doing something overwhelming, because the rewards were greater than the simplicity of staying at home. We affirmed our core values of family connectedness and adventurous exploration.
And in the wild journey of this third pregnancy, I learned to lean on God even more, because there were so many times when I was not in control while we were gone, and yet everything was wonderful.